Jimmy Rip Recalls Mick Jagger Ditching Him To Reunite With Keith Richards

Jimmy Rip united with Mick Jagger in the late ’90s to create an album together with a new band. However, according to Rip’s recent interview, the release got delayed because Jagger decided to reunite with Rolling Stones and ditched Rip for Richards.

Having a love/hate relationship with Keith Richards, Mick Jagger went through a difficult period regarding whether or not he should continue working with Richards for a Rolling Stones record or continue his solo career. He made an attempt for a solo career in 1985 when he released his debut solo album ‘She’s the Boss.’ Even though the album was fairly successful, it was not regarded on the level of a Stones album.

After that, Jagger was torn between his solo and Stones’ projects. However, in the late ’90s, Jagger hired Jimmy Rip for his next solo album. They worked together to create songs for months, but then Jagger had the opportunity to meet with Richards and mend their relationship once again. He told Rip that he would go and produce with the Stones if it worked out. However, he would come back and work on the solo album’s release if it didn’t.

Fortunately for Jagger, it worked out, and he ended up touring with the Stones for two years. However, Rip was left hanging for those two years, and he stated that even though he was happy Jagger and Richards reunited, he was also disappointed. They had a lot of good songs together, and he didn’t want them not to be released. Eventually, Jagger returned and decided to release their work which became ‘Wandering Spirit.’

Here is the entire story told by Jimmy Rip:

“We’d never stopped, really. What happened was that there were about three months in between the ‘Primitive Cool.’ Japanese tour and the Australian tour. In that three months, he and I went to his big chateau in France. We had the Rolling Stones mobile truck come down and park in the parking lot. He and I and Charlie Watts, who lives not far away, the three of us, recorded an entire version of ‘Wandering Spirit.’ Which for me, is the best version of ‘Wandering Spirit.’ Doug Wimbish came and played on a few tracks. I played bass on a lot of it and guitar. But that version of the record is blindingly great.

The problem with it was that it sounded so much like a Rolling Stones record! It really sounds just like a Stones record. To the point where sometimes I play it for people, and I say, ‘Hey, have you ever heard these Stones outtakes?’ And they go, ‘Wow, how come they never put this out?’ It’s like, this is not a Stones record! But Mick at the end of it said, ‘If I want to make a Rolling Stones record, I’ll make it with the Rolling Stones.’ So he loved it, but he realized that, and it was the right thing to do. I agreed with him after a while, although it hurt when he said that. I was like, ‘Oh, man,’ because it just sounds great, this record.”

He continued by saying:

“He and I were writing all of those things together and sitting in a room with a cassette machine recording every word. I still have all of those cassette tapes. But then, when we realized that we wanted to make another version of it, we did the Australian tour, and then I wound up back writing more stuff with him down at his place in the Caribbean. Tough life, huh? He and I, there were a bunch of years when we were kind of inseparable, going everywhere and doing a lot of work together. We did a lot of really funny, great fun stuff also.

I wound up at his house in the Caribbean writing more. At the end of that couple of weeks of writing then, he said that his manager had talked to Keith Richards’ manager and they had set up a meeting for the two of them in Barbados. Mick said, ‘You know, I’m going to go meet with Keith, and then if we get on alright, I’m going to make a Rolling Stones record. If it all blows up, we’ll go do this record.’ I was like, ‘Man!’

I’m a huge Rolling Stones fan, so obviously, I want to see Mick and Keith get on okay. I want to hear a new Rolling Stones record, but we had these great songs, and we had already recorded a great version of a record. And I was like, ‘I want to do that record!’ Talk about, ‘you’re not the only one with mixed emotions!‘ I got a phone call three or four days later. Mick was like, ‘Yeah, well, you know, I’m going to make the Stones record,’ which was ‘Steel Wheels.’ I said, ‘I understand, don’t worry about it.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get it together again.‘ But the fuckin’ ‘Steel Wheels’ tour went on for two goddamn years! At the end of it, I was playing with Daryl Hall and John Oates. I went right from Mick to playing with them for a few years.”

In the two years Rip waited for Jagger to come back, The Rolling Stones released ‘Steel Wheels’ and supported the album with a tour. The album was a huge hit and harbored two hit singles, ‘Mixed Emotions’ and ‘Rock and a Hard Place,’ and was described as a great comeback album by the critics.