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(I get inspiration from t)hings that are happening around me - everyday life as I see it. People say I'm always singing about pills and breakdowns, therefore I must be an addict - this is ridiculous. Some people are so narrow-minded they won't admit to themselves that this really does happen to other people beside pop stars.


There was one song that was particularly chosen as an anti-women thing, which was Under My Thumb. And actually Under My Thumb - how does it go... (sings) Under my thumb, there's a girl who once had ME down. So the whole idea was that she - that I was under HER, she was kicking ME around. So the whole idea is absurd, all I did was turn the tables around. So women took that to be... against femininity where in reality it was... trying to "get back", you know, against being a "repressed male".


A lot of children, like in the United States, don't remember the real horror of (World War II), because they never had to, as they do in Europe and Russia and so on. I'm not saying America didn't have a terrible experience, but it never came home to them that way. You had rationing and shortages, and people got killed and coffins came home. But you didn't have the experience of the block opposite being destroyed when you got up in the morning.


I was always a singer. I always sang as a child. I was one of those kids who just liked to sing. Some children sing in choirs; others like to show off in front of the mirror. I was in the church choir and I also loved listening to singers onthe radio - the BBC or Radio Luxembourg - or watching them on TV and in the movies.


I'm very country-influenced, from quite young. Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, George Jones, so on. I heard those people, really, before I heard blues. Even Jim Reeves, Everly Brothers, and so on. Those kind of pop-country performers are very popular in England. Used to come along and play a lot on TV and their records would be around.


We really were vicious. In the beginning if anyone was the slightest bit flaky in a recording sesion, they were really in for a hard time. When you're young you put the knife in. Brian couldn't even be botherered turning up for sessions. There's only so much you can do.


Vietnam has changed America. It has divided and made people think. There's a lot of opposition - much more than you think, because all the opposition is laughed at in American magazines. It's made to look ridiculous. But there is real opposition. Before, Americans used to accept everything, my country right or wrong. But now a lot of people are saying my country should be right, not wrong.


I'm totally anti-nostalgia; I never listen to old Rolling Stones records. I'm not really interested in them. They're funny, sometimes, to hear.


I was thinking about this the other day, and I don't really think I was suited to heavy drug behavior, to be perfectly honest. But I don't mind talking about it. It's hard to believe that you did so many drugs for so long. That's what I find really hard. And I didn't really consider it. You know, it was eating and drinking and taking drugs and having sex. It was just part of life. It wasn't really anything special. It was just a bit of a bore, really. Everyone took drugs the whole time, and you were out of it the whole time. It wasn't a special event.


Satanic Majesties had interesting things on it, but I don't think any of the songs are very good. It's a bit like Between The Buttons. It's a sound experience, really, rather than a song experience. There's 2 good songs on it: She's A Rainbow, and 2000 Light Years from Home. The rest of them are nonsense... I think we were just taking too much acid. We were just getting carried away, just thinking anything you did was fun and everyone should listen to it. The whole thing we were on acid.


New York (in 1964 and '65) was wonderful and so on, and L.A. was also kind of interesting. But outside of that we found it the most repressive society, very prejudiced in every way. There was still segregation. And the attitudes were fantastically old-fashioned. Americans shocked me by their behavior and their narrow-mindedness. It's changed fantastically over the last 30 years. But so has everything else.


People get very blasé about their big hit. Satisfaction was the song that really made the Rolling Stones, changed us from just another band into a huge, monster band. You always need one song. We weren't American, and America was a big thing and we always wanted to make it here. It was very impressive the way that song and the popularity of the band became a worldwide thing.


We have changed a bit since we got famous. I mean, how would you like to sing the same seven numbers every night? I may not be much of a singer, but there is no artistry in that. Still, we do have fun as well.


We knew (the Beatles) by then and we were rehearsing and Andrew brought Paul and John down to the rehearsal. They said they had this tune, they were really hustlers then. I mean the way they used to hustle tunes was great: Hey Mick, we've got this great song. So they played I Wanna Be Your Man and we thought it sounded pretty commercial, which is what we were looking for, so we did it like Elmore James or something. I haven't heard it for ages but it must be pretty freaky 'cause nobody really produced it... It was completely crackers, but it was a hit and sounded great onstage.


I'm a dedicated show-business person. I'll go onstage and do Noel Coward. I mean, I'm just a show-business person, whether it's playing guitar, piano, acting, singing, dancing. I just chose rock & roll as my career in show business. If I'd been born in 1915, I'd have been a jazz drummer or singer in a jazz band or an actor.


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