In a BBC interview Mick Jagger, asked what he might have been if not a rock star, replied: "Maybe I'd be in Africa trying to help a beleaguered economy. Who knows? Or probably an ex-ballet dancer with bad knees." There was no follow-up question apparently. What is it with these slacker interviewers? I think I'd've pointed out to Sir Mick that while a ballet career at his age is probably out of the question--though if he tried it the bad knees would be sure to arrive in short order--a hale and hearty sixty is not at all a bad age to start pitiching in in Africa if this really is a long-repressed dream. Full time or between tours--the Stones are off the road more than they're on it after all. And there's this in favour of the idea--though when it comes to his personal fortune Jagger's reputed both greedy and stingy, he has a far wider practical streak than most of the celebrities who've been making the obligatory three-week junket to save Africa or at least one of its itty-bitty cutey-wooty babies. Jagger's never been a sentimentalist unless on the delicate issue of his male member, and unsentimental sympathy could do a power of good almost anywhere in Africa--anywhere the risk of being on the wrong side of automatic fire or artillery shelling isn't too great. Wouldn't expect a foreigner to risk that, I'd prefer it if Africans didn't have to. Yes, I can almost picture it.
Well it was a thought.
C 2007 Martin Heavisides