GroUp Entertainment is proud to present Two Rooms Live, a spectacular live theatre / concert experience celebrating legendary songwriting partnerships. The songwriting partnership of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards is the collaboration that has produced the vast majority of the song catalogue of the legendary Rolling Stones. It is one of the most successful songwriting partnerships in history. Nicknamed “The Glimmer Twins” this writing force has written more than 100 hit singles including; (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction and Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar, It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It), Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Paint It Black, Tumbling Dice, 19th Nervous Breakdown, Miss You, Gimme Shelter, and You Can’t Always Get What You Want, which have totaled sales of over 200 million records.
The pair have also written songs for a variety of artists such as That Girl Belongs to Yesterday by Gene Pitney, Will You Be My Lover Tonight”/”It Should Be You by George Bean, Each and Every Day by Bobby Jameson, Shang a Doo Lang by Adrienne Posta, So Much in Love by The Mighty Avengers. Their songs have been recorded by artists such as; Phish, U2, The Who, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Etta James, Johnny Cash , David Bowie , Marianne Faithfull, The Corrs, Lindsey Buckingham, Rage Against The Machine, Alejandro Escovedo, Sheryl Crow, Tori Amos, The Ramones, Elton John, Patti Smith, Townes Van Zandt, Tina Turner, Sundays, Otis Redding and Devo.
I've been ripping the Rolling Stones off with every song I write in some form or another.
Writing is a strange thing. Once you start writing songs, it turns you into an observer of other people. You listen more to what is being said, phrases. You pick them up, so without even meaning to suddenly everything somebody says is a potential song... (I don't carry notebooks.) I have bits of paper, man, that are all over the house. The wife keeps continually saying, do you want to keep this? Usually, what I’ve found with myself, is that if I remember it, then it's worth keeping. There’re a few things I jot down, but a lot of it is remembering one phrase somebody said over there and another phrase somebody said across the room. They're totally unconnected, except I can see a connection. I observe.
For some reason Keith and I wrote together. Maybe because we knew each other for so long and we're friends. I had no experience to back it with as far as songwriting was concerned. Brian was a much better musician. But it seemed very natural and Keith and I seemed quite good at it. Brian was quite problematical, and it was obvious to Keith and myself after trying it a few times that it was going to work. Brian got annoyed but anyone gets annoyed when you exclude them because they're not compatible. I had a slight talent for wording, and Keith always had a lot of talent for melody from the beginning. Everything (in the beginning), including the riffs, came from Keith. But we worked hard at it. We developed it. You need application. Our first songs were terrible.
To English people Buddy Holly was an enormous inspiration. Therein lies the difference because he was a songwriter, which Elvis wasn't. And he wrote very simple songs - sort of lesson one in songwriting. Great songs, which had simple changes and nice melodies and changes of tempo and all that. You could learn from Buddy Holly how to write songs, the way he put them together. He was a beautiful writer.
Mick's got a bit of Shakespeare in him, no doubt about it. We've had fun arguments, writing songs. I would say, I think this should be an instrumental, and meanwhile, he'd written an opera... To me, writings songs is like making love: You need two to write a song. I've known Mick 40 years, longer than I've known anybody except my parents.
Andrew (Oldham) (the Stones' original manager and producer) in his naivety thought (that we could write our own songs). The fact that it came up was sheer luck because otherwise every guitar player - it does seem sometimes now that every guitar player DOES write songs but... - especially at that time songwriting was as different to being a guitar player as a bank clerk working in a store, you know. I mean it was a different job. You know, you had songwriters and - although we were well aware that what we were playing was written by the people who played them in the first place, we hadn't considered seriously that we could do it, you know: I'm lucky enough to have a talent for playing the guitar a bit, don't pile up on the optimism and be songwriters as well. But really, it's a case of necessities, the mother of invention. You know when you run out of material, you come up with it. If you don't, you know... we wouldn't be talking now.
I must say I'm very proud to work with this group of musicians for the last 25 years... The other thing I'm very proud of are the songs that Keith and I have written over the last 25 years.
Some songs hang out for years before we feel happy with them and resurrect them and finish them off. Others, in two takes they've come and gone, and you've got to relearn it off your own record to play it later. Lots of times you think you've written four different songs and you take them to the studio, and you realize they're just variation of one song.
When Mick comes in with a song, usually he's got it worked out pretty much. He may need a bridge to be written, or a different beat, or to turn it around a little bit. Over our whole period, maybe 50 percent of the time he writes the lyrics and I write the melody. But that's a far, far too simplistic explanation. We write in every conceivable combination of ways. It's really an incredibly elastic arrangement — especially when you're writing with a partner for a band, a specific unit, rather than just writing a song to see who you could sell it to.
You can't really (clarify who writes which song). It's not true that I wrote all of one, and he wrote all of one when you get down to it. Keith and I might have had the initial idea, but after a while you can't separate who wrote it. We just sit down and do them, sometimes in the studio, sometimes at home.