THE ROLLING STONES CHRONICLE

1989
 

Oh no, not you again


    Early January 1989: Mick Jagger is vacationing in Mustique, Keith Richards in Antigua.
 

    January 10, 1989: Ron Wood attend's Rod Stewart's birthday party in London, England.
 

c. January 15-17, 1989: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards meet up in Barbados to discuss working together
    and start writing songs.
   

Keith Richards (1989): Getting back together

With Mick, I mean, he's my mate, I know I'm going to fight with him. You don't think of it in terms of being carried out via the international press, and when you actually get back together again and start working, and it's just the two of you in a room, you're lying on the floor laughing. Remember when you said that I was a THIS, and I called you a THAT? And then we start cracking up. A lot of the problems are in other people's perceptions of us. Where we get off on each other is when we're working together, and when you walk into a room and say, Well, we've got to finish the record by June and it's already the middle of February and we don't have a song yet, and within two or three hours you've got two or three songs, you start to forget about all the other crap. You're on a roll, once things start going. I mean, nobody in their right mind breaks a roll. You follow it, and it's much more fun than recriminations.

It's the easiest thing in the world to work with the Stones, and for me to work with Mick. Mick and I work perfectly together. It's when we're not working that we have problems.


 

    January 16, 1989: Ron Wood attends the opening of his artshow at the Hamilton Gallery in London.
 

    January 17-18, 1989: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards fly in to New York from the Caribbean, Ron Wood from
        England.
 

January 18, 1989: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Mick Taylor are on hand at the Waldorf
    Astoria Hotel in New York City as the Rolling Stones are inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
    (by Pete Townshend) during the 4th annual ceremony. This is the the Rolling Stones' first public
    appearance since early 1986. They join in on the end-of-ceremony jam with Stevie Wonder, Tina
    Turner, Little Richard, The Temptations and others, performing Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women and
    Start Me Up among others.
 
 

Mick Jagger (January 18, 1989): Accepting the award

You know, it's slightly ironic that tonight you see us on our best behavior, but we're being rewarded for 25 years of bad behavior. And there's a bit of music on the side. I have to be slightly sappy, I suppose. I must say I'm very proud to work with this group of musicians for the last 25 years... Bill and Charlie couldn't make it. We're pleased to be with Ronnie, Keith and myself. The other thing I'm very proud of are the songs that Keith and I have written over the last 25 years... Jean Cocteau said that Americans are funny people. First you shock them, and then they put you in a museum. But we're not ready to hang up the number yet, so on behalf of the Stones, I'd like to thank you very much.


 

January 19, 1989: Charlie Watts joins Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood for a band meeting in
    New York City to discuss their plans.
 

    January 20, 1989: Keith Richards returns to Antigua, Mick Jagger leaves for Texas and Charlie Watts returns to
        England, while Ron Wood leaves New York for Washington D.C.
 

    January 21, 1989: Ron Wood takes part in U.S. President George Bush's inauguration party in Washington D.C.,
        performing with Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon, Percy Sledge and others.
 

    January 22, 1989: Ron Wood leaves Washington D.C. for Miami, Florida.
 

    January 25-26, 1989: Ron Wood plays behind Don Covay at Woody's On The Beach in Miami.
 

January 29-February 6, 1989: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards return to Barbados, at Blue Wave
    Studios, to and write and record demos.
 
 

Mick Jagger (1989): Doing it in a year

When Keith and I sat down originally and talked about going on the road, playing together, I never thought that it would be problematic. I think Keith thought making an album and going on the road with it was a huge deal, that we could never really do it. Historically, he was quite correct. We'd never made an album in less than a year. I thought, Let's get it ALL done in a year. Then we've done it. We've proved we can make a record, we've proved we can tour. We can do it and still be up for it, not be bored with it all. A year's only a year. So we just have to put up with each other for a year.


 

    February 6-10, 1989: Mick Jagger spends time in England.
 

    February 8, 1989: Keith Richards returns to New York City.
 

    February 9, 1989: Keith Richards shoots a videoclip for Make No Mistake in New York City, and jams with the
        X-Pensive Winos.
 

    February 13, 1989: In London, Ron Wood and Bill Wyman are presenters at the BPI Awards. Bill Wyman sess Mandy
        Smith again.
 

February 13-February 19, 1989: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are back in Barbados, continuing work
    on demos.
 
 

Mick Jagger (1992): Choosing Michael Cohl instead of Bill Graham to promote the tour

That was a strange situation. Basically, you don't want to do deals with the same people you did deals with before... Whatever the reasons, you look at the offers that you get, right? So I looked at the offers for the Rolling Stones tour, and ultimately I had to make a business decision. You do a certain amount of work and you get paid a certain amount of money. There's money involved and then there's personalities involved and you have to balance all these things up. You don't always go for the most money, otherwise it would be very simple,. It was a very hard decision because we'd worked with Bill before. But you know, we'd only done one big tour with Bill. That doesn't mean you have to do every tour for the rest of your life... The difference was really 17 million dollars. 17 million dollars is a lot of money!


 

    February 18, 1989: Bill Wyman performs in an all-star benefit concert in Ringwood, England.
 

February 20-March 8, 1989: Charlie Watts joins Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in Barbados, continuing
    demo work.
 
 

Keith Richards (1989): Charlie joins in

I was driving up to the rehearsal joint, and I heard Charlie in there and I just sat in the parking lot for five minutes. He was so crisp, so tight, I thought, We've got the songs, we've got the drummer. I was smiling, like, no problem.


 

    March 8, 1989: In London, Bill Wyman meets again with now-18-years-old Mandy Smith and they decide to start
        their relationship again.
 

March 9-22, 1989: Bill Wyman and Ron Wood join the other Rolling Stones in Barbados, to complete
    demo recording.
 
 

Ron Wood (2003): Kid gloves

When we got back together for Steel Wheels, the atmosphere was kind of kid gloves, but there was nevertheless a happy feeling. You could see everybody breathing a sigh of relief that Mick and keith were getting on again. Thank God!


 

    March 23, 1989: Bill Wyman and Ron Wood start an Easter break in Antigua, Keith Richards returns to New York.
 

    March 26, 1989: On the phone to London from Antigua, Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith decide to get married.
 

    March 31, 1989: Keith Richards flies from New York to Montserrat. A band conversation is held with Bill Wiman in how
        best to handle the media's attention over his and Mandy Smith's upcoming wedding.
 

March 31-May 5, 1989: The Rolling Stones gather at Air Studios in Montserrat (The Virgin Islands),
    where they record their next album, with co-producer Chris Kimsey back at the helm.
 
 

Keith Richards (1989): Recording at Montserrat

Everything is there (at AIR Studios in Montserrat). A great bar, great restaurant, great cook. You got pool tables, a swimming pool, TV, video, all in the studio complex. The studio itself is like a plus. It's the best place to live on the island! Mick had reservations: I'll go crazy there for 2 months, there's nothing to do. And I said, You could always work!

There's a lot of energy in the band right now. This new record's been miraculously fast for us. Mick and I are still holding our breath, saying, This can't last.


 

    April 1-2, 1989: Bill Wyman returns to Antigua to field press questions about his upcoming marriage, before
        returning to Montserrat.
 

    Early May 1989: Ron Wood's restaurant/nightclub, Woody's On The Beach, in Miami, Florida, closes its doors.
 

    May 4, 1989: Bill Wyman returns to London, England, where he discovers Mandy Smith has health problems.
 

    May 9, 1989: Bill Wyman attends, along with Ron Wood, the opening of his restaurant/nightclub, Sticky Fingers, in
        London, England.
 

May 15-June 29, 1989: The Rolling Stones (primarily Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) hold mixing
    sessions for the new album at Olympic Sound Studios in London, England, which they last used for
    Goats Head Soup in 1973.
 
 

Keith Richards (1989): Ride like the wind

In the record industry, I know for a fact they were all like, ha ha ha, the Stones are gonig to make a record by June? It'll be like next JANUARY - this is the biggest disaster of the year about to take place. But in actual fact, working to the deadline added an incredible amount of zest and much more decisiveness in the playing and in the decision making.

It was very important to me (for the Stones to get back together), and even more since we've been doing it. I realized that this is the best time; this year was like the perfect moment, if it was going to happen at all. In another year or so, if we hadn't've hit it, it would have been more and more difficult to put it together. I guess with the Stones, you have to sort of accept this mysterious chemistry about 'em. I mean, I look at them sometimes and think, that's all there is? Count them out - Mick, Charlie, Bill, Ron, me? That's really all there is, you know, and you have to take that into consideration with these boys, and you can never really put your finger on why it suddenly happens, but they just STORMED in on this record.


 
Keith Richards (2003): Getting on with Bernard

When we were working at Olympic Studios in London, Mick had Bernard Fowler and Pierre de Beauport with him. They'd been out in Australia with Mick and pissed him off because they played Talk Is Cheap all the time. I was playing Slipping Away with Bernard Fowler, and it was the first time we'd sung together. I told Bernard, Shit, man, I didn't WANT to like you, because you're his man. And now I probably couldn't anything on the guitar without Pierre.


 
Keith Richards (2003): Re-inventing the Rolling Stones

I knew that album was about starting over. The important thing was to do it, not how good it was or wasn't. Either that was where the thing was going to break and all the wheels would fall off forever or we'd survive and carry on. The next ten years for me were just trying to reinvent and re-establish the Stones in a new way, considering what we'd all gone through.


 

    Late May 1989: Keith Richards returns to New York City from London, England.
 

    May 31, 1989: Keith Richards and the X-Pensive Winos perform on U.S. TV's International Rock Awards, from the
        Armory in New York City, where Keith RIchards receives a Living Legend Award.
 

    June 1, 1989: Keith Richards returns to London, England but misses Ron Wood's birthday party.
 

    June 2, 1989: Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith hold a secret register-office wedding in Suffolk, England.
 

    June 5, 1989: The Rolling Stones all attend Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith's church wedding in London, England.
 

    June 7, 1989: Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith start their honeymoon in Vence, France, joined by Ron Wood who is in
        France promoting the Rolling Stones' next album and tour.
 

    June 11, 1989: Ron Wood starts a brief holiday in Ireland.
 

June 16-17, 1989: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood are in Tangier, Morocco, at the Palace of
    Ben Abbou, where they record the Master Musicians of Jajouka for the song Continental Drift.
 

    Mid-to-late June 1989: Keith Richards contributes on a recording session by Donovan in London, England.
 

    June 24, 1989: Keith Richards hangs out with Wimbledon tennis players at the Hard Rock Café in London.
 

    June 26, 1989: Mick Jagger and family attend a party at Bob Geldof's in Kent, England.
 

    c. July 5, 1989: Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts all arrive in New York City.
 

    July 9, 1989: Mick Jagger Concordes from London, England, to New York City. Bill Wyman also flies in.
 

July 11, 1989: The Rolling Stones board a train in The Bronx and arrive at New York City's Grand Central,
    where they hold a press conference announcing the 1989 Steel Wheels North American Tour.
 
 

Keith Richards (July 11, 1989): The glory

We're doing it for the glory, darling, the glory.


 

July 12-August 12, 1989: The Rolling Stones start tour rehearsals at Wykeham Rise Girls' School in
    Washington, Connecticut.
 
 

Mick Jagger & Ron Wood (1989): Not a "reunion" tour

Mick: I don't see it as a retrospective or a farewell or anything like that. It's the Rolling Stones in 1989.

Ron: (T)his is a tour on its own. Besides, I don't think we ever officially went away, so this isn't any sort of reunion tour.


 
Chuck Leavell (1994): Choosing the set list

I think I would be correct in saying that they mostly look to me for taking cues, in terms of actual arrangements and endings and setting the tempos. They also look to me to work on the set list. On the Steel Wheels tour, Mick and I got together after realizing we had 70 songs. His suggestion was, Look. You write your list, I'll write my list, and we'll compare. We each put 30 songs down, and we were maybe five songs different. Then we presented it to the band.


 

    July 26, 1989: The Rolling Stones celebrate Mick Jagger's 46th birthday party with a barbecue.
 

August 3, 1989: At their rehearsal site in Connecticut, the Rolling Stones shoot a videoclip for Mixed
    Emotions.
 
 

Mick Jagger (August 1989): Getting the circus ready

I loved playing my solo gigs last year; if I hadn't enjoyed that, I wouldn't have done this. I probably wouldn't have been so confident doing this, either. But I get a lot of buzz out of doing other things - I get really involved in what I call business. I just love all the graphics and the stage design and all that. If it wasn't for that, it would be really quite boring, because you're doing the same songs. I mean, I can do Jumpin' Jack Flash in the bath at midnight, on my head. I don't need to rehearse to do that, I really don't. But to make it different, from the stage to the t-shirts, it's a tremendous amount of work, but it's fun because it's not something you do every day. To me, that keeps the interest going, as well as the music. The music's great and all that, but it isn't 100% of the show. It might be for Keith, but it really isn't. It's a huge show and it's got lighting plots and gimmicks. It's like going to see a musical - you want hit songs but that isn't going to be enough.

Charlie's been really helpful, actually. When we were doing Dirty Work I didn't have anyone helping me and it was hopeless, but now Charlie's been a great help with all the visuals and everything, so that's always good.


 

August 12, 1989: The Rolling Stones take the stage for the first time in three and a half years,
    performing an unnannouced, rehearsal show at Toad's Place in New Haven, Connecticut.
 

August 13-25, 1989: The Rolling Stones switch rehearsals to Long Island, New York's Nassau Coliseum.
 

August 17, 1989: The Rolling Stones' lead single off their next album, Mixed Emotions, is released.
 
 
 
 
 

August 27-30, 1989: The Rolling Stones hold last rehearsals at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium.
 
 

Mick Jagger (1989): The money

Of course, we're doing it for the money, AS WELL. We've always done it for the money. People get highly paid in rock & roll. That's why it's so attractive. It's like boxing. People don't do boxing for nothing. They start off doing it because they hope to get to the top, because when they get to the top, they'll make lots of money. I mean, THAT'S America. But also, to my mind, it has to be done in a good way where it doesn't rip people off. It's got to be good value for money. You shouldn't charge less than everyone else. You can charge more than everyone else, but you also have to give them more than everyone else.


 
Ron Wood & Keith Richards (1989): No longer winging it

Ron: We're doing You Can't Always Get What You Want just like the record, with all the builds and crescendos. In '81, we would just start the song and kind of wing it. I used to have a solo that wasn't any specific length. But now we've got to work within limitations, certain amounts of bars. I've got to be on the ball or everyone will be making chord changes and I won't. That one song has got a lot of tricks in it for me personally.

Keith: Over the years, you develop a simplified road version of a song that you get used to. But this time, we thought, Let's go back and listen very carefully to the records to find what we were originally going for when we made it. All the subtleties and the half bar jumps. We thought we ought to do the songs up proud and have the things that were on the record. And once you go back and research what you did, you say, Well, the reason we did it like that is because we had these voices or because we had these horns. That's why we have the enlarged line-up. Tumbling Dice without the voices is kind of bare.


 
Chuck Leavell: A new era

When the Steel Wheels tour rolled around, there was a determination like I'd never experienced with the band. In '82 there was a casual attitude. Yep, we get onstage, we do our bit, and we go. The rehearsal was ten days long. Steel Wheels was eight weeks of rehearsal. The feeling was, if we're going to go out there and do another Rolling Stones tour, it has to be the best Rolling Stones tour that's ever been... So that attitude prevailed, thank heaven, and it was extraordinary, it really was.


 
Keith Richards (1989): The Grail

We're still looking for the ultimate Rolling Stones. We're never going to find it, but it's like the Holy Grail. It's the quest that's important, not finding it.


 

August 29, 1989: The Rolling Stones' 21th U.S. and 19th UK studio album, Steel Wheels, is released.
 
 
 
 
 
 

August 31-September 1, 1989: The Rolling Stones kick off their first tour in seven years, the 1989 Steel
    Wheels North American Tour, a (near) stadium-only tour, with two concerts at Philadelphia's
    Veterans Stadium. Accompanying the Stones onstage are a horn section, including Bobby Keys; Chuck
    Leavell and Matt Clifford on keyboards; and, for the first time on a Stones tour, backing vocalists,
    including Bernard Fowler and Lisa Fischer, who start their journey with the band. The tour features
    songs rarely or never performed before, such as 2000 Light Years from Home, and deliberately tighter
    arrangements and playing than on previous Rolling Stones tours.
 
 

Mick Jagger (1989): Opening night

I quite like (having the band's families) there. I think it provides a lot of support. Some people might feel it's a nuisance, but you've got to put it in perspective. They're all so experienced that I don't think it's a problem. Actually, they were all very supportive, I think. And I was less nervous this opening night than any opening night I've ever had. Even with Keith's mum there. I mean I've known Keith's mum since I was 4. It's almost like having me own mum there.


 
Mick Jagger & Charlie Watts (2003): The Steel Wheels stage

Mick: The logistics of the Steel Wheels tour were fantastic. The show was enormous and the steel framework for it was huge. This was the first time that we had worked on that scale for a whole tour. We had done a lot of stadium shows, but never so many together, and we had never done them so lavishly, so big or so expensively. Even Mark Fisher and I were shocked when we finally got to put it up for the first time: it took about five days... We started trying to make some intellectual sense out of it. We asked other people who said that - depending on where they were sitting - it represented a factory or something out of Blade Runner. It meant a lot of things to different people.

Charlie: The Steel Wheels stage was huge. Mick used to run about four miles a night. When he first started doing that I felt as if I was the only one on stage because Keith also started heading off along the wings, and Ronnie would be off somewhere else. Of course Matt Clifford was there on the keyboards - and Bill was there, because he never moved, but I still felt very isolated because I had no front men. Eventually I grew used to it and now it feels quite normal.


 
Ron Wood (2003): Adding horns

We had the Uptown Horns with us on the Steel Wheels and Urban Jungle tours. That's something that grew out of Mick touring with his own band and us using some of the musicians he worked with... Having the brass is a useful element... It doesn't limit what we do, it changes it. It gives you another level of freedom if a particular area of a song is covered by brass or by background vocals. It gives you the space to put in maybe just one note that's important or a particular riff, knowing that you have that hole covered behind you.


 

September 3-4, 1989: The Rolling Stones perform their first tour dates in Canada since 1975, with two
    shows at Toronto's C.N.E. Stadium.
 

September 6-11, 1989: The Rolling Stones perform a concert in Pittsburgh, followed by three shows at
    East Troy, Wisconsin's Alpine Valley Music Theatre, their first ever in the town, for Chicago area fans.
    Sugar Blue guests stars on Miss You in East Troy.
 
 

Mick Jagger (September 6, 1989): Starting the marathon

I'm more disciplined than I was before. (I can keep this up 't)il December 19th (laughs). I did it on my solo tour in Australia and Japan, and there's no  reason why I can't do it here. I train pretty hard and try to stay in shape; it's just like being on the tennis circuit without the coke.


 
Keith Richards (September 11,  1989): Wheels are rolling

(They shows are) going well, so far. We're keeping our fingers crossed, and I'll hit the wood here, but, yeah, they're getting better every day. The band's really winding up now. (T)his has been a dream year for the Stones as a band.


 

    September 13, 1989: Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts witness an Elton John concert in Cincinnati.
 

September 14-19, 1989: The Rolling Stones perform one stadium concert each in Cincinnati, Raleigh, St.
    Louis and Louisville, Kentucky. Johnnie Johnson joins the Stones for Little Red Rooster in St. Louis.
 
 

Ron Wood & Keith Richards (1989): A "clean" tour

Ron: (W)e have cut down a lot. I'm sure I, or Keith, or Bill might have an occasional drink. But Mick and Charlie, no.

Keith: The heavy drugs are out, of course. I'd be an idiot - probably wouldn't be here - if I hadn't cut them out. But I don't look to go through life being someone's image of Keith Richards. I'm inside him. The idea of partying for nine days in order to keep the image of Keith Richards is stupid. That was Keith Richards then. Now I'll stay up just two or three days.


 

September 21-22, 1989: The Rolling Stones perform two concerts at Syracuse, New York's Carrier Dome.
 

September 24-25, 1989: The Rolling Stones perform two shows at Washington D.C.'S RFK Stadium. They
    decline an invitation to the White House.
 

    September 26, 1989: Bill Wyman and Ron Wood hang out with Republican Party chairman Lee Atwater in
        Washington D.C.
 

September 27-October 3, 1989: Following a show in Cleveland, the Rolling Stones perform three
    concerts at the Foxboro (Boston) Sullivan Stadium. While in Boston, the Rolling Stones film the
    videoclip for Rock and a Hard Place.
 

    October 3, 1989: Mick Jagger visits and talks with Governor Michael Dukakis at the Massachusetts State House.
 

October 5-8, 1989: The Rolling Stones perform in Birmingham, Alabama's Legion Field, then in Iowa for
    the first time in their career, at Ames' Cyclone Field, followed by Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium.
 

    October 9, 1989: In New York, the Rolling Stones all attend a party celebrating 25 years of marriage between
        Charlie and Shirley Watts.
 

October 10-11, 1989: The Rolling Stones perform two concerts at New York City's Shea Stadium. Eric
    Clapton joins the band onstage during Little Red Rooster.
 

    October 11, 1989: Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Ron Wood leave for Los Angeles for a week's rest.
 

    October 14, 1989: Ron Wood and Eric Clapton spend a day at the track in the Los Angeles region.
 

    October 15, 1989: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards leave New York for Los Angeles.
 

    October 16, 1989: Bill Wyman and Ron Wood attend an opening for a Michael Cooper book of rock photos.
 

    October 17, 1989: Ron Wood attends a gallery of his artwork in Los Angeles.
 

October 18-22, 1989: The Rolling Stones perform four concerts at Los Angeles' Memorial Coliseum.
 

    October 24, 1989: Bill Wyman celebrates his 53rd birthday at a club in New York City, with Charlie Watts, Eric
        Clapton, Sting and others attending. Ron Wood's new nightclub, Woody's In The Village, opens in New York.
 

October 25-29, 1989: The Rolling Stones perform four more concerts at New York City's Shea Stadium.
 

    October 27, 1989: Keith Richards catches a show by classical guitarist Carlos Montoya in New York. Mick Jagger sees
        the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform at The Ritz.
 

November 1-2, 1989: The Rolling Stones return to Vancouver for the first time since 1972, performing
    two concerts at B.C. Place Stadium.
 
 

Keith Richards: Age-ism

The hardest bit from that period, from about 1989 onwards, was the fact that we, the Stones, were thinking, We're putting it back together again, we're determined to do it and anyway why not? and at the same time we had to deal with the sledgehammer of people talking about the wrinkled old rockers and all of that bullshit. It's a question of how to deal with the music business and the press conception of what you are supposed to do at a certain age. There is a lso a certain amount of being wished to death, a certain amount of jealousy.


 

November 4-5, 1989: The Rolling Stones perform two shows at Oakland's Alameda Country Coliseum.
    Mick Jagger visits the area hit by an October earthquake and the Rolling Stones donate $500 000 to
    the victims.
 

November 8-13, 1989: The Rolling Stones swing through the South, performing at Houston's Astrodome,
    Dallas' Cotton Bowl (2 shows) and New Orleans' Superdome.
 

    November 10 or 11, 1989: While in Dallas, Keith jams onstage with the Stratoblasters.
 

November 15-25, 1989: The Rolling Stones continue through the Southeast, performing for the first time
    in Miami (two shows) and Tampa in Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; and Jacksonville in north Florida.
 

November 26, 1989: The Rolling Stones perform in South Carolina for the first time in their career,
    putting on a benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Hugo at Clemson's Death Valley Stadium.
 

November 29-30, 1989: The Rolling Stones engage the last leg of their North American tour, sweeping
    through northern cities again, starting with two concerts at Minneapolis' Metrodome.
 

December 2, 1989: At TV studios in Toronto, the Rolling Stones shoot a videoclip for Almost Hear You
    Sigh.
 

December 3-4, 1989: The Rolling Stones return to Toronto for two more shows, this time at the SkyDome.
 

December 6-10, 1989: The Rolling Stones play two shows each in Indianapolis and Detroit.
 
 

Mick Jagger & Keith Richards (December 9, 1989): Looking back

Mick: It's got that end-of-term feeling... (The tour coverage was) overly reverential... (There) was a criticism: Spontaneity was lacking. You don't come to the Rolling Stones in a stadium for spontaneity. You go to a jazz club. Spontaneity usually means mistakes, I find.

I was so insistent that we put out a new album, because I thought the Stones were becoming just a nostalgia thing. And they are nostalgia. They're out there selling their catalog and we're playing these old songs because a lot of them people want to hear. But you've got to put out new things. You've got to think for the future. The past is the past. It's gone, thank you very much.

This was the huge challenge: to do a good record and a good tour. And I think we've done really well. I mean, the record could have been BETTER; there could have been more HITS on it; it could have SOLD more. But, apart from that, the tour did really well. There's not been one night - and I'm a terrible critic of the Rolling Stones, I've said when they've been fucking useless - where I've felt that the band has not been worth the money paid. I'm quite pleased. I think the Rolling Stones have been very, very professional and kept a very high standard.

Keith: The amazing this about this band, I look around, say, like when I go up onstage. Mick. There's Charlie. There's Bill. There's Ronnie. I know I'm here. It's like Is that ALL? (laughs) Is this what all this is about? You're still looking for someone that really knows what's going on, because nobody does. 


 
Mick Jagger & Ron Wood (December 9-10, 1989): Looking to the future

Mick: You can't particularly plan the future that hard and fast. I mean, they want us to go and tour Japan, which is easy, lots of money, so you say, Yeah, OK. And then Europe. You say, Well, yeah, but not HUNDREDS of shows, because Europe is, like, a terrible nightmare compared to this. It's not so much money, it's much harder work, it's endless border problems, it's huge tax problems. No one gets that much money, you never know how much you're going to get, the stage can't be as good. It's a logistical nightmare. I was just doing that before you came in: How many thousands of hours can the stage be put up and how can we do it and on and on...

I don't know. After that, I don't know what happens, really. I've got enough planning to get to the end of this monstrous week: pay-per-views, special guests, songs lists for Axl. It's quite amusing, really. It always comes out right at the end, right?

Ron: We have to go to Europe. The round trip wouldn't be complete without going back. I'm getting into second gear of a five-speed box, so there's room to cruise. I know there are a lot of hassles with all the border crossings, languages, and not such good money, but believe me, it would be well boring if the whole world was the same, and God knows it's becoming more like that all the time. I'd like to play in Berlin.


 

December 13-14, 1989: Back in Montreal for the first time since 1972, the Rolling Stones perform two
    concerts at the Olympic Stadium. Members of opening band Living Colour join in on It's Only Rock 'n
    Roll.
 

December 17-20, 1989: The Rolling Stones conclude their 1989 North American Tour, the longest thus
    far in their history and highest grossing in rock at the time, with three concerts at Atlantic City's
    Convention Centre, the second being broadcast on pay-per-view, closed-circuit TV across North
    America. Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker and Guns 'n' Roses' Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin perform with
    the Stones onstage.
 

    December 20, 1989: Keith Richards returns home near New York City, Mick Jagger travels to Mustique for the
        holidays.
 

    December 21, 1989: Ron Wood, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman return to England.
 

    December 22, 1989: Bill Wyman holds a party at his home in England.
 

December 27, 1989: The Rolling Stones' new video documentary, 25 X 5: The Continuing Adventures of
    the Rolling Stones, is aired on TV.
 

    December 31, 1989: Keith Richards leaves for Antigua.
 
 
 
 

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