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Mick Jagger responds to McCartney saying the Beatles were better than the Stones

Earlier this month, Paul McCartney set the record straight with his opinion on the age-old debate of which band is better, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. Hint: he chose the Beatles.

Now Mick Jagger has responded to McCartney’s claims during an interview with Zan Lowe on Apple Music.

mick jagger, the rolling stones, the beatles, paul mccartney
Photo: Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Mick Jagger weighs in on the Beatles vs the Stones: “One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums and then the other band doesn’t exist.”

Speaking in an interview on The Howard Stern Show, after being asked who he thought was the better band, McCartney responded:

“[The Stones] are rooted in the blues. When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. We had a little more influences. … There’s a lot of differences, and I love the Stones, but I’m with you. The Beatles were better.”

Jagger, who hadn’t heard McCartney’s interview, was then asked for his response. “There’s obviously no competition,” he said, lightheartedly.

“The big difference, though, slightly seriously, is that The Rolling Stones has been a big concert band in other decades and other eras when The Beatles never even did an arena tour, you know, Madison Square Garden with a decent sound system. They broke up before that business started, the touring business for real,” he described.

“It didn’t start til the end of the ’60s. The first tour like that for us was 1969. That was real sound, your own sound systems, your own stage, your own stage surface. Touring that around America, going to hockey, basketball arenas – all the same size, every night.” 

“So that business started in 1969 and the Beatles never experienced that,” he continued. “They did a great gig, and I was there, at Shea stadium. They did that stadium gig. But the Stones went on, we started doing stadium gigs in the ’70s and [are] still doing them now. That’s the real big difference between these two bands. One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums and then the other band doesn’t exist.”

Zan Lowe responded: “I feel this way, that the Stones invented the large scale touring experience.”

“I think that Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd were two of the other bands that were doing that stuff, almost in the same time frame,” Jagger continued.

The Rolling Stones recently released their first new music in 8 years with a track titled Living In A Ghost Town. Both the Stones and McCartney recently also performed at the One World: Together At Home benefit concert organised by Lady Gaga.

Check out the full interview below.