As teenagers in the early 1960s, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had a fateful meeting at a train station in their hometown of Dartford, a southeastern suburb of London. “We were both about 15 at the time, and we had a bit of a chat,” Jagger told Great British Life’s Bernard Bale in 2020. “I was carrying some records of rhythm and blues, which fascinated Keith.”
Now, Dartford is paying homage to the legendary bandmates with two new statues. Officials unveiled the bronze monuments on Dartford’s High Street last week during a ceremony that included Angela Richards, Keith Richards’ daughter, as BBC News’ Bob Dale and Jo Burn report.
Created by sculptor Amy Goodman, the statues depict Jagger and Richards as if they are frozen in the middle of an impassioned performance. Jagger holds a microphone in one hand and has one foot off the ground. Richards, meanwhile, stands with his legs spread and his body angled slightly back as he plays his “Micawber” Telecaster guitar.
The Dartford borough council commissioned Goodman to make the statues, which together are called The Glimmer Twins—a nickname for the duo. While working on the pieces, Goodman often listened to the Rolling Stones’ music, especially the song “Gimme Shelter,” per BBC News.
“In terms of culture and music, you do not get much more influential than the Rolling Stones,” said Jeremy Kite, borough council leader, at the unveiling ceremony, as reported by Euronews’ David Mouriquand. “Their music has changed the face of popular music and these lads from Dartford are now two of the most recognizable and loved people in the world.”
Richards apparently approves of the sculptures, posting a photo and a short news blurb with two thumbs-up emojis on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
The statues are meant to be an inspiring reminder that anyone, from anywhere, has the chance to make it big.
“We want young, creative people of today to get a little bit of the Mick and Keith spirit and pursue their dreams,” said Kite at the unveiling event, as reported by BBC News. “It needn’t be music, and they won’t be as famous as the Rolling Stones, but if they go and do their thing in medicine, the arts, the environment, that would be fantastic. I want people to look at this and say, ‘We’re from Dartford, we can do that too.’”
Fans of the Rolling Stones who decide to head to Dartford to check out the new statues can wander along several streets named for the band’s songs or pass by the primary school the two bandmates once attended. Tours of Dartford with a special focus on the Rolling Stones are also available.
And, if they’re lucky, visitors may even run into Jagger and Richards themselves. As Angela Richards told BBC News, the next time the two men visit London, they will “probably have a sneaky little drive down.”
“Dartford’s a very fond place” in their hearts, she added.