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Inside the Rolling Stones' Reunion

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  • Robert
    Inside the Rolling Stones Reunion Mick Jagger and Keith Richards tell all about the band s 50th-anniversary blowout Read more:
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 25, 2012
      Inside the Rolling Stones' Reunion
      Mick Jagger and Keith Richards tell all about the band's 50th-anniversary blowout

      Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/inside-the-rolling-stones-reunion-20121024#ixzz2AL8roI4o


      By Brian Hiatt
      October 24, 2012 7:00 AM ET

      The Rolling Stones
      Martin Philbey/Redferns
      After half a century of hits, addictions, mayhem and enough bad blood to flood the Thames, the Rolling Stones have gotten it together just in time to celebrate their latest anniversary onstage. But Mick Jagger isn't inclined to get all mushy about the achievement. "I wanted to
      call the tour 'Fuck Off,'" Jagger says. "But no one went for that."
      Adds Keith Richards, "To keep a band together this long, let alone a rock & roll band,
      is probably unique in musical history. After all, that's what I was born for: to make musical history." What the Stones have announced so far is not quite a tour: They're playing four shows this year, on November
      25th and 29th at London's O2 arena, and on December 13th and 15th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. But Richards doubts they'll
      end there. "My experience with the Rolling Stones," he says, "is that
      once the juggernaut starts rolling, it ain't gonna stop. So without sort of saying definitely yes – yeah. We ain't doing all this for four
      gigs!"
      Rare and Intimate Pictures of the Rolling Stones
      The Stones expect former guitarist Mick Taylor (who quit in 1974) and founding bassist Bill Wyman (gone since '93) to come on board for the
      four shows, but only as guests on a few songs. Richards emphasizes that
      longtime touring bassist Darryl Jones isn't going anywhere. "Darryl
      doesn't get enough recognition," says Richards. "He and Bill can talk
      about songs they want to step in and out of." For the final show in
      Newark (to be broadcast live on pay-per-view), more guests are likely to pop by – Ron Wood drops names like Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck as possibilities.
      The band shrugs off grumbling about the $800-plus it's charging for
      the best tickets. "As Keith said, 'Sounds about right,'" says Wood. "I'd pay it! We already spent, like, a million on rehearsing, and we're not
      even halfway through. And the stage is going to cost millions and
      millions."
      The Stones also have a new career-spanning documentary, Crossfire Hurricane, directed by Brett Morgen, that debuts on HBO on November 15th. In less
      than two hours, the film races through history from the band's earliest
      shows at the Marquee Club to the arrival of Wood, keeping a relatively
      light tone throughout. "I never wanted to make a nostalgic movie," says Jagger. "It's got to be kind of irreverent."
      One prerequisite for the Rolling Stones' reunion was an apology from
      Richards to Jagger for the stream of insults the guitarist included in Life, his bestselling 2011 memoir. "He did apologize, to my face," says
      Jagger quietly. "So you have to put all that sort of stuff away. Water
      under the bridge, really. Hopefully, you know, we can carry on working."
      Adds Richards, "It was something to get out of the bloody way so we
      could get the band on the road. You know, I'll say sorry to God if you
      like. I don't give a shit. I said, 'Look forward, brother, look
      forward.' If you was married to somebody for 50 years, you can have your little spats here and there, and we don't mind having them in public
      occasionally. We can't get divorced – we're doing it for the kids!"
      "Doom and Gloom," the newly recorded single from the band's latest greatest-hits collection, GRRR!, sounds more or less like classic Stones, albeit with modern production
      tweaks. But that doesn't mean that Jagger and Richards have revived
      their songwriting partnership quite yet. The song began as a demo that
      Jagger made on his own, and even the opening guitar riff turns out to be Jagger playing, not Richards. "I don't give a damn," says Richards.
      "He'd never have learned how to play that without me teaching him how to do it."
      Another factor in the long hiatus since the 2007 finale of the Bigger Bang tour was Wood's struggle with alcohol addiction. He's now in his third
      year of sobriety, and he expects to keep it up on the road, though
      previous tours were always a challenge. "Looking back," says Wood,
      "there was always that secret vodka, like the one before I'd go onstage. Which was never just one, anyway."
      Richards is also drinking significantly less. "I don't get
      ridiculous," he says. "I like a glass of wine with my meal and
      everything, but I've given up sort of waking up and having a drink, you
      know? I gave up smack, I can give up anything. No big deal to me, I do
      it to impress other people. But if they come up with a great new drug,
      I'll be the first one on it, believe me."
      Richards argues that his substance use, or lack thereof, has little
      effect on his playing, but Wood disagrees. "Keith is a pleasure to play
      with now," Wood says. "It was a pain on the last tour toward the end,
      because he was really going for it on the drinking and denial. But now
      he's realized that he has gotta look after himself." Since Richards
      isn't completely sober, Wood is inclined to keep an eye on him. "I'm not going to preach to him," he says. "I will step in if I see any danger."
      The Stones seem genuinely excited about their recent rehearsals in Paris, which have included rarely played songs such as the Lennon-McCartney-penned "I Wanna Be Your Man" and the Aftermath ballad "Lady Jane." "Going in, one thinks, 'Oh, my Christ, I'm a
      doddering old man,'" says Richards. "But it's not true! The payoff from
      the energy that's been wound up over the five years is incredible."
      For Jagger, performing with the Stones means living up to a
      reputation as an ageless physical marvel, which he insists is highly
      exaggerated. "Everyone's human," he says, "and you can't really expect
      it to last forever. On the other hand, you try to keep yourself in
      shape. Obviously you can't do the same things [onstage] you did when you were 19, so you have to do other things. There's no miracles in life."
      But he knows that fans expect him to somehow be an exception: "It's a
      bit of a burden, really, isn't it? I better be OK, at least."
      If anything, the physical burden is even harder on 71-year-old
      Charlie Watts, who has a masseuse on hand for his back after every
      rehearsal. "It takes a heavy toll playing them drums," says Wood, "to
      make it look like he's doing nothing, and to make it sound like those
      firecrackers going off. It all goes to his back, you know? He suffers
      terribly."
      The Stones are bracing themselves to be asked yet again if this could be the last time. But even if it was, they'd never tell you. "That's
      not a card, in my opinion, that should be played," says Jagger, who says he'd like to record another Stones album eventually. "I know lots of
      people do play that card, but it nearly always backfires on them."
      It's not lost on the Rolling Stones that they won't be alone on the road this winter, with so many of their peers – Bob Dylan, the Who and Paul McCartney, to name a few – also playing to huge audiences at
      this very late date. "What can you say?" Richards says. "It's a hell of a generation."
      This story is from the November 8th, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.

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