The urban legend surrounding this song was that it was written about David Bowie’s wife, Angela, who wrote in her autobiography that she once walked in on Bowie and Mick Jagger in bed together – a story Jagger denies. According to the rumour, Jagger wrote this song to appease her, but it was actually Jagger’s bandmate, Keith Richards, who wrote the song.
Richards cleared things up in his 2010 autobiography Life, where he wrote: “While I was in the clinic (in March – April 1972), Anita [Pallenberg] was down the road having our daughter, Angela. Once I came out of the usual trauma, I had a guitar with me and I wrote ‘Angie’ in an afternoon, sitting in bed, because I could finally move my fingers and put them in the right place again, and I didn’t feel like I had to shit the bed or climb the walls or feel manic anymore. I just went, ‘Angie, Angie.’ It was not about any particular person; it was a name, like ohhh, Diana. I didn’t know Angela was going to be called Angela when I wrote ‘Angie.’ In those days you didn’t know what sex the thing was going to be until it popped out. Anita had originally named the child Dandelion but the nuns who delivered her requested that Pallenberg pick a proper name, and the name she picked was Angela.”