The Rolling Stones are famous for their rebellious reputation, sex, drugs and rock and roll. The fact that the band has been in the music business for more than 50 years, is due to the excellent managerial skills of its frontman Mick Jagger. Though he always appeared to be a loose cannon on stage, as soon as he got off, he became a cunning businessman who took perfect control of the circus around the Rolling Stones.

Sir Michael Phillip Jagger (nobility awarded to him in 2003) was born during World War II in Kent. Even as a child, he resisted authority. His classmates, for example, recollect how he strolled around in tight jeans after school, even though they had a strict uniform. At the age of eighteen, he performed in local bars, and few people in the upscale county understood his exhibitionism. Fortunately, he found a soul mate in childhood friend Keith Richards, and when they met at one of the concerts of guitarist Brian Jones, The Rolling Stones were born to the world.

Businessman in a rebel hat

Though a talented businessman in his later years, Mick’s earlier efforts to study accounting in London didn’t work out. He and the group moved to a flat in Chelsea flat where they lived and wrote music together. When a producer from Decca Records saw how mad the fans were going for Mick at one of the concerts, he decided to sign a contract with the band. By the end of the year, the Stones were was at the top of the charts, and we all know the rest of the story.

Budgeting is a breeze

For years, many successful bands have been robbed by managers, concert promoters, and the others who‘ve always been around show business. The Stones, however, had an advantage in the fact that Mick Jagger had always been good with money thanks to his accounting studies, and that he decided to take the band’s finances into his hands. He eventually came up with a system where at the beginning of each tour he created a company that collected all income (sponsorship gifts, tickets, clothes, record sales, etc.). At the end of the line, everything was counted up, accounted for, and the earnings fairly divided up among the players.

From the Stormy Yogi

Mick was able to take hold not only of the way band worked, but finally, his own debauchery as well. When he was about forty years old, he realized that due to his unstructured life, his body was no longer what it used to be. In order to get back into shape, he gave up alcohol, started to run, and started kickboxing and yoga. All his children (Mick has eight) think of him today as a great dad. Even one of his ex-wives, Jerry Hall, admits to him being a great dad and friend, just a poor husband.

Text: Zuzana Košutová / Foto: