The Rolling Stones: “19th Nervous Breakdown”

ALBUM: Appeared on the first Stones’ compilation album, Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass), just a month after it was released as a single.

YEAR: 1966

WRITERS: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards

Peaked at number-two on the Billboard Hot 100.

Mick Jagger said that “19th Nervous Breakdown” was written at a transitional moment in popular music history, and that its subject matter is really a product of those times. “It’s a bit of a joke song I think, really. The point is, it’s very hard to put yourself back into this period now, but popular songs didn’t really address anything very much. And so to write about anything off the normal run-in-the-mill love clichés was never touched. So you could say anything outside that would shock people. A couple of years after that, things took a turn in a sort of more dark direction, but they were very innocent days.”

The drug possession trial of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards began 50 years ago today (June 22nd, 1967) in Chichester, England. Although they would be found guilty and sentenced, the verdict was overturned on appeal.


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