McCartney made the comments in an interview with Howard Stern in 2020, when he agreed with the host’s assertion that his band were better.
“[The Stones] are rooted in the blues. When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. We had a little more influences,” McCartney said. “There’s a lot of differences, and I love the Stones, but I’m with you. The Beatles were better.”
When asked for his response at the time to Zane Lowe, Jagger said: “That’s so funny. He’s a sweetheart. There’s obviously no competition.
“The big difference, though, is and sort of slightly seriously, is that The Rolling Stones is a big concert band in other decades and other areas when The Beatles never even did an arena tour, Madison Square Garden with a decent sound system. They broke up before that business started, the touring business for real.”
Now in a new interview with The Times, he has commented again on McCartney’s words.
“He said the Beatles were better than the Stones because the Stones were really just a blues cover band,” Jagger said.
“Well, the Beatles were also really just a blues cover band when they started out. Every band is a cover band at the beginning, because that’s how it goes.”
Jagger went on to explain that following McCartney’s comments he’d often say when the band were on tour, that “someone is in the audience when they’re actually not, to create a big moment, so I said one time, ‘Paul McCartney is here tonight. He’s going to come up on stage and play some of our blues cover tunes.”
He added: “I texted Paul to say thank you for his comment because it has given me a lot of comic material.”
“And hey, if you can get one of the Beatles on your track, you know, you do it.”