Ian Anderson Says That Mick Jagger’s Fragileness Messed Rolling Stones’ Ruffian Image

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During a recent interview with Classic Rock, Jethro Tull’s lead vocalist Ian Anderson recalled his early memories of being a fan of the Rolling Stones and Beatles while discussing how tough the band members looked in the ’60s Hamburg scene.

As you know, the Scottish multi-instrumentalist rose to fame as the lead vocalist, acoustic guitarist, and flutist of the well-known British rock band Jethro Tull. As he’s been active in the rock scene for almost six decades, he’s had the chance to witness a lot of changes in the rock scene and the emergence of numerous bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

In his recent interview with Classic Rock, Anderson talked about the Hamburg rock scene of the ’60s and described it as a ‘rude awakening‘ and a ‘dark place‘ for the musicians who had gotten used to a well-behaved fan base. Thus, to make it in Hamburg, you needed to be tough.

Then he went on to talk about how different bands acted when they were in the city and it seems like one of the bands that looked like ‘ruffians‘ were the Rolling Stones. However, Mick Jagger kind of spoiled that image as he always looked ‘too self-conscious to be seen as a tough guy‘ and seemed like ‘he’d fall over if you blew on him.’

Here’s how Ian Anderson described Hamburg in the ’60s during his recent interview:

Hamburg was a rude awakening for many English musicians, a dark place full of aggressive sailors, shifty characters, and prostitutes. But in many ways The Beatles were primed for it, coming from a seaport themselves.”

This is what he said about the Rolling Stones frontman:

The Rolling Stones were initially seen as ruffians, but that wasn’t so much an attempt to emulate the grubbiness of the formative Fab Four as it was a calculated reaction to their moptop image.

Mick Jagger always looked too self-conscious to be considered a tough guy – he looked like he’d fall over if you blew on him.”

Although most of us think of Mick Jagger as the energetic, little crazy, and notorious frontman of Rolling Stones, it seems like he wasn’t always like that. Maybe the reason why he was perceived as a guy who’d fall if you blew on him is because he’s always been that slim and tall vocalist who hasn’t changed much throughout the years.