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Rolling Stones 


2012 sees the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones will and the word is that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are meeting in December to decide how they will celebrate.  According to industry sources Richards says. “I don’t see why in the world the Stones can’t put together some kind of show next year – I’d almost count on it. It doesn’t have to be the whole spectacle bullshit again, but we’ve got to find our own way through this.” Jagger is reported as saying “Anything’s possible.”, and adding this; “It is quite amazing when you think about it,”

Rolling Stone reported thata top source -AEG Live, Live Nation and veteran Rolling Stones promoter Michael Cohl have already reached out about acquiring the band’s anniversary tour, which is potentially the biggest tour ever. “It would be a total home run,” source is reported to have said.

The world of rock music is fully attentive – Sting says “In Western society the Rolling Stones are iconic figures”. “I hope they’ll stop bickering. I’d like to see them doing what they do.” Joe Perry – “I would love to see them just go and do arenas and have it be as stripped-down as possible, like they did on the Exile tour – when they had the horn section and Ian Stewart was playing keyboards. As close as they could get to that would be great.”

Following a band meeting in September at the Stones’ London office, Keith Richards, guitarist Ronnie Wood and drummer Charlie Watts were set to meet in November to jam in London. “I would suggest a lot of blues in the beginning,” says Keith Richards. “That’s where the band’s roots are. We’ll start playing some Jimmy Reed stuff and some Muddy Waters stuff and then things will blossom from there. It might bore Mick to death – and that’s the idea. We’re just going to go, and you start from Day One. You’ve got the drums and a couple of guitars and you start hammering away.” Richards reportedly added – “Mick is welcome, I’m sure he’ll turn up.”

Richards’ 2010 memoir, Life (click for review) painted a negative portrait of Jagger and his contributions to the Stones – straining the duo’s relationship. Ronnie Wood reportedly says “I think there’s a healing process waiting to take place,” and added “I think it’s happening now as we speak, but it has to be resolved. Something has to be resolved there. They have to come to terms with going on a working basis, which Charlie and I will help make happen. Wish me luck!”

Bobby Keys, the Rolling Stones saxophonist is recorded as laughing and saying “Yeah; that old healing process…boy, that is an ongoing process. But last time I was onstage with them, there was no blood lost. They always seem to work it out.” Longtime friend Peter Wolf adds, “If one looks at the history of great collaborations, Gilbert and Sullivan didn’t always have a good time at it, either. But once they choose to get together to work, that is usually the great healer.” Mind you we can’t help wondering why he chose Gilbert and Sullivan, why not Gilbert & George, Little & Large or Morecambe & Wise? – It is a common pattern

Keith Richards has said he’s up for another massive world stadium and arena just like 2005′s Bigger Bang tour, but isn’t sure Mick Jagger wants to make such a large commitment. “I don’t know about that,” Richards says. “I don’t think Mick would. We’d like to be ready to be able to do it if the idea starts to happen. I’d even invite Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor back in. Why not? It is 50 years and everyone deserves a party.”

Adds Jagger, “That’d be very complete if it all happened.” Taylor and Wyman have both worked with the Stones recently: Mick Taylor, who left the band in 1974 to pursue a solo career, contributed new guitar work on last year’s Exile on Main Street (click for article) re-issue, and Bill Wyman, who departed in 1992, plays bass on a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Watching the River Flow’ that the band recorded for a 2011 tribute album to late keyboard player Ian Stewart. “I’ve been reading about the possibilities in the press, but Keith hasn’t turned his lips in my direction yet,” says Wyman. “Let’s see what transpires over the next few weeks, and I can then make a serious decision. I’ve got my chops together, and I know that my mate Charlie has his together as well – so let’s see if it ever happens.” Sounds very good to us.

An option that some insiders have floated is the  band playing multi-night runs in major cities; thet touched on this with a short run at the O2 in 2007. “I think the idea of doing multiple shows in certain cities – New York, L.A., maybe Chicago, maybe Atlanta – would be wonderful,” says longtime keyboardist Chuck Leavell. We say fine but don’t forget good old England chaps! Bobby Keys agrees: “In my fantasy of Rolling Stones gigs, I would like to see a gig that’s centralized in one place: Let the people come to us instead of making all that traveling. That’s always the main thing that bothers me about going on the road. It didn’t used to, but hell, now we’re all in our late sixties and shit, and it’s just kind of a pain in the ass.” Strikes us that there is a real good idea here – it would work really well in the UK, say,  a two centre tour?

For its 40th anniversary in 2002, the band launched the massive Forty Licks Tour, playing stadiums, arenas and small venues (sometimes all in the same city) and releasing a career retrospective with new songs. This time around, there is no sign of new material. “I’m not writing for the Stones right now,” says Keith Richards, who has been working on a solo project “…reminiscent of early Chess records.” “I’m cutting my own stuff with [producer and drummer] Steve Jordan,” he says. “There’s no point in writing for the Stones until I know that Mick Jagger is in. He could have every song I’ve ever written. They’re all for him. If he doesn’t like them –– I take them somewhere else.” Adds Wood, “I think we have so much back catalog that we would go out without new material, but then again one of the boys might go, ‘No, I wouldn’t dream of going out unless we have new material. I don’t mind, really.’”

The band last played live together in August 2007 at London’s O2 Arena, wrapping the two-year, $558 million Bigger Bang tour. “We were riding the top of the wave,” says Wood. “I didn’t want it to end.” Since then, the Stones have been unusually busy: Jagger released an album with reggae-soul supergroup  Super-Heavy; Richards published the bestselling Life; Watts toured with his longtime jazz group; and Wood released a solo album, exhibited paintings and hosted a U.K. classic-rock radio show. In between, the group went back into the studio to add new parts to outtakes included with the stellar ‘Exile on Main-Street’ and ‘Some Girls’ re-issues (click for review)

Mick Jagger is probably the least-nostalgic of the Stones, the looming anniversary has had him reflecting on just how far the band has come. “It’s a very different group than the one that played 50 years ago,” he says. “When I think about it, one part of me goes, ‘We’re slightly cheating,’ because it’s not the same band – still the same name, but it’s only Keith and myself that are the same people, I think. I’ve tried to find out when Charlie’s first gig was [but can't]. But it’s an amazing achievement. It’s fantastic and I’m very proud of it.”

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