How did Mick Jagger come to be an executive producer on HBO’s new ’70s-set music biz show Vinyl, which debuts with a two-hour Martin Scorsese-directed premiere? “It was something I knew a little bit about,” the Rolling Stones frontman tells EW, with notable understatement.
In fact, Jagger was the (street fighting) man who, way back in the mid-’90s, first came up with the concept of a drama set at a record label and then interested Scorsese.
“It was an idea I had for a movie originally,” says Jagger, whose previous credits as a producer include 2001’s WWII film Enigma and 2014’s James Brown biopic Get on Up. “There hadn’t been a tremendous amount of stuff about it, and I knew a lot of those rich, oddball characters, and I thought it was a good backdrop. Marty and I were still developing it and then the whole TV series thing started to become a fact of life and something of quality. It was such a sprawling script and it was going to be a very long movie. Originally, it was comprising three decades — at the moment it flashes back to earlier and who knows — so this sprawling script, we decided to make it into the TV series.”
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Vinyl stars Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra, the founder of fictional label American Century Records. Olivia Wilde plays his former “It Girl” wife and Ray Romano portrays one of the company’s executives. The show features a mix of made-up rock stars and real-life musical figures played by actors. Ian Hart (Boardwalk Empire) cameos in the pilot as Led Zeppelin’s real — and really fiercesome — manager Peter Grant while Jagger’s son James is a not-real proto-punk frontman, who is championed by Juno Temple’s A&R assistant.
Of course, one frequent visitor to ’70s New York was a certain singer for the Rolling Stones. Might a later episode of Vinyl find someone playing — and moving like — Jagger?
“I don’t think so,” says Mick. “But who knows?”
Vinyl debuts Feb. 14 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. See a trailer below.
A version of this story appeared in Entertainment Weekly issue #1399, on newsstands now, or available for purchase here