Chris Jagger: People say 'Why can't your brother Mick support you?'

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The Independent Online

I sing and play the guitar, which is a similar kind of thing to Mick, but even if I played the oboe or ran a garage, people would still point me out. You have to acknowledge what someone has done but at the same time, you are different in what you have done in life.

I sing and play the guitar, which is a similar kind of thing to Mick, but even if I played the oboe or ran a garage, people would still point me out. You have to acknowledge what someone has done but at the same time, you are different in what you have done in life.

When I was 16 to 18 years old, it was obviously quite a big thing but once I reached 40, I didn't care any more. The one thing in my favour is that I will always be younger than him.

If you really want to sing, you do it for yourself. If you carry on doing it, you get better at it. I feel I am still evolving in my career. Having someone like Mick as a brother gives you a standard to live up to. But you also know what's going to happen if you put a record out - they are going to compare it to what Mick has done.

The Rolling Stones are a brand and they are stuck with it. I have always had more freedom and I could do whatever I liked. Whereas as soon as Mick goes out to a crowd, they want him to sing "Jumpin' Jack Flash".

In this way, fame is double-edged as it can separate you from reality. You don't pop round to your parents for a cup of tea - you could, but you have lots of important things to do. Our parents were totally even-handed with us but I spent more time with mum and dad than Mick.

I had planned to go to university to do theatre studies but I ended up not going. I went instead to India where I learnt to sing. I missed all that stuff when Brian Jones died and when they played in Hyde Park because I was away. That is what they were doing but I wanted to do something for myself. I made an album in the early Seventies but punk washed all that away and I fell musically between rock and roll and punk rock.

In India or Africa, it is considered quite normal for Ali Akbar's brother to run his band or sing alongside him but as far as our society is concerned, we are so worried about nepotism.

When I was younger, what I really didn't want to be was the younger brother of the famous one who is "screwed up" and gets arrested by the police.

You only have to get drunk in a pub or be involved in a fracas to have the newspapers making a fuss. I feel I should have some brownie points for not screwing up.

When I play in front of an audience, fans will come up to me and talk to me but they never mention Mick. It is only journalists who ask for comparisons. But over the years, I have come into collision with people who are ardent fans of the Rolling Stones or, in some cases, don't like the band, especially during the punk era when they were objects of hate.

Quite honestly, I think it would be a nightmare having that kind of scrutiny. When you're that big, your attention is so divided and you just can't be an ordinary person.

It just so happens that Mick was one of the ones who got really famous - and the Rolling Stones did have a bit of an edge - but there are lots of other musicians of that era that were very good who could not even earn a living from their music.

I do find it annoying that the superstar groups have taken so much of the pie while so many other people cannot even make a living. It all depends on the throw of the dice.

Over the years, I have acted and made music, but I have also had to make a living through painting and decorating and when I was in my thirties, I spent some time driving a taxi. I had people in the taxi who would say, "Why can't your brother support you?" but it's not his job to support me. Somehow people expect you to be very rich just because you are related to him.

My role as a brother is a bit like being a member of European royalty who has to turn up to salute such-and-such a regiment or dutifully stand in for someone - the supporting role has to be the supporting role; it cannot usurp.

Chris Jagger, 54, plays in the Chris Jagger Trio and is releasing his fifth album later this year. He has five sons and lives in Somerset

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