It's 2021 and Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger are trading jibes

Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger
(Image credit: Bryan Bedder/Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)

Feuding has long been a popular rock'n'roll pastime, with various beefs delighting audiences over the years. Think: Justin Bieber vs. Tool, Axl Rose vs. Kurt Cobain, Mark Lanegan vs. Liam Gallagher. And, of course, Roger Waters vs. David Gilmour

In terms of longevity, one rivalry trumps them all: The Beatles versus The Rolling Stones. And while relations between the two bands have been largely genial over the past six decades, it seems that things may be coming to an unexpected head.

The 2021 beef began when McCartney appeared to dismiss The Rolling Stones' musical ambition in an interview with The New Yorker, saying, "I'm not sure I should say it, but they’re a blues cover band, that’s sort of what the Stones are. I think our net was cast a bit wider than theirs."

Mick Jagger responded during The Rolling Stones' show at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, CA, on Thursday night, listing the names of various celebrities in the audience before saying, with a degree of light-hearted sarcasm, "Paul McCartney is here. He’s going to help us - he’s going to join us in a blues cover later on." 

This isn't the first time McCartney has referred to the Rolling Stones' apparent limitations. In 2020 he told DJ Howard Stern, "Their stuff’s rooted in the blues. When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. Whereas we had a little more influences. There’s a lot of differences, but I love the Stones, but I’m with you. The Beatles were better.”

Jagger responded, telling Apple Music DJ Zane Lowe, "The Rolling Stones have been a big concert band in other decades and other eras when the Beatles never even did an arena tour, Madison Square Garden with a decent sound system. They broke up before that business started, the touring business for real."

The 50th anniversary edition of The Beatles' Let It Be album is out now, as the Rolling Stones' North American tour continues.  


Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.