Watch David Bowie serve up a hilarious impression of Mick Jagger during a UK TV chat show interview

David Bowie on Parkinson
(Image credit: Parkinson)

On September 21, 2002, David Bowie appeared on BBC TV chat show Parkinson, hosted by broadcaster Michael Parkinson, and delivered a hilarious impression of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.

On the night, the music icon was interviewed alongside actor Tom Hanks, and also performed Everybody Says Hi from his 2002 album Heathen, as well as a rendition of his 1971 classic Life On Mars.

During the interview segment of the show, Bowie recounts a story about the time he saw The Rolling Stones support his long time idol Little Richard. 

After revealing how his wife Iman bought him a jacket once owned by his childhood musical hero for their wedding anniversary, Bowie recalls: "I saw him first in 1963 it was, I think it might have been at the Brixton Odeon.

"The Rolling Stones were opening up for him. It was the first time they ever saw him and they weren't very well known. There was about six kids that rushed to the front. That was their fanbase at the time; everybody was there for Little Richard.

Of seeing the Stones perform, he recalls: “It was priceless, I’d never seen anything so rebellious in my life. Some guy yells out ‘Get your hair cut!"

Then, remembering Jagger's response, Bowie supplies a wonderfully accurate impression of the frontman saying “What, and look like you?”

"I thought, Oh my God, this is the future of music!" 

The impersonation was, of course, carried out in well-meaning jest, with Bowie being a long close friend of Jagger. The pair first ignited their friendship in the '70s, frequently partying with each other around London and discussing their careers and aspirations. While their shared goals would often lead to rivalry, Jagger later revealed how it never interfered with their close bond.

Following Bowie's death in 2016, Jagger remembered his friendship with the musician during an interview with Rolling Stone.

"There was always an exchange of information within our friendship" he said. "And I suppose there was always an element of competition between us, but it never felt overwhelming.

"When he’d come over, we’d talk about our work—a new guitarist, a new way of writing, style and photographers. We had a lot in common in wanting to do big things onstage—using interesting designs, narratives, personalities.”

In spite of their close bond, the pair failed to stay in touch towards the latter years of Bowie's life.

"It’s really sad when somebody leaves and you haven’t spoken to them for a long while" he added. "You wish you’d done this; you wish you’d done that. But that’s what happens. Strange things happen in life.”

Watch Bowie's impression of Jagger on Parkinson below:

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.