“Just let me be cynical for a moment. First of all, it’s really NOT about waiting on a woman friend. It’s just about a FRIEND; it doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a woman. I can see people saying, Oh, we’re all much older now, Mick’s writing this much more compassionate stuff, must be about a real person. But that’s only in their perception of it.”
— Mick Jagger on Waiting For A Friend
Is our man Mick waiting for a friend or is he waiting for his drug connection? Since the video features Mick hanging out in front of a building in New York and waiting for Keith Richards to come walking up, I guess both could be true. Interestingly enough, Keith has often said that he and Mick have a strained relationship in real life, though Keith also wrote in his autobiography, “”I still love him dearly … your friends don’t have to be perfect.”
This video was popular in the early days of MTV. At a time when many of the big rock bands were still skeptical about the music video format and many were also predicting that MTV would never last, the network was happy to have a video from a group as legendary as the Stones. The video was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who was doing videos even before MTV was a thing. Waiting with Jagger in front of the building is Peter Tosh.