Mick Jagger Said Performing The Rolling Stones’ ‘Start Me Up’ Could Hurt Physically


  • Mick Jagger said starting a concert with The Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” was hazardous.
  • “Start Me Up” lasted on the Billboard Hot 100 longer than any of The Rolling Stones’ other songs.
  • The track appeared on an album that was No. 1 longer than the rest of the band’s albums.
The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger smiling
The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger | Gijsbert Hanekroot / Contributor

The Rolling Stones‘ Mick Jagger discussed what it’s like to perform on a stage. He said he didn’t think singing The Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” at the beginning of a concert was a good idea. In addition, he revealed how performing in specific ways was dangerous.

The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger discussed running out of adrenaline while singing

During a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Jagger discussed performing live. “You seem to be split in various parts,” he said. “There’s part of you which is saying to you, ‘OK, don’t forget this, don’t forget that.’

“And there’s this other part of you, which is just your body doing things that it isn’t really commanded to do, which I found is the dangerous part,” Jagger added. “You can hurt yourself if you don’t watch out — because you’ve got so much adrenaline.”

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Mick Jagger revealed performing The Rolling Stones’ ‘Start Me Up’ at the start of a concert might tire him out

Jagger discussed which songs he liked singing at the beginning of concerts. “That’s why I rather like doing ‘Not Fade Away,’ because I don’t do much physically on it,” he said, laughing. “But if you start off with a number like, say, ‘Start Me Up,’ which we did on the last tour, your body starts to do all kinds of things on this adrenalin thing.’

“You’ve got to watch out,” he continued. “You can really hurt yourself — or just tire yourself out too quickly in the first five minutes, and you’re just wiped out.”

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How ‘Start Me Up’ performed on the pop charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Start Me Up” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 24 weeks. The track spent more time on the chart than any of the band’s other songs. “Start Me Up” appeared on the 1981 album Tattoo You. The album topped the Billboard 200 for nine weeks, lasting a total of 59 weeks on the chart. Tattoo You was No. 1 for more weeks than any other Rolling Stones album.

According to The Official Charts Company, “Start Me Up” was not as popular in the United Kingdom. There, the tune hit No. 7 and stayed on the chart for nine weeks. Meanwhile, Tattoo You peaked at No. 2, remaining on the chart for 29 weeks.

“Start Me Up” was a massive hit — even if Jagger didn’t like starting concerts with it.

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