Inside Mick Jagger And Paul McCartney's Rocky Relationship

The Beatles and The Rolling Stones defined the music scene in the 1960s and 1970s, and went on to become two of the most impactful rock bands in history, with Today crowning the Beatles No. 1 and The Rolling Stones No. 2. With such weight attached to their legacies, the debate of which band is superior has unsurprisingly endured the test of time. The century has turned, more than five decades have passed since Paul McCartney announced the end of the Beatles, and critics and fans continue to make their cases. And that includes McCartney and Mick Jagger themselves.

Speaking on "The Howard Stern Show" in April 2020, McCartney argued the Beatles were more complete. "The Stones are a fantastic group ... They are just rooted in the blues, so when they're kind of writing stuff it's to do with the blues, you know? Whereas we had a little more influences," McCartney said. This year, he went even further and told The New Yorker that The Rolling Stones are nothing more than "a blues cover band."

During one of The Rolling Stones' October shows in Los Angeles, Jagger appeared to take a jab at McCartney and then shared a short clip of it on Twitter. "Megan Fox is here, she's lovely. Leonardo DiCaprio. Lady Gaga. Kirk Douglas. Paul McCartney is here, he's going to join us in a blues cover later," Jagger said. Are these recent interactions representative of the rocky relationship between the two rockstars?

Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger are mostly friendly

Being members of two of the most popular bands of the 1960s and hailing from the United Kingdom, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger crossed paths early on in their musical journeys. According to Vermilion County First, the Beatles went to see a Rolling Stones show in London in 1963 after hearing the buzz about this up-and-coming rock band.

That same year, McCartney and John Lennon wrote "I Wanna Be Your Man" for The Rolling Stones, which released it as a single, Far Out explained. For many, the single marked the band's breakthrough, the magazine detailed. As the popularity of both bands began to explode, so did the rivalry between them. In a 1980 interview with Playboy, Lennon said he and McCartney gave The Stones the song because it wasn't good enough for the Beatles. "It was a throwaway," he said. 

Still, Jagger was the one who inducted the Beatles into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, showing their rivalry was mostly friendly. In his speech, Jagger raved about their impact and addressed his feelings for the band. "We went through some pretty strange times. We had sort of a lot of rivalry in those early years and a little bit of friction, but we always ended up friends," he said. McCartney agrees. "There was a lot of that but we were great friends you know, we still are. We admire each other," he said on "The Howard Stern Show."

Paul McCartney more became vocal about Mick Jagger

While John Lennon often addressed the rivalry between the Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the 1970s, Paul McCartney became more vocal over the years. In addition to dismissing The Stones as a "cover blues band," McCartney has also teased the band for supposedly copying the Beatles.

"We started to notice that whatever we did, The Stones sort of did it shortly thereafter," he said on "The Howard Stern Show," citing the release of The Stones' psychedelic-inspired "Their Satanic Majesties Request" in late 1967, just months after "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," and their touring the U.S after the Beatles' success there. But McCartney denied that those issues translated into animosity between them. "It didn't matter. It was kind of cool, it was like, 'Yeah, go along, here they go,'" he added.

Mick Jagger never denied being influenced by the Beatles or hid his admiration for the doors they opened for the ones that followed. "In England, during those very early days just when the Beatles were recording their first songs, it was a real wasteland. England had really nothing to offer," he said when he inducted the Beatles into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame. Jagger went on to note that while the Beatles had the lead in songwriting, The Stones excelled in performance skills, something they're still flaunting. "One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums, and then the other band doesn't exist," he told Apple Music