Personalities | The Rolling Stones (1985) | Key Events
Jagger Releases She’s The Boss
The first of four solo albums (the others being Primitive Cool, 1987; Wandering Spirit, 1993; and Goddess In The Doorway, 2001), She’s The Boss was Jagger stretching out and exploring the contemporary pop direction he wanted the Stones to pursue. Releasing it as the first ‘Stones’ record for CBS was the final straw for Keith. He was infuriated with Jagger’s disinterest in the band, envisioned future conflicts between solo and group interests, and threatened to slit Mick’s throat if he toured with another band. Lukewarmly received by critics, She’s The Boss’s greatest legacy was that it set the Stones on course for what would be their mid-1980s breakdown (Keith would later refer to it as World War Three), with the Glimmer Twins playing out their bitter arguments publicly.
Evidence of the fractured state the band was in, Jagger would perform ‘Just Another Night’ and ‘Miss You’ solo at Live Aid on 13 July, with help then arriving from Tina Turner (who had taught Mick to dance when she was an Ikette on tour with the Stones in 1966), for ‘State Of Shock’ (a recent hit single he recorded with The Jackson Five) and ‘It’s Only Rock’n’Roll’. Ron and Keith would play behind Dylan for his finale to the day’s event, with terrible and under-rehearsed performances of three Dylan originals, ‘Ballad Of Hollis Brown’, ‘When The Ship Comes In’ and ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’.
Ian ‘Stu’ Stewart Dies
One of the Stones’ founding band members, though left out of the ‘official’ group line-up at Andrew Oldham’s behest because he didn’t look the part, Ian ‘Stu’ Stewart died of a heart attack at the age of 47 on 12 December. Widely acknowledged as being the glue that kept the Stones together (‘It was Stu’s band really,’ Keith would say shortly after), the Stones were traumatized for months, unable to see a clear way forward. On 28 February, billed as ‘Rocket ’86’, they played a private tribute show for Stewart at London’s 100 Club – an appearance that also served to disprove rumours that the Stones were splitting.
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