Chris Jagger: He Knows He’s Not Mick (But He Likes It)

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Chris Jagger performs on American Bandstand in 1974.

It’s as if Cain had tried to out-good Abel.

With Biblical odds stacked against him, Chris Jagger has lived a life toiling away in Rock and Roll mediocrity, knowing he’ll never live up to the family name. “Why him and not me?” Chris Jagger offers up in an April 23 Worldcrunch profile.

The brothers Jagger hail, of course, from England. And when elder brother Michael, aka “Mick,” was 17, he changed schools and connected with an old friend named Keith Richards. The duo would, as we all know, go on to chart a course filled with satisfaction for both the rockers and their fans.

(More on See Keith Richards’ memoir on the pair’s rock star life)

But as his brother was busy redefining the very meaning of bravado in an era that prized rebellion in all its forms, Chris Jagger, four years Mick’s junior, embarked on a much more familiar path for us mere mortals; he’s just your average Chris. He’s dabbled in taxi driving and journalism to make ends meet, but all along, he’s pursued his true passion, which just so happens to be the family business.

“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,” Jagger concedes.

Chris Jagger is just another rocker, like Sean Lennon and Jakob Dylan, who knows that when their name appears on a concert hall billboard, everyone will say, “I didn’t know his uncle could also play the guitar.” And like those other family members strumming in the shadows, Chris has in fact had quite the output, releasing three records, which in the grand scheme of things, is no beggar’s banquet at all. But sizing up his music cred against the only rock barometer he’ll ever have, Chris attracted 70 people at a recent gig at the Pitney Village Hall in Somerset, England.

(More on See who could be the newest British invasion band)

A far cry from a packed Wembley, no doubt, but age has given Chris, now 64, the perspective he didn’t have as an 18-year old, he says. “Who’s to say that he has lived better than me?” he now wonders. “What is this distrust of normality?” And when asked why even pursue music in the first place, Chris had the simplest answer of all. “Because I like it,” he says.

Apparently, even if you can’t always get what you want, if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.