When Paul McCartney weighed in on the eternal debate over whether the Beatles or the Rolling Stones are the superior band, you knew it was only a matter of time before Mick Jagger or Keith Richards fielded the exact same question. And now, in an interview with Zane Lowe, Jagger weighed in on the classic rock debate.
Jagger called McCartney a “sweetheart,” and declared that “there’s there’s obviously no competition” between the bands. Still, he was willing to share his thoughts on the differences between the two acts.
“The big difference, though, is, and sort of slightly seriously, is that the Rolling Stones is a big concert band in other decades and other areas, when the Beatles never even did an arena tour, or Madison Square Garden with a decent sound system,” said Jagger. “They broke up before that business started, the touring business for real.”
McCartney sparked the friendly and just slightly shady beef during an interview with Howard Stern last week, during which he gave a pretty unsurprising answer when asked whether the Beatles or the Stones were the better band. “They are rooted in the blues. When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues,” said McCartney. “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.”
“We started to notice that whatever we did, the Stones sort of did it shortly thereafter,” he added.
But to Jagger, the Stones’ legacy as an arena act is what separates the two groups. “That business started in 1969, and the Beatles never experienced that,” he told Lowe. “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.”