Recently, Mick Jagger, 70, has been linked to a 27-year-old American ballet dancer. While the age difference in this relationship may raise eyebrows, there has been a number of rock and roll relationships long before this pairing that have pushed limits and raised more than just eyebrows. Here are five rock and roll relationships where age wasn’t the only thing that caused the public to pause:
Jerry Lee Lewis & Myra Gale Brown
This might be THE quintessential controversial relationship in rock and roll history. In 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis famously married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown. When news of the marriage broke, the media and public were aghast, and as a result, Jerry Lee’s rising star fell dramatically. Their marriage lasted 13 years, which by entertainment standards, is quite a long time.
Chuck Berry & Janice Escalante
Chuck Berry met Janice Escalante in El Paso where she was waiting tables. Berry then offered Escalante a job at his St. Louis club, which thereafter Escalante says they entered an intimate relationship. Here’s the catch: Escalante was 14 when she met Berry, although she told him she was 21. Berry would go on to deny the relationship, but when Escalante was arrested for prostitution (find out when), police called Berry’s role into question. Under the vague provisions of the Mann Act, which criminalizes bringing women across state lines “for immoral purposes,” Berry was sentenced to five years in jail, but served 20 months, all while not being reported by the media, which would never happen today. TMZ would’ve been all over a story like this!
Bill Wyman & Mandy Smith
Wyman married Mandy Smith in 1989. He was 49; she was 18, but their relationship officially started back when she was 14! In an interview back in 2003, Wyman called his former self “naïve and innocent” in his feelings toward Smith. It may be true, but most people would be hesitant cut a middle-aged man slack for a relationship like this.
Jimmy Page & Lori Maddox
Page got involved with Lori Maddox, a popular member of L.A.’s groupie scene in (insert year here). Here’s the problem: Maddox was only 14. In order to hide their relationship, Page had Led Zeppelin’s manager “kidnap” Maddox, and then went on to hide the young groupie in various hotel rooms for 18 months. To be fair, the adult Lori Maddox said about the relationship “it was worth every minute. Truly.” Incredibly, neither law nor press found out about Page’s relationship with Maddox until long after, so the ramifications for his success were minimal.
Ted Nugent & Pele Massa
In 1978, a 30-year-old Ted Nugent managed to get the parents of 17-year-old Pele Massa to transfer legal guardianship to him in order to bring her along on tour and to make things “legal.” Believe it or not, this arrangement didn’t last, and Massa would later leave Nugent due to his womanizing ways.