Mick Jagger on the Meaning and Inspiration Behind “Moonlight Mile”

The Rolling Stones are now performing the ‘Moonlight Mile’ on their North American tour, a song that was reportedly inspired by being on the road and yearning for home.

This is the first time in a good while that the Stones have been performing the song. This is part of a 15-city North American Zip Code concert tour.

The song was written by Mick Jagger in 1970 and appeared at the end of the band’s Sticky Fingers album released in 1971. The album has just been released by Universal as a re-mastered two-CD set with extra bonus material.

This might be one reason for Moonlight Mile appearing on the tour. Another could be the nature of the concert which has then on the road for some while.

Fans have speculated on the real meaning behind the song for some time. Lyrics include ‘a head full of snow’ and ‘moonlight mile’ and one theory was that these were code for cocaine.

MJ dismisses these claims however and puts forward an alternative narrative behind the creation of the song.
Instead, he says that the song was written about loneliness and was penned during another large tour during the summer of 1970. It also spoke of his joy returning home.

The following excerpt comes from an interview, where Mick recounted his memories of the song’s inception:

“I wrote some of the early lyrics to “Moonlight Mile” in a songbook I carried around when we were on tour in the summer of 1970. I was growing road-weary and homesick then. I’m sure the idea for the song first came to me one night while we were on a train and the moon was out. I don’t recall.

“I know I didn’t want to literalize how I was feeling. That’s not really a very good thing to do when you’re writing lyrics, you know? The feeling I had at that moment was how difficult it was to be touring and how I wasn’t looking forward to going out and doing it again. It’s a very lonely thing, and my lyrics reflected that.”

The original studio recording for the track featured only Jagger, drummer Charlie Watts and guitarist Mick Taylor. The other instruments – guitars, piano, bass and strings – were overdubbed at a later date.

“I also came up with an Oriental-Indian riff on my acoustic guitar. At some point during the tour I played it for Mick Taylor, because I thought he would like it. At that point, I really hadn’t intended on recording the song. Sometimes you don’t want to record what you’re writing. You think, “This isn’t worth recording, this is just my doodling.””

Mick suggests that the reason for the misinterpretation of his lyrics came down to the somewhat abstract nature of his descriptions. By being purposefully ambiguous, the song allowed people to apply their own meanings.

In the full interview, Mick goes on to explain the creation and recording of the song in even more depth and explains the choice of particular instruments.

He opines that what made the song special was that everything came together so well on the day:

“The strange plinking piano, the tom-tommy mallets on the drums, the different guitars—they all came together to produce a feeling of vulnerability and loneliness, you know what I mean? I think the three of us finished recording the basic track around 6 a.m. The sun was coming up.”

If you want to hear the new live reimagining of Moonlight Mile, then be sure to catch the Stones on their latest tour. And with a little more backstory, you may find you gain a new appreciation for the tune!


Can Baseball Win Over the Hearts of Children Again?

Major League Baseball is still going strong and there’s no denying that it’s a successful sport commercially. But the question that fans have to ask themselves, is whether the future is as bright for the game.

This is a pertinent question with the news that fewer children that ever before are taking up the bat and getting involved.

There was a time that baseball was fantastically popular among the younger generation. Collecting trading cards was a popular playground pastime and watching games with Dad was always a good day out.

Today, impassioned individuals Jim Wilson – president of the City of Newburgh Little League – are forced to carry the torch for where interest is dying among youths.

Wilson recently launched a petition to keep the baseball files at Delano-Hitch Park in use after he found them covered in piles of snow. He’s seen the numbers of children participating plummet in recent years and was forced into drastic action just to prevent the league from folding.

He and the league’s board of directors have even gone as far as to call parents at their homes to try and encourage an interest in their children playing. He recalls feeling like a telemarketer and being met with a lukewarm reaction.

Reportedly, part of this decline is due to a growing interest in other sports. It seems that lacrosse, basketball and soccer are all more popular among the younger generation.  At the same time though, we’re seeing a decline in popularity for all sports among children – with many potential factors playing a role. It’s easy to point the finger at computer games but those alone can’t explain the most recent drops in numbers.

In 2009 there were 206 players in the local little league, this year it’s down to 74.

And this isn’t an isolated story either. Likewise, across the country participation numbers have been falling and many local youth leaders have spoken out about their dismay.

In 2000, there were 8.8 million participating youths in baseball across the US. In 2013 this had fallen to 5.3 million.

With too few teams to form a self-contained league, these regions are forced to merge with other nearby leagues or to completely disband. This is only likely to make the game less accessible for newcomers and to reduce interest in the sport yet further.

And it would be naïve to think this would have no impact on Major League Baseball. After all, children are our future and if they aren’t showing any interest in the sport now, they’re less likely to be interested in going to games as they get older.

This then means less money for the sport and that means less promotion, smaller stadiums, less entertainment… And this can again have repercussions on the popularity of the game in a general vicious cycle and downward spiral.
So what can enthusiastic parents and adults do?

The first thing of course is to try and show their children the excitement of baseball. Take them along to games, put it on the TV and play with a catcher’s mitt in the garden.

The rest is down to the powers that be. How can promoters and marketers get kids to rediscover their love for the game?

Perhaps they should turn their attention to one of the few sports that are gaining ground in the US: soccer.

Why are Women Opening Fewer Businesses in 2014?

New data from the Kauffman Foundation tells us that in 2014, only 36.8% of new businesses were opened by women. This figure is down from 40.7% over the last 19 years and has nearly reached the low point of 36.7% that was reached in 2007. And it’s almost the second lowest figure in two decades.

In short, what we can take from this is that fewer women seem to be launching their own startups. That much is clear but the question is why?

Of course, as with any of these things there are multiple factors at play.

One aspect is that it may not just be that there are fewer women starting businesses but also that there are more men – throwing off the percentage. This would make sense in light of the recent construction rebound, which is a somewhat male dominated industry.

In other words, with more men starting up construction businesses, it may simply be the case that there are comparatively fewer women.

But despite this being the case, it’s still likely that female led businesses have declined and that this has contributed to the data. Analysts suggest that ‘economic factors’ may be at play and specifically, these are likely to include such things as the economy that has been struggling for some time. This makes it more difficult for everyone to open new businesses.

This has been a factor for the last several years though and in fact the economy is somewhat improved in the last year. Lending is also up… so perhaps that doesn’t offer the answer.

In general, it is often harder for women trying to start a business according to fashion designer and entrepreneur Lela Rose. Talking to Fox News, her explanation is that with many lenders still being predominantly male-run, some gender stereotyping still play a role. This may make it harder for women to get loans or investment capital for instance.

Historically and culturally, women have long been viewed as primary care givers rather than bread winners. When finances are stretched for a household, the expectation is still very often on the woman to take care of the children and relieve the cost of hiring a nanny.

It’s worth noting that for these reasons, men have consistently higher employment rates than women above the age of 22. That is to say that the proportion of men in work is higher than the proportion of women – so it would make sense that there might be a similar representation for start-ups.

But perhaps more simply it just comes down to a lack of encouragement. Perhaps there are a lack of role models for women looking to start their own businesses. Perhaps they aren’t pushed enough at school to develop an interest in business versus male students.

Whatever the case, it seems that we need to start investment more time, money and effort into teaching young women about business start-ups and highlighting this as a viable option on their curriculum.

After all, in the age of the internet there has never been a better time to start your own company!