I'm a ghost
Living in a ghost town
I'm a ghost
Living in a ghost town
"Living In A Ghost Town"
The Rolling Stones
There are many who believe that The Rolling Stones possess some sort of magic elixir or have made a pact with some supernatural being to make them seemingly immortal, because they’ve not only outlived but out-played and out-recorded virtually all of their contemporaries while indulging in the rock star lifestyle (especially Keith Richards) that has ended the careers – fatally or otherwise – of so many others. Yet here they are in 2020, releasing a song that quickly became their first chart-topping hit in decades. “Living in a Ghost Town” is the perfect song for these times, even though it was written long before the coronavirus pandemic turned many places into ghost towns (can they see the future too?). Having avoided becoming ghosts in real life, this writer (full disclosure – a longtime fan of the band) wondered if Mick, Keith and the boys have had their own experiences with real ghosts. Turns out they have … and aliens too!
“Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones stated that his family saw headless ghosts at one of the holiday homes in France which they believe may be the ghosts of the building’s former residents who died during the French Revolution.”
The book “Paranormal Case Files of Great Britain (Volume 2)” recounts one of Mick Jagger’s ghostly encounters. According to “Keith Richards: The Biography” by Victor Borkris, Keith lived in a five-story Queen Anne house on the Thames in London in 1969 which his longtime girlfriend Anita Pallenberg turned it into a “hippie’s dream pad.” However, there were some things she couldn’t change.
“A number of people who stayed there claimed the house was haunted.”
That was the same year band co-founder Brian Jones died, and Keith had an eerie encounter with Jones’ ghost many years later while recording “Blue & Lonesome.”
“The last time I ever played 'Little Rain' was with Brian Jones. Now, I'm playing 'Little Rain' in the studio and suddenly Brian is looming in front of me..."
Keith probably had more that he can’t remember – after all, this is the guy who snorted his late father’s ashes (“My dad wouldn’t have cared, he didn’t give a shit.”). Drummer Charlie Watts hasn’t reported any ghost encounters, nor has Ronnie Wood, but Wood and his wife Jo have had a number of UFO and alien experiences, which Jo has retold many times in books and lectures.
"A blue-green orb floated alongside my window. My son Tyrone, who was 15 at the time, saw it too. I had the same feeling as I did on the beach in Brazil: that it was not from this planet."
Jo says Ronnie has seen the UFOs too, but doesn’t talk about it as much. So has Mick Jagger, who claims his first encounter was with a luminous cigar-shaped ship when he went camping in Glastonbury in 1968 with his then girlfriend, singer Marianne Faithful. He also claimed to have seen a UFO during The Rolling Stones’ 1969 Altamont Concert in California and has some sort of UFO detector installed at his British estate. He should have loaned it to Keith, because Richards claimed to have seen UFOs landing at his Redlands estate in West Sussex in 1968.
"I've seen a few, but nothing that any of the ministries would believe. I believe they exist - plenty of people have seen them. They are tied up with a lot of things, like the dawn of man, for example. It's not just a matter of people spotting a flying saucer... I'm not an expert. I'm still trying to understand what's going on."
The Stones are not known for burying messages about paranormal experiences in their song lyrics. Is “Living in a Ghost Town” an attempt to tell us something?
Outside of “We’re still alive!” and still recording great music, we’ll have to wait to find out.