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Mick Jagger Weighs in on Paul McCartney’s Claim the Beatles Outdid the Rolling Stones

In the minds of many music fans in the 1960s, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were rivals. That rivalry was fake and fans don’t compare the bands as much as they used to do. Until now.

Paul McCartney was interviewed on The Howard Stern Show. Paul said he believed the Beatles were superior to the Rolling Stones. However, he also said several kind things about the Rolling Stones. Now Mick Jagger has stepped up to the plate to discuss Paul’s comments.

mick jagger Paul McCartney

mick jagger Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger on a train | Victor Blackman/Express/Getty Images

Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger dish on each other’s bands

First off, Paul’s comments were mostly amicable. He called the Stones a “great band.” He also noted the differences between the two bands. He said the Stones are very influenced by the blues while the Beatles had more eclectic influences.

However, Paul still said he preferred the Fab Four to Mick Jagger’s band. To some fans, those are fighting words! Everybody wanted to know what Jagger, the Stones’ outspoken frontman, had to say about Paul’s interview.

Jagger laughed the comparison off and praised Paul. “That’s so funny. He’s a sweetheart. There’s obviously no competition.”

Mick Jagger on the Beatles as a live band


The Rolling Stones performing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” live.

The phrase “There’s obviously no competition” is very ambiguous here. Is Jagger saying that there’s no competition between the two bands because the Stones are obviously better? Is he saying there’s no competition because the Beatles are obviously better? Or is he saying the two bands shouldn’t be pitted against each other? It’s up for fans to interpret Jagger’s words how they choose.

However, Jagger didn’t leave it there. He discussed the similarities and differences between the Beatles and the Stones at length. Jagger said the Stones are known for their live performances while the Beatles never went on a single arena tour with a “decent sound system.” He did, however, praise the Beatles’ performance at Shea stadium.

Jagger stressed how the Stones still tour while the Beatles aren’t exactly active today. “But the Stones went on, we started doing stadium gigs in the ’70s and [are] still doing them now. That’s the real big difference between these two bands. One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums and then the other band doesn’t exist.”

What do others think about the Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones?

George Harrison Ringo mick

George Harrison Ringo mick

George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr, Julian Lennon, Sean Lennon, and Yoko Ono | Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Interestingly, Jagger chose to compare the Stone and the Beatles as they are now. When most fans compare the two bands, they compare their catalogs, not their current output. The Stones’ prowess as a live band sometimes doesn’t even come up, as many fans are more interested in comparing the Beatles’ records to the Stones’ records.

Perhaps Jagger and Paul are too biased to rank the Beatles vs. the Stones. Rolling Stone is one of the most revered music magazines around. In their ranking of the best artists ever, they gave the top spot on the list to the Beatles and the fourth spot to the Stones. At the end of the day, however, it’s up for fans to decide who was better.

Also see: Beatles: Why Mick Jagger Nearly Felt ‘Sick’ When He Heard ‘Love Me Do’

Written by: CheatSheet


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