Icons / July 2016

Let's Spend Some Life Together: Mick & Bianca Jagger

A whirlwind romance-turned shotgun wedding with a Rolling Stone was never going to have “longevity” written all over it…
Mick and Bianca Jagger just after their wedding in St Tropez, France on 12th May 1971. Photo by Lichfield/Getty Images.

Heading to St. Tropez to marry your Nicaraguan-born girlfriend, who you met at an after-party in Paris nine months previously, while on the run from the British tax authorities… Even if you’re the front man of The Rolling Stones in the early 70s, it doesn’t really get much cooler than that.

And yet the day Michael Philip Jagger took Bianca Perez-Mora Macias to be his lawful wedded scarcely set a precedent for on-going marital bliss. The acrimony began when Bianca refused to sign a 28-page pre-nuptial agreement (Jagger’s stint at the London School of Economics in the pre-Stones years has always been evident). A second fracas concerned droves of pressmen, photographers and holidaymaking rubberneckers showing up at the wedding venue, much to the famously publicity-shy (sic) Jagger’s chagrin.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the former having recently filed a lawsuit against his three former band-mates, had to be sat apart like two class disrupting rascals. Rumours abound that Keith Richards wore a Nazi uniform. With the pregnant Bianca having retired early, Keith Moon abseiled into the sixth-floor honeymoon suite, naked bar a pair of eyeballs-on-springs novelty glasses and a pair of knickers on his head.

"With the pregnant Bianca having retired early, Keith Moon abseiled into the sixth-floor honeymoon suite, naked bar a pair of eyeballs-on-springs novelty glasses and a pair of knickers on his head."

“The high-class wedding,” wrote titanic music journalist David Hepworth sarcastically, “marked the establishment of rock and roll as a viable branch of high society.” In a more sincere mood, he called it “the shabbiest bun fight in the history of both rock and marriage”. Bianca, meanwhile, later conceded, “My marriage ended on my wedding day.”

For a while, Mick and Bianca – whose diplomat father left her family in penury when she was 11 – had been inseparable. Her refusal to leave that Paris shindig with Mick had made him all the more smitten, to the point that he began pursuing her by telephone, eventually persuading her to fly to Italy where he and the Stones were on tour. But even with the imminent arrival of their daughter Jade making domesticity a solid prospect for Jagger, the portents were already ominous by the time the pair were honeymooning on a yacht around Corsica and Sardinia.

Shortly after their nuptials, Bianca became a darling of the New York City nightlife scene, hanging out at Studio 54 with Halston and Bianca’s close friend Andy Warhol. Dylan was a close friend at this time too. Emblematic of the unrestrained silliness which characterised the couple’s seven years of marriage - when they were together, that is – is the notorious incident in 1977 when she paraded around the aforementioned nightspot, where a 30th birthday party was being thrown for her by Halston, atop a white horse, supposedly ridden into the premises by her husband.

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