Did Mick Jagger write “Angie” for Angela Bowie to calm her down after she caught him and David Bowie in bed together?
Did they make the beast of burden with two backs? As Angela Bowie told the story (after her post-divorce gag order expired), she came home one morning in the ’70s and found the “Dancing in the Streets” duet partners in bed–naked but not actually satisfying their every need. “I felt absolutely dead certain that they’d been screwing,” she said. “I didn’t have to look around for open jars of K-Y jelly.” Jagger called her tale “complete rubbish,” while David Bowie declined comment, saying in 1995, “About 15 or 16 years ago, I really got pretty tired of fending off questions about what I used to do with my [penis] in the early seventies.”
Angela says her blasé response to finding Mick and David in bed was to make them breakfast, so it seems unlikely that Jagger needed to calm her down with a song. In addition, Keith Richards says he wrote the 1973 ballad “Angie” without Jagger; friends of Richards say it was about his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg (a competing theory is that it’s about his daughter, but since she was then known as Dandelion, that seems unlikely). Describing how it was impossible for Jagger to modify the lyrics, Richards said, “You try and change it, man, and it never sounds right. It’s only two syllables, it could be ‘bank note,’ but you always come back to ‘Angie.’ Once you’ve put something together with a musical phrase like that, it’s like it’s locked in, you never pull it out.”
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)