Mick Jagger Bruce Pollock - Essay

Bruce Pollock

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

If the Beatles brought rock 'n' roll to new creative heights with their lively literary interest in love, the Stones succeeded in the other direction, offering the generation new lows in calculated vile and degenerate sexuality.

Mick Jagger was aware of the pent-up frustration and lust inside the average kid. He wrote of hours on the prowl for "Satisfaction," got put off by ritzy suburban girls like "Lady Jane," and dumb ones from the neighborhood like "Stupid Girls."… After the childlike handholding ways of the Beatles, Jagger's approach certainly made a more viable fantasy, to say the least.

And so, just when parents were on the brink of accepting the Beatles as cute and tolerable (despite their long hair and snippy manner toward adults) along came the Rolling Stones to confirm that rock 'n' roll was still despicable, was still as full of lust as ever. For all the Beatles did in turning on a generation (paving the way for the full-scale love and peace and flowers movement later on), it was really the Rolling Stones who prevented rock 'n' roll from becoming merely updated pop music after all. (pp. 75-6)

Bruce Pollock, "England Swings: 1964–1965," in his In Their Own Words (reprinted with permission of Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.; copyright © 1975 by Bruce Pollock), Macmillan, 1975, pp. 67-94.∗