Mick Jagger, 15 Years Old, Shows Off His Rock Climbing Shoes on British TV (1959)

In the 1950s, Mick Jagger (then still called “Mike Jagger”) was a middle class kid growing up in Dartford, Kent, England. His mother, Eva, was a hairdresser; his father, Joe, a PE teacher. Together, they lived in a nice, orderly home, with more than enough money to pay the bills. (His neighbor, Keith Richards, couldn’t say the same.) In 1957, the elder Jagger began consulting on a weekly TV show called Seeing Sport, which promoted the virtues of sports to British children. During the coming years, Mick and his brother Chris made regular appearances on the show, showing viewers how to build a tent, or master various canoeing skills. In the 1959 clip above, Mick shows off the footwear needed for rock climbing. Nothing too fancy. No mountaineering boots or anything like that. Just a pair of “ordinary gym shoes … like the kind Mike is wearing.”  The episode was shot in a spot called “High Rocks,” near Tunbridge Wells. This background info comes to us via Philip Norman’s 2012 biography of Mick Jagger.

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  • David Bradley

    Not sure I’d describe the son of a PE teacher and a hairdresser living in Dartford as middle class…

  • Diana Lennard

    Saw this on British TV once . Mick was actually climbing the rock. The commentator showing the film described it as “Micks’ first venture into rock.”

  • jane

    that is just classic! And who knew you could climb rocks in gym shoes!

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