It’s impossible to imagine Mick Jagger ever being anyone’s ‘slave’. Not even in a kinky sex way. Nor is it a good metaphor for romantic relations, because, you know. But it is a good jam, and good jams don’t have to make sense. You don’t make sense of energy and chemistry, you just either feel those things or you don’t. The magic of The Rolling Stones has always been in their combined chemistry together. They somehow make great jams happen even when they don’t actually have any good ideas, or when they’re not speaking to one another. That’s why they can turn a handful of previously rejected outtakes and polish it into a classic album. It is utterly inexplicable. But thank God.
Say what you will about Mick Jagger’s gay football outfit, but I have an abiding affection for the Rolling Stones’ 1981 stadium tour. I used to watch that documentary all the time, and found it a fascinating spectacle. As in, Jagger’s ass in those leggings is a fascinating spectacle. It’s also fascinating in other ways, such as you can see The Stones really coming into their own as the stadium-filling, globe circling, money-making cottage industry they are today. Today it’s another year, another billion dollar Rolling Stones tour, but in 1981 it still felt fresh. There was a feeling of excitement sweeping over those vast crowds. It was new territory. And of course, the boys were still relatively young, still getting along with one another, and armed with the confidence of having a really strong album to support. But, coming around to what really matters… how about them football pants? There’s something delightfully wrong about Mick Jagger, a consummately effete English glitter fairy, paying homage to the hyper-masculine eroticism of American football. It’s a nod and a wink to the sheer absurdity of playing stadiums in the first place.