How The Rolling Stones Inspired Andrew Lincoln’s ‘Walking Dead’ Send-Off Party

Andrew Lincoln, The Rolling Stones
© 2024 AMC Film Holdings LLC./Graham Wood/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It was just about 14 years ago, on Oct. 31, 2010, when TV fans were first introduced to small-town sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) on The Walking Dead, which is now a TV and event franchise and pop culture phenomenon. He was based on a fictional comic book character created by Robert Kirkman in 2003.

The final TV chapter (at least for now) in Rick Grimes’ story is returning to TV on Sunday, Feb. 25 with AMC’s limited series The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. Fans of The Walking Dead have been waiting for-ev-er to find out what happened to leader Rick, who was presumed dead at the end of Season 9 when he exploded a bridge to save his warrior wife Michonne (Danai Gurira) and their people. What Michonne and the rest of the survivors didn’t know was that a severely injured Rick was saved (or was it abducted?) by former-enemy-turned-friend Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and her allegiance with the Civic Republic Military (CRM).

What TV fans didn’t know was that the cast had a goodbye party for Andrew Lincoln when he left the series back in 2019, and it involved a little fun with a well-known song from the Rolling Stones called “Angie.”

“When Andy [Andrew Lincoln] left the original, the flagship show, and we had a send-off for him, I rewrote the words to ‘Angie’ by the Rolling Stones as ‘Andy’ and a few of us sang it for him,” McIntosh laughs. “We had a little goofy send-off at Melissa McBride’s house [who plays Carol] and we all got together and there was a lot of silly cabaret involved in it, lots of dressing up and goofiness. And one of the things was us singing this song. The end of ‘Angie’ by the Rolling Stones [was something like] ‘Ain’t it good to be alive,’ and I changed it to ‘Ain’t it good to leave alive.’ Because who leaves The Walking Dead alive!”

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, Season 1

Credit: AMC

As for the Rolling Stones’ 1973 song, “Angie,” there are a lot of stories swirling around the real meaning. Mick Jagger has professed: “I’ve said about a hundred million times that it wasn’t [about Angela Bowie] … I don’t think I had even met Angela Bowie when I wrote the rest of the lyrics.”

According to American Songwriter, Keith Richards penned the song, and once shared: “The basic melody and the title were mine. I’d recently had my daughter born, whose name was Angela, and the name was starting to ring around the house. But I’m into writing about my babies. Angie just fitted. I mean, you couldn’t sing Maureen.”

Whatever the true story, it fit right in for Andy Lincoln and the cast of The Walking Dead.

What are the chances fans will get to see that video? No chance, tells McIntosh, that’s one they are keeping to themselves. In the meantime, we couldn’t be more excited to see them return for what could be their final chapter.

Pollyanna McIntosh as Jadis, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, Season 1

Credit: Gene Page/AMC

As for the new series and Jadis and Rick’s relationship, McIntosh shares: “The first work that Andy and I did together was a very intense scene. It just didn’t disappoint in the playfulness, the emotion, the joy, the high fives between takes. … Rick Grimes has a way of looking at things a little differently, and there’s some conflict of opinion there. So I’d say she’s challenged in this show perhaps more than we’ve ever seen her be challenged before.”

And prepare for some emotion in these six episodes, too!

“There’s some extraordinary stuff in there. There’s an exploration of the male experience that I think I’ve certainly been missing in a lot of other things I’ve been watching. And there’s a lot of action, which I love — you can see and feel it and understand what’s happening and be in the moment with the characters,” she shares. “It’s not black and white. I think that’s one of the reasons that people love it so much is that the show understands the nuance of being a human. And life ain’t black and white, it’s complicated. I would say watch it with somebody you can squeeze the hand of, that you can hide in the shoulder of, and that will be there to hold you when you’re having a good cry.”

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February 2024

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