In unusually candid comments given to The Times, the iconic frontman said that he was fond of the ‘Watermelon Sugar’ singer, and that he has an “easy relationship” with him. However, he appeared to bristle at suggestions that the former One Direction man is his spiritual heir, in terms of both music and image.
“I mean, I used to wear a lot more eye make-up than him. Come on, I was much more androgynous,” said Jagger. “And he doesn’t have a voice like mine or move on stage like me; he just has a superficial resemblance to my younger self, which is fine – he can’t help that.” Styles has often referenced Jagger as one of his style icons, and impersonated him when he hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 2017.
The comments come as Styles’ third solo effort, ‘Harry’s House’, arrives to a handsome critical reception; released last Friday (May 20), the record was called a “strong and consistently impressive effort” by Rolling Stone UK’s Nick Reilly. Like the Stones, the singer will head to British stadiums this summer, with five dates in the diary; he’ll follow a turn at Glasgow’s Ibrox Stadium with two-night stands at Manchester’s Old Trafford cricket ground and London’s Wembley. Before that, he plays an unusually intimate gig in the capital at Brixton Academy tomorrow night (May 24).
For their own part, the Stones, now in their seventh decade together as a band, head to Anfield in Liverpool on June 9, before two shows in London as part of Hyde Park’s British Summer Time series.
Jagger also reflected on the loss of drummer Charlie Watts, saying: “I don’t really expect him to be there any more if I turn round during a show. But I do think about him. In the show, when we come to the front and bow at the end, there’s no Charlie. He’d always be the last one down. I’d go: ‘Come on, what have you got to do?’ He’d be fiddling with his sticks because he always had to have them in a row before he’d get off the seat.”
He also took aim at Brexit as the band prepare to return to mainland Europe for the first time since 2018. “There are a lot of supply-chain problems,” said Jagger. “A lot of shortages, a lot of problems because of Brexit. Brexit has not been a success for the British touring industry. I’m not saying, ‘Well, we’ve got to rejoin the EU.’ Unfortunately, that’s all in the past. But from personal experience and talking to friends who are in other businesses, it’s not a success, it’s a nightmare. We’ve isolated ourselves, and that sounds good to some, but it’s an ideology more than a practicality.”