Mick Jagger says Nashville is 'a good fit' for Rolling Stones exhibit
Dave Paulson, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee March 25, 2018
When Mick Jagger visits Nashville, chances are he’s on tour. But the rock icon has also spent some time in Music City as a tourist.
The Rolling Stones played their last concert here at Nissan Stadium in 2015 — a June night that Jagger tells The Tennessean was one “of the hottest gigs I think I've ever played.”
Before he nearly “melted” onstage, Jagger, 74, took a private tour of the Parthenon in Centennial Park.
He returned to Nashville on his own just three months later and took in some more of the sights. Between recording sessions with Brad Paisley, he hiked around Radnor Lake and had Jack White take him through his Third Man Records complex.
This week, Jagger’s sending his own attraction to Music City.
“Exhibitionism” — a multimedia exhibit dedicated to the Rolling Stones’ 56-year career — will open at Nashville’s Musicians Hall of Fame on Thursday, March 29, and remain there through June.
It includes more than 500 of the band’s personal items: guitars, journals, lyric books and stage clothes.
“It was a good chance to put all of these things that we've kept in storage for no particular reason — just because we didn't want to throw them away,” Jagger says. “To get them all out, and say, 'We'd like to show these to people. And how would we do that?’”
“You don't want to be over-reverential and you don't want to be lacking in humor …There's a lot of different paths of your history, so to speak.”
Among the less “reverential” pieces: a replica of the London “flat” where Jagger lived in 1962 with Keith Richards and Brian Jones, littered with beer bottles, cigarette butts and dirty clothes.
“I don't want to dignify it by calling it an apartment, but I suppose you could,” Jagger says with a laugh. “The first cruddy dump we lived in. We recreated that, and it gives a kind of humorous feel of what life was like in those days.”
Of course, there are also several mythical items from the Stones’ saga, like the guitar Richards played on “Gimme Shelter” — which famously fell apart as he hit the final chord. There’s the tape recorder the guitarist used to capture his idea for “Satisfaction” before falling asleep at a Florida Motel. A notebook kept by Jagger includes the handwritten lyrics for “Miss You,” and a toy drum kit that Charlie Watts played on “Street Fighting Man” is on display.
“Exhibitionism” draws upon the band members’ personal collections, but while Jagger’s famously hands-on in all of the band’s matters, he wasn’t a packrat when it came to their memorabilia.
“The only thing I really kept were the clothes, to be honest. Most everything else, I didn't bother with … I don't really care about old guitars very much, but fortunately, some people do.”
Nashville is one of just a handful of U.S. cities to host “Exhibitionism” so far, following stints in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Las Vegas. Jagger believes Nashville’s a fitting host as “a big American center of music.”
“Keith (Richards) and I particularly were interested in country music (growing up). These songs were popular. Unlike the blues, which was a bit hidden in people’s minds, country music and the big hits that those people had were very much in the mainstream.”
For now, Nashville will stay at arm’s length, as Jagger's not planning to visit the exhibit here like he did for some previous host cities. But guitarist Ronnie Wood is planning a visit next week as he finds himself in Nashville for a few days.
Still, Jagger doesn’t rule out a return trip to Music City somewhere down the road. Perhaps there would be songs to make: He says he and Jack White "fooled around some in the studio, but we didn't record anything much."
There are plenty more sights to see, as well.
“I’d love that,” he says.