IT’S gotta be hard being the brother of Rolling Stones superstar Mick Jagger. Especially when you’re attempting to carve out your own niche in the music industry.
It’s a struggle the 69-year-old Chris Jagger has dealt with since the ‘70s when he began releasing music.
While Mick and Stones co-writer Keith Richards practically wrote the book on classic rock, Chris has dabbled in cajun, zydeco, folk, country, blues, and rock and collaborated with music royalty like his brother and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.
The constant comparisons have dogged Chris Jagger’s career, but the release of his All The Best compilation has earned some new admirers.
“I’m quite proud of this new album because a couple of people wrote they didn’t know much about me before and have taken it seriously,” Jagger says in a voice amazingly similar to his brother’s.
“Over a period of time you build up a diverse body of work and you’ve got to be treated a bit seriously, rather than riding on someone else’s coat tails.”
Are the Mick comparisons annoying?
“People waffle on about it, but look at all the brothers playing sport,” he says. “You just get on with it and do your best. It’s not a bad thing because it gives you a yardstick to match up to.”
Unlike some famous musical siblings like Oasis’ Noel and Liam Gallagher, the Jagger brothers have a healthy relationship.
Jagger says the pair have never toured and worked on albums together, so “having a healthy distance isn’t a bad thing.”
In fact, record companies, rather than sibling rivalry, has been a greater source of frustration in recent times for Jagger.
Three albums worth of material was unavailable for All The Best, after record companies refused to release the tracks back to Jagger.
“I signed the wrong contracts,” he laments.
“It’s bloody annoying because people want to own your stuff for perpetuity, these companies. Then they release it and if it doesn’t go particularly well they just own it and do sweet FA with it and you can’t do anything with it.”
Music remains Jagger’s passion, but he’s also enjoyed successful careers in journalism and theatre. He has written music, travel, environmental, fashion and theatre articles for The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday, The Independent on Sunday and Rolling Stone.
His most recent article in his local newspaper bemoaned the demise of the most English of pastimes - drinking tea.
“Everyone has gone so coffee mad over here that you can’t get a decent cup of tea anywhere,” he says. “Lots of these places don’t want to sell you tea, because this coffee lobby has a monopoly and they don’t want you to buy a cup of tea. And it really pissed me off.
“I did this story for the local paper and then they said did I wanna see this guy in Cornwall who has a tea plantation.”
Chris Jagger performs at Mayfield’s Stag and Hunter Hotel with Charlie Hart on November 5.