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LA STAMPA

Some Satisfaction. At 63, Chris Jagger Singing Under Mick’s Shadow

While Sir Mick Jagger rocks the world with the Rolling Stones, his younger brother Chris croons country music in English village halls. The beast of burden being Mick's kid brother.

Andrea Malaguti

SOMERSET - It's a Saturday night in April, in Pitney Village Hall in Somerset, an English county the local tourist office boasts is the jewel of the South West. But this evening, there is a slightly melancholic tinge to festivities. On stage, a man with grey hair that carves two lines along his temple and grows bushy on top, attaches his acoustic guitar to an amplifier and gives some last words of advice to his three partners -- a drummer, a pianist and accordionist -- in his Hedge Fund Band.

The lead singer and main attraction of the evening is named Chris Jagger: yes, the younger brother of Mick, rock god, universal sex symbol, millionaire baronet and lead singer of the Rolling Stones. Essentially they do the same thing: they sing. In reality, they are lives apart, and measure Satisfaction in very different ways.

The hall is pretty full: about 70 people, who have paid £7 a head to get in. Plopping down on black metal seats, three overweight women lay down their shopping bags. A teenager in a blue cotton sweater gulps down a pint of beer.

Chris Jagger asks for silence and starts to twang his country tune. He has a rich, mature voice, and plays pieces that lie somewhere between Joan Baez and Mississippi John Hurt.

Sporting a checked, grey shirt and a white vest, he closes his eyes when he sings, three deep vertical lines forming just above his nose. Sure, it's not Wembley, nor the mythical San Francisco Winterland, but there is a comforting family atmosphere. No bottle throwing or joint rolling roll and when Chris finishes, applause breaks out. Someone cries out: "Come on love, I'll take you home."

Is there anything about the younger Jagger that reminds you of the genius of Mick? The same contagious energy? No, nothing.

Well, the lips, but this is the only visible sign the two brothers have in common. Chris pours himself a light beer. "My music isn't bad. It's just that every time that I made a record there was someone who said: he's decent, but he's not like Mick. It's true, but so what? It's been a burden, there's no point in denying it."

Chris says for many years he has suffered this kind of daily death: You wake up in the morning next to a shadow of a brother who has done what you have always wanted to do. And then you ask yourself: "Why him, and not me?" The only sincere reply that you can give yourself is that he is better than you.

So when the Rolling Stones filled the stadiums, Chris limited himself to dreaming. It's difficult to understand why he still decided to be a musician. "Just because I liked it," he explains. "But to get by I have also been a journalist, an office worker and a taxi driver. People would get in the cab and say to me: oh yeah, you're the brother of that famous guy, why don't you live in a villa or in a penthouse?"

Jagger recalls: When I was 18, I used to suffer. When I turned 40 I stopped. We love each other, but everybody has their own path and I don't regret mine."

The younger Jagger has put out three records, but has never sold much. He is married to former model Karin Ann Moller, and the couple has five children – two fewer than his brother.

As children they would continually come to blows. "Chris was very good, it was always Mick who would pick a fight," explained their mother before she died. In 2000 the two brothers were side by side at her funeral.

The last time they played together was four years ago when Chris had a gig at the Bulls Head in London. Mick showed up in a limo, and took to the stage and hugged his brother before they kicked into some country music duets. About 40 people were watching.

"Who's to say that he has lived better than me?" asks Chris. "What is this distrust of normality?" Money, maybe. Mick has earned £270 million and bought a castle in France and a penthouse in New York. His brother has a farm in Somerset County. Jewel of the South West.

Read the original article in Italian.

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