Keith Richards and Mick Jagger’s relationship is hard to explain. On the one hand, they need one another to survive creatively. However, they also know precisely how to agitate the other, and in one fit of rage, Richards used his anger as fuel to write ‘Had It With You’.
Over the years, the songwriting duo as endured more public spats than anybody could possibly remember. However, one incident led to Richards being forced to issue an apology to Jagger to save the future of The Rolling Stones. It stemmed from a comment in the guitarist’s autobiography, Life, when he claimed: “Marianne Faithfull had no fun with his tiny todger. I know he’s got an enormous pair of balls – but it doesn’t quite fill the gap.”
After having his manhood insulted, Jagger’s relationship with his bandmate soured, but Richards swallowed his pride and said sorry. The Stones founder later revealed: “We resolved it, in our own way, you know. I said I regret if I caused you any, you know, inconvenience or pain, or something. I’d say anything to get the band together, you know? I’d lie to my mother.”
While many fallouts between the pair have played out in view of the public eye, even more have occurred behind closed doors. After one ordeal, Richards visited Ronnie Wood’s house in Chiswick to vent his frustration at the singer and wrote ‘Had It With You’.
“You’re a mean mistreater, You’re a dirty dirty rat scum,” Jagger sings at one point on the track, which was written about him. Meanwhile, at another point, he adds: “You always seem to haunt me, Always try to haunt me, Serving out injunctions, Shouting out instructions, But I had it I had it I had it with you.”
In his autobiography, Richards recalled the choppy day when he penned the Dirty Work album track, “I wrote ‘Had It with You’ in Ronnie [Wood] ‘s front room in Chiswick, right on the banks of the Thames. We were waiting to go to Paris, but the weather was so dodgy that we were stranded until the Dover ferry started rolling again. Peter Cook and (my father) were hanging about”.
He added: “There was no heating, and the only way to keep warm was to turn on the amps. I don’t think I’d ever written a song before, apart maybe from ‘All About You,’ in which I realized I was actually singing about Mick.”
Although the song isn’t a Rolling Stones classic, ‘Had It With You’ perfectly lays out their relationship, which is equally full of love as much as hate. Those two elements are constantly at odds, but ‘The Glimmer Twins’ wouldn’t have it any other way, and these two feelings are the forces that make The Rolling Stones great.