London, England, U.K.
Dear Mr. Jagger,
I hope this letter gets to you. I did an Internet search for your home address but, for some reason, could not find your exact house number. Hopefully, the people at your post office have heard of you and know where you live.
Although you and I have never formally met, I’m thinking you might recall me from your concert in Toronto in 1994.
My family and I had been in town to see “The Phantom of the Opera” at the fabulous Pantages Theater. As we were approaching the city by car — it is a pretty easy drive from where we live — a radio announcer told of your Toronto appearance the very next night.
Naturally, we wanted to attend, but it was a little late to find tickets. Also, with “The Phantom” in the afternoon and your show the same evening, I had the feeling it might be entertainment overkill.
But, what the heck, I found a ticket consolidator (i.e. legal ticket scalper) in the Yellow Pages (remember how we used to do that instead of Googling?) and for a few hundred Canadian dollars bought three tickets to your Voo Doo Lounge Tour at the Skydome.
That was me in the lower grandstands at the end of the left field foul line, about 340 feet from the stage. You looked right at me a couple of times when you were doing “Symphony For The Devil” in front of those gigantic inflatable animals you brought.
If you recall a man in those outfield seats yelling “Rock and Roll!” at the top of his lungs and waving his lighter during the encores, that was the guy right beside me. The two attractive women on my other side were my wife and daughter. I’m pretty sure you’d remember me if we met again.
At any rate, I saw where you recently had to postpone your scheduled 2019 U.S. tour due to emergency surgery to replace the aortic valve in your heart. Isn’t that a kick in the head: you spend — in your case — 75 years living a clean, healthy lifestyle and then — boom! — the most important valve in your body lets you down.
I know the feeling. The same thing happened to me. Aortic valve went kaput. And I’m not even as old as you.
I thought for a while, perhaps, I could talk my cardiologist out of the radical surgery required. But, as you know, you can’t always get what you want. In fact, when I was debating with my cardiologist I got absolutely no satisfaction. None.
The good news is it’s all over now. I’m fixed. They started me up minutes after replacing my aortic valve, and I have been a regular beast of burden ever since.
I suppose your doctor gave you the same kind of post-surgery advice as I got:
No strutting on stage for at least the first month. (I meant to tell you, I am a “performer,” too — after a fashion. I do a little slide show at places like the Carriage House and the Milan Library. It was a good 90 days before I resumed that special strut you and I like to do while holding the microphone.)
Read the labels on your prescription bottles. If, like me, you have no previous experience with drugs, you really need to pay attention. That Eliquis will get you.
Rely on your loved ones for support. My wife was an absolute angel through my recovery. And I see you have been married four times, so you should be in good shape, too. Well, that’s assuming your wives weren’t honky tonk women who, of course, give you, give you, give you the honky tonk blues.
Good luck with everything. I have loved your work for more than 50 years, and I consider you a rock and roll genius — not just another pretty face.
Call me the tumblin’ dice,
Jim Busek is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] hotmail.com.