Mick Jagger Finally Reveals Who Song Was About
After years of fan speculation and rumor, Rolling Stone frontman Mick Jagger finally reveals about whom one of their most famous lyrics was written.
Wilkes-Barre, PA, July 13, 2016 – It’s been over four decades since The Rolling Stones released their masterpiece Exile on Main Street. One lyric in one song has perplexed fans and listeners alike ever since it hit turntables worldwide. Now, someone in the know finally reveals the shocking identity of whom Mick Jagger was singing.
Track 7 on The Rolling Stones’ famous album Exile on Main Street is “Torn and Frayed,” a song about life in a rock ’n’ roll band. The song contains the enigmatic lines “Joe’s got a cough, sounds kind a rough, / Yeah, and the codeine to fix it.” For years, people have wondered and asked the simple question: Who’s Joe?
Steven Jae Johnson, author of the book Walk, Don’t Run, knows the answer. He was there when the lyric was written. “It’s about my friend who was engineering the album in LA at the time, Joey Zagarino,” explains Johnson. “He had this cold while they were recording one night. It got to be comical because he’d talk over the intercom to Mick and end up coughing up a lung. Mick was fiddling with the lyrics and when they went for a take, ‘Joe’s got a cough’ is what Mick sang.”
Joey Zagarino was a well-known record producer and engineer during the 1970s. He was nominated for a Grammy for his work on the song “Ain’t Nobody Home” from the B.B. King album Live in London. He died tragically when he was only 26 years old.
“It was sad, tragic really, to see Joey go,” says Johnson, who after all these years still misses his friend. “But it’s great to be able to play one of the greatest rock albums of all time and be reminded of your friend.”
More tales of Johnson’s and Zagarino’s adventures in music can be found in Johnson’s best selling autobiographical book Walk, Don’t Run: A Rockin’ and Rollin’ Memoir, which was named “Indie Groundbreaking Book” by Independent Publisher. It is available as both a print book and ebook at all book sellers and even comes with its own soundtrack. For more information, visit www.WalkDontRunTheBook.com.