Mick Jagger: 70 & Counting

The first bad boy of British rock rolls into a new (old) age.

The Rolling Stones recently capped their $126 million-plus "50 & Counting" tour with a concert before 65,000 fans at London’s Hyde Park, some 44 years after their famed 1969 show there.

But perhaps the most significant Stones number, for those keeping count, rolls around Friday: That's the day Mick Jagger turns 70.

Put another way, the first king of the English rock bad boys is six years older than the newly born future king of England's grandfather. But Jagger proves age means little in rock and roll, where, with the right attitude (and personal trainer) you’re never too old to be a street fighting man.

Sure, he's not the first major British Invasion rocker to hit the milestone. Jagger's long-retired band mate Bill Wyman is 76, and Stones drummer Charlie Watts, the low-key key to the group’s pounding beat, turned 72 last month. Ringo Starr celebrated his big 7-0 three years ago with a show at New York's Radio City Music Hall. He was joined for an encore by fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, who marked his 71st birthday last month amid a triumphant tour with concerts running nearly three hours each.

Jagger’s a marathon man himself, singing and dancing his way through a lucrative possible victory lap. He clearly doesn't act his age – he’s a living, heavy breathing, perennially wiggling testament to the enduring power of the music-driven youth movement he helped start a half-century ago.

The Stones' music keeps fans young, too – for those old enough to remember when “Satisfaction” was a hit in 1965, for those who remember when Jagger declared in 1975 that he’d “rather be dead” than singing “Satisfaction” when he’s 45, and for those only just getting their first dose of “Satisfaction.”
“Satisfaction” is the final track on the band's latest recording, a live album of their July 6 and July 13 Hyde Park concerts, available through iTunes on Aug. 19. This may be the last time we hear from them as a group. But probably not.
In the meantime, check out a clip from the Hyde Park shows below as Mick Jagger gets ready to hit 70 – and counting:

Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.

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