19th Nervous Breakdown

“It’s not supposed to mean anything. It’s just about a neurotic bird, that’s all. I thought of the title first – it just sounded good.”Mick Jagger (817)

Wild Horses

“[Does it have to do with (your son) Marlon’s birth? – Ed] Yeah, cause I knew we were going to have to go to America and start work again, to get me off me ass, and not really wanting to go away. It was a very delicate moment, the kid’s only two months old, and you’re goin’ away. Millions of people do it all the time but still…”Keith Richards (818)

Sweet Black Angel

“You know that the ‘Sweet Black Angel’ is Angela Davis? We were set to play at home in France. There was a poster of Angela on the wall, looking, at us. So I wrote the song to her. (Or her image.)”Mick Jagger (819)


“There are the total pacifists who disagree with war at any cost, and there are the gung-ho militarists, who love the idea of battle. In between lies almost everyone else. I’m right in the middle I try to present a pretty balanced view. In the first part of the song I’m criticising the situation that has led up to this inevitable war [the Gulf War – Ed]. The scale of the war is because of the past twenty years of high-tech sales from the West and Soviet Union. One MP said it would have been better if I had attacked German arms dealers but I’m not only speaking from a United Kingdom point of view, because this record will be released around the world. Anyway, there’s not a lot of ground for singling out the Germans. I’m afraid everyone’s joined in the arms bonanza including the United States and Britain. It’s a very complex subject and a very complex region, but that is all the more reason why you have to be careful when trying to manipulate the region through arms sales. The chorus voices the concern I have for our troops, and indeed all the troops in the Gulf, that the war will not be long and drawn out with thousands and thousands of soldiers and civilians being killed.”Mick Jagger (820)


“Actually it’s about my daughter, who’d just been born, and I just took the name because it fitted.”Keith Richards (821)

Exile On Main Street (The Album)

“It was all about The Rolling Stones’ affinity with America. When I first met Charlie, his dreams were all about Birdland. In those days it seemed like there was no chance of ever getting there. If you made it across the bloody channel it was a miracle. We always looked to America, and then to actually get here and play… it was like, we’re here. Walking into Chess and there’s Muddy Waters painting the ceiling, and he gets down off the stepladder and says, love that ‘Can’t Be Satisfied’, man. Every band we worked with in the States, they’d nurture us: “These guys are cool. They’re weird but they’re cool.” We’d become their mascots. “You want a bitch tonight? She’ll love you. She never had anything like you before.” You’d get laid and fed late at night. The white side of town was dead, but it was rockin’ across the tracks. Long as you knew cats, you was cool. An incredible education. To me, the biggest thing America had done this century – apart from throwing its weight around – was its music. A whole brand new way, with so many different elements put together that never had a chance to be welded before. And it’s still going on, of course.”Keith Richards (822)

All About You

“That’s a particularly nasty song. It’s like a litany of insults. And it was written so I could get a few things off my chest. The funny thing is that everyone assumes that it was written about Anita [Pallenberg – Ed]. In fact, it’s about Mick. I’d just come off junk and went back to work with the Stones. In my absence Mick had been running the show. I was ready to pick up where we left off. But in the meantime, Mick had got used to being in charge… so, when I returned to the fold, I was made to feel like an intruder. I got the impression that certain people wished I was back on junk. Well, thank you very much, and fuck you Jack! So, you see, I had a lot of poison in my system and I had to get it all out. But it’s not all about Mick. That song is about a few other things as well. And Anita is one of them. I was breaking up with her around that time. I’d said, “Look, if we clean up together, we’ll stay together.” Well, I cleaned myself up. But she didn’t. And I realised that I couldn’t sleep with someone who had a needle beside the bed. I was too fragile at that point. I loved her, but I had to leave.”Keith Richards (823)