Jagger Embraces 'Cover Band' Dig From McCartney

Comments reenergized the long Beatles-Stones rivalry
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2021 11:30 AM CDT
Jagger Embraces 'Cover Band' Dig From McCartney
The Rolling Stones play last week at SoFi Stadium near Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Mick Jagger paused between songs to say a few things to the more than 50,000 fans at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles—a big crowd for a cover band. "There's so many celebrities here tonight, of course, you know, naturally," he said. "Megan Fox is here. She's lovely. Leonardo DiCaprio. Lady Gaga." Then he got to the punch line, USA Today reports. "Paul McCartney is here. He's going to join us in a blues cover later on." That was a reference to a shot the Beatle took at the Stones in a recent New Yorker interview. "I'm not sure I should say it, but they're a blues cover band, that’s sort of what the Stones are,” McCartney said. "I think our net was cast a bit wider than theirs."

Not all audience members got Jagger's joke, and one fan's effort to start an anti-McCartney cheer after the Thursday night concert was unsuccessful, per Variety. The two bands have been doing this for more than a half-century. John Lennon got in on the act in 1970, telling Rolling Stone that the Stones—who did start out playing covers—"are not in the same class, music-wise or power-wise, never were." More recently, in 2015, Keith Richards called the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, "a mishmash of rubbish." But mostly, the music criticism has come from Jagger and McCartney.

Last year, McCartney analyzed the Stones' blues roots and said the Beatles had more influences. "I love the Stones," he said, before concluding, "The Beatles were better." Jagger answered in another interview: "He’s a sweetheart. There’s obviously no competition." The Stones frontman also looked at where the two bands stand in 2021. "One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums," Jagger said, "and then the other band doesn’t exist." The Stones are playing SoFi again on Sunday night, per Variety. (More Rolling Stones stories.)

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