Mick Jagger on the Impact of Modern Music

Elder Gene R. Cook reports that he once had the experience of talking with Mick Jagger on a flight. One source providing his story is “A Conversation With Mick Jagger” based on a talk Elder Cook gave in 1988. One portion of this story was repeated to us in a recent Stake Conference:

After we visited back and forth a minute or two about what we were doing and all, I finally said something like, “You know, Mick, I have a question for you that I’d like you to answer for me.” He said, “Well, I’ll be glad to try.” Then I said to him, “I have opportunity to be with young people in many different places around the world, and some of them have told me that the kind of music you and others like you sing has no effect on them, that it’s okay, and that it doesn’t affect them adversely in any way. Then other young people have told me very honestly that your kind of music has a real effect on them for evil and that it affects them in a very bad way. You’ve been in this business a long time, Mick. I’d like to know your opinion. What do you think is the impact of your music on the young people?”

This is a direct quote, brothers and sisters. He said, “Our music is calculated to drive the kids to sex.” I’m sure I had a real look of shock on my face in receiving such a bold response. He quickly added, “Well, it’s not my fault what they do. That’s up to them. I’m just making a lot of money.”

I knew there was something about him that wasn’t quite up to Gospel standards.

I ran into this story shortly after pondering the shocking state of the media these days, and the craftiness of the Hollywood gang in glorifying immorality and teaching young people that anything goes. I think there is far more involved than just finding that sex sells. I would not be surprised to learn that they, like Mick, are pursuing an agenda of changing the morals of our youth, and of driving them to sexual activity. That agenda brings rich rewards, of course, if having had a pile of cash in your bank account for a few years is some kind of comfort as you enter into eternity.

2009 Update: There are some legitimate questions about details of this event, so I’m not sure what to make of it at the moment. Until we know more, I guess all I can say is rock on!


Author: Jeff Lindsay

227 thoughts on “Mick Jagger on the Impact of Modern Music

  1. Yeah, Mick Jagger is going to talk like this to Gene Cook.

    Give us a break. Another faith-promoting-rumor from the fantasy-land of Mormondom.

  2. Mick Jagger would talk like that to someone who asked him the right questions. Gene Cook would be someone that would ask the right questions. I don’t see what is so hard to believe about this.

  3. I think that, if this conversation occurred, Mick Jagger was winding up Gene R. Cook. Just imagine, a religious guy that starts talking about degrading standards. I think that Mick Jagger was having a laugh out of him. I have taken this story with a mountain of salt. To me, the important message is the influence that music can have on people. While I do not hold any artist directly responsible, I do think that it is important that we discuss the effect lyrics and music have on teens and youth, especially after so many tragedies, i.e., Columbine, Italy’s Satan’s Beasts, etc.

  4. It’s quite easy to be a skeptic. However, do we have a reason to believe that Gene R. Cook was inventing the story? Not really. There’s little use in being skeptical for skepticism’s sake. Of course, one can always choose not to believe. But they have no better ground on which to stand than a believer does. Just because Paul H. Dunn made up some whoppers does not mean that every good story is a fabrication.

    If we must question the story, alexg offers the most plausible explanation. Even this interpretation leaves some gaps. Did Gene R. Cook tell him how religious he was? As far as McJ knew, Cook could have well been a defender of McJ’s music (we do not have a transcript of the conversation, so we cannot know exactly what was said–members of the Church tend to couch true stories in church lingo sometimes).

    Bottom line: what’s the point of being a skeptic w/o grounds for doing so? Blind faith in skepticism! Fascinating!

  5. Why should this be surprising to anybody? It’s certainly in line with what Jagger would say. And it’s certainly in line with a lot of the Stones’ lyrics.

    Sexually suggestive art, music and dance has been with us for ages. Each new generation pushes the envelope and makes the previous generation look pretty staid.

    Even things like the murals of Pompeii show us that there is nothing new under the sun.

    Elvis was suggestive in his day.

    Swing and Jive music pushed the envelope when they first came out.

    Before that it was flappers.

    Even Jazz music was considered decadent and suggestive when it was new.

    I like Jazz and have trouble understanding why it was put down, but maybe it was more due to musical purists not liking the new art-form.

    Anways, all those things seem “quaint” to us now, because we have lowered the standards, the envelope has been extended.

    And look how much the bar has been lowered since the Stones’ hey-day. (I can’t believe Mick turned 60 this year.)

    The Stones’ so-called dirty stuff from the 70’s and 80’s is pretty mild compared to what’s on MTV and similar fare.

    Elder Cook’s point was that we are influenced by what is around us, and by what we allow into our minds whether by auditory or visual means.

    Satan has been tempting mankind for thousands of years. He knows what works. We need to be careful, and choose things that are positive and uplifting, and avoid that which tends to degrade.

    And instead of trying to draw absolute lines of what is acceptable and what is not, perhaps a better measure would be “Which way is this going?” which is much easier to discern.

  6. Well, it certainly is in line with Jagger’s actions. The man has had a long string of affairs and in- and out-of-wedlock children. (See his Wikipedia entry.)

    I’m constantly amazed and amused at the anti-Mormon critics who post here anonymously and accuse LDS leaders and members of lying and other horrible things. If you’re going to stand up for what you believe is the truth, at least grow a spine and give your real name.


  7. I’m constantly amazed and amused at the anti-Mormon critics who post here anonymously and accuse LDS leaders and members of lying and other horrible things.
    How true, LDS leaders would never lie. Some might stretch the truth at times and get put out to pasture for it, but NONE WOULD EVER LIE!
    You hear that you anti-Mormons?? And if you say anyting critical against the church or its leaders, YOU ARE AN ANTI!!