It's hard to believe that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Rolling Stones. Once the most outrageous and insurgent bands of their generation -- the Who and the Pretty Things notwithstanding -- they transitioned from rebellious youth to senior citizens with such respectability, it actually earned Mick Jagger a knighthood. (Although to his credit, Keith Richards still showed his disdain.)
Indeed, it's odd to imagine Jagger in his current context, a wizened old man of 69, still strutting and posturing with the same attitude he possessed all those decades ago.
Born July 26, 1943, Jagger was raised in a solid working-class family, and like most of his musical contemporaries, he fostered an early interest in art. However, once introduced to the blues, he abandoned those ambitions and opted instead to make his mark in music. An initial apprenticeship with Britain's Godfather of the Blues, Alexis Korner, fostered an obsession he shared with Richards, inspiring their future as the Glimmer Twins.
The Stones paid their dues, slogging it out in local dives, living in conditions best described as horrendous, and putting up with the barbs tossed their way by an antagonistic media and public. But their penchant for early covers -- including a castoff by Lennon and McCartney titled "I Wanna Be Your Man" -- soon gave way to original compositions, and the Jagger/Richards writing team emerged as one of the most formidable in rock history.