Encore

Limited Engagement

Rolling Stone Mick Jagger took his first futile stab at marital satisfaction 30 years ago.

Like so many affaires du Jagger, it was born in a maelstrom of confusion. Screaming hippies, eager press photographers, and two Beatles -- Paul and Ringo -- converged on St. Tropez's city hall May 12, 1971. The purpose wasn't a concert, but the wedding of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger and his Nicaraguan-born fiancee, Bianca Perez Morena de Macias. What followed was one of the most beguiling rock unions of the '70s.

Ever the nonconformist, Jagger, then 27, wore a green suit and multicolored sneakers as he proclaimed his love for the Yves Saint Laurent-clad 26-year-old beauty before him. Their reception -- at the nearby Cafe des Arts -- saw Mick cavorting on stage with his friends, while Bianca returned to their honeymoon suite by herself. ''My marriage was over on the wedding day,'' she said in a 1986 interview with the New York Daily News.

Just eight months prior, you couldn't pull the two apart. Jagger and Morena de Macias -- whose diplomat father left her family in poverty when she was 11 -- were taken with one another from the moment they met, after a September 1970 Stones concert. Within months, they were talking marriage.

Mick even gave domesticity a whirl after the arrival of daughter Jade Sheena Jezebel on Oct. 21, 1971. But whispers that Bianca had become the Stones' Yoko were silenced when Jagger's wanderlust returned the following June, as the Stones toured to promote 1972's Exile on Main St.

Soon the Jagger household emptied out. Mick stayed on the road -- touring and recording -- throughout most of the '70s, while Bianca became a fixture on the party circuit. The Jaggers were reportedly courting other lovers by 1976, though Bianca insisted that all were just good friends. The following May, Bianca reached her party pinnacle with her birthday celebration at Studio 54. As she arrived on a white horse led by a glitter-dusted stud, it was clear that Mick was the last thing on her mind (he was smitten with model Jerry Hall; they wed in 1990).

Bianca filed for divorce in London in May 1978. But instead of drowning her sorrows in the nightlife, the former political science student launched a more substantive career as a human rights activist.

Today, Bianca remains a tabloid-friendly name. Soon after her divorce, a 1980 gossip column linked her to young British actor Rupert Everett, and she dated New Jersey congressman Robert Torricelli in the early '90s. Mick's sexual exploits, meanwhile, still make headlines: He and Hall divorced in 1999 after Brazilian model Luciana Morad slapped him with a paternity suit -- yet another beauty who refused to stay under his thumb.

Originally posted May 18, 2001 Published in issue #596 May 18, 2001 Order article reprints