The reason Mick Jagger and Rolling Stones visit Somerset

Chris is close to his brother Mick Jagger

Chris is close to his brother Mick Jagger - Credit: EMG

Rumours abound from time to time that the Rolling Stones have been spotted in Somerset. There is a special reason why they are seen in Somerset - Mick Jagger likes to visit his brother Chris, says Bernard Bale.

'I have lived in Somerset for about 25 years now and Mick has been to see us quite a few times,' says Chris, who is a few younger than the Rolling Stones frontman.

'We have always had a good relationship, I go and see him now and then and he comes to see us. Although he has some superb homes in a few different places I think he likes to have a bit of time here because it is so peaceful and people accept you for what you are without making a big fuss.

'That is one of the reasons I love the place so much, I grew up in London and it was a great place to be growing up, especially if you are involved in the music scene as I was though independent of Mick. I had a lot of friends of course but when I moved to Somerset it was very different.

'I realised that in London, while we were friends, we were quite distant. Moving here was a culture change because people were not distant, they didn't just give you a passing nod in the street, they made a point of talking to you and were up for a chat. Our first job was to renovate an old farmhouse we had bought and I was really touched by the number of people who offered to help for no reason other than being neighbourly. That's Somerset people for you.'

Chris Jagger is his own man. While he is close to his globally-famous brother he has never attempted to cash in on Mick's celebrity or fan base. 
'We both do our own stuff, I have a band and do gigs, make recordings and all that kind of stuff but you won't find in a Rolling Stones tribute band,' says Chris.

'I love what they do but I do something else. Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Mick and I used to compare notes on the latest records when we were both kids, he used to send me to the record shop with some money to buy the latest Chuck Berry record or whatever.

'You could go into a booth to listen before you bought in those days and he always told me to listen to both tracks before I decided to buy. If I didn't like the flip-side number he told me not to buy it. I don't remember that ever happening and I  always bought the record. He never once complained so I must have got it right.'

Chris is a musician in his own right

Chris is a musician in his own right - Credit: EMG

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Chris is married to Kari-Ann and they live in a farmhouse near Glastonbury. They have been together for around 40 years and have five sons, two of their own and three from previous marriages.

'Our boys are grown-up now of course and we have 14 grandchildren too, so quite a bit family. Growing up in Somerset has been pretty good for them as well. Our house is near Glastonbury because that is where it was built not because we wanted to especially be near an iconic music venue - though I must admit that it is quite handy if we want to pop in.'

Chris has a barn in which he rehearses with his band and Kari-Ann gives yoga lessons.
'We make full use of where we live, we keep chickens too and we have become country folk,' Chris explains.

'We love popping into the local pub and going to cider festivals and while the band and I go to places like Germany and Italy for gigs we like nothing better than appearing in a local village hall where we know everyone - that's just a lot of fun.

Chris is settled near Glastonbury

Chris is settled near Glastonbury but travels all over with his band - Credit: EMG

'We have some more of those gigs coming up and at this time of the year there is nothing better, in fact there is nothing better than Somerset in the summer months, it is beautiful and has the good-to-be-alive feel.'

A few months ago Chris released a new album called Mixing Up The Medicine, as well as his autobiography, Talking To Myself

'I like to keep busy, I hate being bored or stagnating,' Chris reveals. 'I haven't got Mick's energy, nobody I know has, he is just amazingly fit even though he had a few health scares. I do have his enthusiasm though and I like to keep doing new things. I don't think about retirement, I wouldn't want to and I couldn't afford to. I'm still busy but in a laid-back sort of way. 

'I thought I had better write the book while I still had a memory, it took me ages. I kept telling myself I ought to do it and then other days I told myself not to bother, nobody would be interested. The real story of Mick and I growing up has never been told by either of us so this is why I did it. It is all real and I hope it paints a great picture of our Mum and Dad because they were brilliant.'

A man of many talents - Chris actually made the jacket Jimi Hendrix is wearing in this photo

A man of many talents - Chris actually made the jacket Jimi Hendrix is wearing in this photo - Credit: EMG