NEW YORK - Nobody turns off the microphone on Mick Jagger without a fight. Censorship of their songs during the Super Bowl halftime show was "absolutely ridiculous and completely unnecessary," the Rolling Stones said through a spokeswoman on Tuesday.
The NFL, which produced the show seen on ABC Sunday night, silenced Jagger's microphone during sexually suggestive passages of two of the three songs the band performed before an audience of 90 million television viewers.
The football league, still nervous over the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction two years ago at the Super Bowl, has said it wanted to ensure family entertainment at the game.
"The band was aware of our plan to simply lower Mick's mike at the appropriate moments," said Brian McCarthy, NFL spokesman. "It was discussed with the group last week prior to the Super Bowl."
He declined further comment on the Stones' statement.
The band may have known about it, but that doesn't mean they liked it, spokeswoman Fran Curtis said. Jagger sang the full lyrics during his performance, she said.
In "Start Me Up," the show's editors silenced one word close to the song's end, a reference to a woman so sexy she could arouse a dead man. The lyrics for "Rough Justice" included a synonym for rooster that was removed.
The Stones also performed "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," but the lyric "I can't get no girlie action" made it through unscathed.
The incident was reminiscent of the band's performance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1967, when the host demanded the Stones change the lyrics to "Let's Spend the Night Together." As ordered, Jagger sang "let's spend some time together," but he rolled his eyes for effect.