Louisiana governor fires back after Mick Jagger says he’s taking the state ‘back to the Stone Age’

Hardline Republican Jeff Landry is known for supporting abortion ban and state execution

Tom Murray
Friday 03 May 2024 20:22 BST
Statues of Rolling Stones legends Mick Jagger and Keith Richards unveiled in hometown

The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger took aim at Louisiana’s new governor during the band’s headline performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Thursday 2 May.

Jeff Landry, a hard-line Republican and former attorney general, secured control of the southern state in October last year.

“We’re a welcoming crowd aren’t we?” Jagger asked, according to local news reports. “I hope Mr Landry is enjoying the show. He’s real inclusive you know. He’s trying to take us back to the Stone Age.”

During his tenure as Louisiana’s top lawyer, Landry supported the state’s abortion ban, advocated for prayer in public schools and challenged governor John Bel Edwards on LGBT+ issues.

Earlier this year, Landry signed a bill into law expanding execution methods in the state to include nitrogen gas and electrocution.

On Twitter/X, the governor, 53, fired back at Jagger’s on-stage comments, making a joke about the 80-year-old rock star’s age.

“You can’t always get what you want,” he wrote. “The only person who might remember the Stone Age is @MickJagger.”

Maintaining a friendly tone, Landry added: “Love you, buddy, you’re always welcome in Louisiana!”

The Independent has contacted Jagger’s representatives for comment.

This year was the first time the Stones had played the 54-year-old jazz festival after two previous, failed attempts.

In 2019, their appearance was cancelled because lead singer Jagger was undergoing heart surgery. They tried again in 2021, but a surge in Covid-19 cases ultimately forced the festival to cancel.

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Mick Jagger (left) and Jeff Landry, governor of Louisiana
Mick Jagger (left) and Jeff Landry, governor of Louisiana (Getty Images)

Because of the scale of the band’s appeal, the festival closed all 13 of its other stages to make way for the Stones’ headline set.

“We didn’t want to have 13 empty stages and no people in front of them when the Stones start singing favorites like ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ and ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’,” festival producer Quint Davis told the Associated Press ahead of the festival. “Everyone who bought a ticket for that day primarily bought one to see the Stones.”

Jazz Fest is the second stop on the Stones’ Hackney Diamonds tour, launched in support of their 2023 album, their first original material in 18 years.

Mark Beaumont, in his four-star review of the album for The Independent, wrote: “Their best since the Seventies? Arguably, but such hyperbole undeniably rests on the broad shoulders of the seven-minute ‘Sweet Sounds of Heaven’, the album’s spectacular spiritual crescendo.

“As Lady Gaga spills out gospel trills and gymnastics over a slow-burning Pentecostal groove, Jagger delivers a sermon both defiantly personal (‘I’m not going down in some dusty motel’) and universally stirring (‘Let the music play loud… let us all stand up proud’). It’s a statement song worthy of rounding off a career this monumental, but also one that revives the gritty passions of 1969’s ‘Gimme Shelter’. It’s enough to convince you the old are still young.”

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