The Rolling Stones Song Mick Jagger Called ‘The Ultimate Freakout’

The Rolling Stones made a lot of great songs, however, Mick Jagger only called one of them “the ultimate freakout.” In addition, Jagger said he felt like there was nothing more to say after writing that song. Interestingly, Keith Richards was actually quite critical of the track.

The Rolling Stones wearing ties
The Rolling Stones | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Mick Jagger felt he’d said everything after writing this Rolling Stones hit

In 1968, Jagger sat down for an interview with Rolling Stones’ Jonathan Cott. Cott discussed how The Rolling Stones were seen as revolting against traditional values in the 1960s. For example, he identified a number of Rolling Stones songs as containing antitraditional themes, including “Mother’s Little Helper,” “19th Nervous Breakdown,” and “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” Afterward, Jagger revealed his feelings on the latter song.

“‘Have You Seen Your Mother’ was like the ultimate freakout,” Jagger said. “We came to a full stop after that. I just couldn’t make it with that anymore, what more could we say.” Cott and Jagger’s take on “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” is interesting given the song’s lyrics.

Mick Jagger sitting
Mick Jagger | Adger Cowans/Getty Images

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The track doesn’t have a clear meaning. For example, it could be seen as anti-tradition, as Cott saw it, or anti-anything else. Jagger didn’t explain the meaning of the song, but he did say his time in the United States influenced “Have You Seen Your Mother” as well as the other songs Cott mentioned.

“[The songs were inspired by] spending all the time in America,” Jagger revealed. “All these songs were written in America. It is a great place to write because all the time you are being bombarded with all of it and you can’t help but try and put it in some kind of form.” Subsequently, Richards revealed he dislikes “Have You Seen Your Mother.” Here’s why.

“Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?”

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Why Keith Richards felt the song didn’t work

“I loved the track of it,” Richards told Rolling Stone. “I never did like the record. It was cut badly. It was mastered badly [and] it was mixed badly.” Richards explains why he believes The Rolling Stones’ didn’t release a better version of the song.

“The only reason we were so hot on it was that the track blew our heads off, everything else was rushed too quickly,” Richards added. “Tapes were being flown – and lost. It needed another couple weeks. The rhythm section thing is almost lost completely.” How did the public react to “Have You Seen Your Mother?”

Keith Richards holding a cigarette
Keith Richards | Robert Altman/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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How the public reacted to the song

“Have You Seen Your Mother” reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Considering The Rolling Stones produced several No. 1 hits, this chart position isn’t incredible. However, “Have You Seen Your Mother” is still a great song. In addition, it’s notable how two of The Rolling Stones had different takes on it.