Mick Jagger Reflects on His Friendship With David Bowie

By
Jagger and Bowie. Photo: Gareth Davies/Getty Images

Right after David Bowie died, his friend and collaborator Mick Jagger shared an old photo of the two on Twitter, noting that the pair "had so many good times together." Now the Rolling Stones front man has shared some of those good times with Rolling Stone as part of a Bowie tribute issue. Though he can't quite remember when the two met, Jagger says he and Bowie would party and play their music for each other all the time in the '70s. "There was always an exchange of information within our friendship. And I suppose there was always an element of competition between us, but it never felt overwhelming." And even when Bowie would admit to borrowing Jagger's style and dancing in his own work, Jagger says he only ever took it as a sign of mutual respect: "I didn't mind sharing things with him, because he would share so much with me — it was a two-way street."

By the '80s, Jagger says the two were enthralled by New York's downtown dance scene, which is partly why "Let's Dance" is Jagger's favorite Bowie song. It's also why, he says, they eventually made "Dancing in the Street" together, both the song and the video, all in one day — making the experience Jagger's favorite memory of their time together. "We enjoyed camping it up. The video is hilarious to watch. It was the only time we really collaborated on anything, which is really stupid when you think about it."

In the end, though, Jagger regrets that the two ultimately did not stay in touch: "It's really sad when somebody leaves and you haven't spoken to them for a long while. You wish you'd done this; you wish you'd done that. But that's what happens. Strange things happen in life." Read Jagger's full tribute to Bowie here.