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Mick Jagger: ‘A Newspaper Editorial Saved Me From Prison’

By: Renee Grant

Legendary rocker Mick Jagger credits a newspaper editorial with keeping him out of prison for a minor arrest in 1967.

Related: The Rolling Stones Announce ‘No Filter’ UK Tour

The leader of the Rolling Stones tells The Times UK that he was sentenced to three months in prison for a minor drug offense, which was excessive due to older generations criticism of the group, making them “scapegoats” for all that they felt was wrong with the youth of the day.

The editor of the paper at the time, William Rees-Mogg, said in the piece that Jagger should be treated as any other citizen would in his situation, not singled out due to his rock n’ roll lifestyle.

“If we are going to make any case a symbol of the conflict between the sound traditional values of Britain and the new hedonism,’ the piece read, “then we must be sure that the sound traditional values include those of tolerance and equity.”

Rees-Mogg continued, “Mr Jagger’s is about as mild a drug case as can ever have been brought before the courts. It should be the particular quality of British justice to ensure that Mr Jagger is treated exactly the same as anyone else, no better and no worse . . . There must remain a suspicion in this case that Mr Jagger received a more severe sentence than would have been thought proper for any purely anonymous young man.”

Jagger says the publishing of the article happened and he was immediately released.

“What did it mean to me personally? That editorial got me out jail. One day it dropped, and the next thing I was out,” he says.

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