Just another mad, mad day on the road
|Keith Richards (Late February 2017): New Stones album
It was quite fun. We did a whole week in a little room, slowly putting a new album together.
|Mick Jagger (February 26, 2017): The Stones album in the works
I'm working on new songs now.
|Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & Ron Wood (March 18, 2017): Bye bye Chuck Berry
Mick: I am so sad to hear of Chuck Berry's passing. I want to thank him for all the inspirational music he gave to us. He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers. His lyrics shone above others & threw a strange light on the American dream. Chuck you were amazing & your music is engraved inside us forever.
Keith: One of my big lights has gone out.
Ron: So sad ~ with the passing of Chuck Berry comes the end of an era. He was one of the best and my inspiration, a true character indeed.
|Keith Richards (March 24, 2017): Chuck Berry's influence
(Over the years, we've) deliberately tried not to “do a Chuck Berry,” so to speak. But on every one, Chuck’s influence is there, for sure. And I love the fact that he could vary his music. When you listen to [You] Never Can Tell, he had a handle, he was very interested in various kinds of music. He used country music....[and] he was a great admirer of Hank Williams. We used to sit around talking about country writers.
I look upon (his signaatory guitar introductions) as sort of a clarion call, his way of saying, I’m here. That’s why those famous intros for Johnny B. Goode, Carol and Little Queenie are sort of the same. It was almost his own personal monogram on the damn thing before he would start.
People try and pick out things that are similar. Like Jimmy Reed - you want to talk about a guy who played the same song and beautifully! It’s not that - it’s the variations on the theme that count. Also the effortless ease of that rhythm he could produce, which everybody else pumps away at. People don’t realize Chuck used his whole body to play that riff, he doesn’t just use his wrists. I’m still working on it.
Everything was syncopated and synchronized to his body movements. We all know the duck walk — that’s the famous one, and it’s a good one too. But if you look at old footage of him, playing in those times, those early movies, Jazz on a Summer’s Day, you see a sort of almost demonic power going on in that rhythm and his delivery of it. It always fascinated me.
There is a certain part of me that still has my Chuck Berry niche, especially on the rhythm end, more than anything. I’ve learned more and more from him over the years of how to sling the hash (laughs).
|Keith Richards (April 9, 2017): Losing Chuck Berry
At the moment I sense the same feeling I had at 15 years old when Buddy Holly died. A sickening thud to the guts and a feeling of losing a member of the family. For me the world went from black to white to glorious Technicolor when I first heard Little Queenie. There was no doubt in my mind: It was obvious what I had to do and I haven’t changed since. The effortless ease with which he laid down the rhythm makes a mockery of countless grimacing lip biting agonizing imitators. I’m still working on it.
He brought joy to us; the feeling for a fifteen year old guitar player that there was more to life than seemed possible. With the exuberance, he brought a casual ease and a rhythm that makes bits of your body move you didn’t know you had. In essence, he was a revelation. I ain’t 15 no more but the joy remains.
|Mick Jagger & Keith Richards (March 2017): Hoarders
Mick: Oh, Bill Wyman is the hoarder. No one else cares about anything. Bill had loads of stuff. I kept loads of my clothes. I did keep not only huge amounts of stage clothes, but street clothes. Everything else I just throw away because I'm not a hoarder. Charlie has some things. But Bill collects everything.
Keith: Probably Charlie Watts. Or, if you're talking about the band throughout its years, Bill Wyman absolutely tops the hoarding area. Everything. Yeah, we have enormous storage warehouses. Charlie Watts has one. I don't know how many drum kits are stashed away there. I take up quite a lot of room with a thousand guitars.
|Mick Jagger (March 2017): The Rolling Stones and visual design
There's a lot of design in there. You see how much work has been done in the visual world, not just in the musical world. Which is quite amazing, considering. You know, Keith and Charlie went to art school; I never went to art school. I got interested in visual arts through, you know, working on the Rolling Stones posters.
|Mick Jagger (April 25, 2017): Accepting the Jazz FM Awards
It's really kind of weird that we started off, a long time ago, in London trying to play clubs and those clubs were jazz clubs... And they used to kick us out 'cause we played blues! And this all feels full circle.
|Charlie Watts (April 25, 2017): The Rolling Stones' next album
We've been in the studio since (recording Blue & Lonesome), doing the rest of this (new) album.
|Charlie Watts (April 25, 2017): Retiring|
Well I try (to retire) at the end of each tour. Keith says: What are you going to do? I don't know, mow the lawn... So I don't retire.
|Charlie Watts (April 25, 2017): Going on the road with the Stones|
You get your call-up, you get your kit together, you say goodbye to your wife and you come back two months later, hopefully with your limbs intact. It’s always been tough. The worst time is when you have a young child. I never took mine or my wife on the road. But if you take them like Ronnie — he lugs everything around, even his bloody easel to paint with — it’s not such a wrench. It’s admirable in one way, but I couldn’t work like that — too many distractione. Now it’s not so bad because we only do 10 or 15 shows. In the old days you’d get three sheets of dates and you couldn’t see the end.
|Ron Wood (May 2017): Dear doctor|
I'm so grateful for modern screening which picked this up so early, and would like to thank all the doctors who treated me.
|Ron Wood (July 2017): A close call|
I had this thought at the back of my mind after I gave up smoking a year ago: How can I have got through 50 years of chain-smoking – and all the rest of my bad habits – without something going on in there? So I went along to see our good old doctor, Richard Dawood, because (the Stones) all have to be checked before we go on tour, and he asked me if I wanted him to go deeper and check my heart, lungs and blood. I said, Go for it. And then he came back with the news that I had this supernova burning away on my left lung. And, to be totally honest, I wasn’t surprised. I knew I hadn’t had a chest X-ray since I went into (a rehab clinic) in 2002. He asked me what I wanted to do and my answer was simple: Just get it out of me. But then there was a week of tests. They needed to know if it had set up encampments and spread to my lymph nodes. If that had happened it would have been all over for me.
So there was this one week when I didn’t know what was happening. Sally was amazing. It’s only since we’ve got through it that she has been able to tell me how it was the worst seven days of her life. I was prepared for bad news but I also had faith it would be OK. Apart from the doctors, we didn’t tell anyone because we didn’t want to put anyone else though the hell we were going through. But I made up my mind that if it had spread I wasn’t going to go through chemo, I wasn’t going to use that bayonet in my body... I wasn’t going to lose my hair. This hair wasn’t going anywhere. I said, No way. And I just kept the faith it would be all right. A week later they came back with the news that it hadn’t spread and I said, Let’s get it out now. Just before I closed my eyes for the operation I looked at the doctor and said, Let battle commence.
I’m OK now. But I’m going to have a check-up every three months. They caught it early. People have to get checked. Seriously have to get checked. I was bloody lucky but then I’ve always had a very strong guardian angel looking out for me. By rights I shouldn’t be here.
|Keith Richards (June 14, 2017): Anita|
A most remarkable woman. Always in my heart.
|Mick Jagger (July 2017): Putting it out there fast|
I started writing these two songs in April and wanted them out straight away. Doing a whole album often takes a long time even after finishing it with all the record company preparations and global release set up. It’s always refreshing to get creative in a different fashion and I feel a slight throwback to a time when you could be a bit more free and easy by recording on the hoof and putting it out there immediately. I didn’t want to wait until next year when these two tracks might lose any impact and mean nothing.
|Mick Jagger (July 2017): Playlists|
I do quite a lot of trawling for music online and also the youngsters in my family all play me music when we get together, so I get to hear all kinds of things. I listen to R&B and pop and strange mixes of old and new and then like everyone I make my own random playlists. The last things I added to a list were Kendrick Lamar, Skepta, Mozart, Howlin’ Wolf, Tame Impala, obscure Prince tracks and classic soul stuff from the Valentine Brothers. I really like Kendrick Lamar, he’s also talking about discontent and he really nailed it. I thought his stuff, and what Skepta is doing, are very interesting and pretty much on the button.
|Mick Jagger (July 2017): The Stones album in progress|
We've been in the studio recording. All new songs. We've been working on that, and we'll keep working on it until we get it right.
|Ron Wood (August 2017): A permanent exhibition|
I’m known as a musician, and people can only take in so much. But, as I say, I’ve done the two things my whole life so it would be nice to be recognised for both of them. I’ve had exhibitions, but nothing permanent – this book is my “permanent exhibition” now. It’s going to be great to see it up there on the shelf, and for me to say, I’m an artist.
|Ron Wood (August 2017): Recovering lost paintings|
Problem was, I lost a lot of my art. Especially when I was living in New York (in the '80s) on West 78th Street. There was so much drink and drugs, and you had no idea who was in and out of the place. A load of stuff went walkabout. I’ve spent years trying to track stuff down and spent thousands buying paintings back. I’ve found my paintings on the internet or bought them back off a middle-man – I recently got back a picture of Pete Townshend that I’d done. I’m not going to let stuff go, even if it costs me, because it’s about getting my life back, actually feeling in control for the first time.
|Ron Wood (August 2017): Drawing a timeline of his life|
I did that in (the) Cottonwood (rehab clinic 2002).. I had nothing else to draw on and there’s a point – Step Four in the Alcoholics Anonymous programme – where you have to write an inventory of your life. I couldn’t write it but I could draw it. All the times I hadn’t wanted to deal with – like my dad dying in 1989 and my mum dying in 1999. I still really miss them. When my mum died my whole world changed, and I didn’t realise how much I relied on her. I used to speak to my mum every day. She was the first person I’d go and see before I left the country and the first person I’d see after I came back. She never saw me sober, but she saw me trying. I was very trying! But she had faith I could do it. And now I feel I have her back because my little Gracie is like a reincarnation of her – which is just incredible.
|Ron Wood (August 16, 2017): Tour rehearsals next week|
We are starting to rehearse next week - we always love that... (I)t's like a family reunion, it really is good. It's like a meal that goes on for about a month. Then we go out on the road and spread that food everywhere!
What I am aware of is the smiles on people's faces when we look at the sea of people when we play. It's heartwarming and I'm just glad we make people happy. And the music makes me happy and it makes them happy, it just spreads.
|Ron Wood (August 16, 2017): The next album|
That's ongoing. We have some in the bag and I think now that we're getting together again we'll see what direction things are going to take.
|Ron Wood (August 2017): Choosing art vs. music|
That’s a difficult question. But I could give up the playing. I could always pick up the guitar at home, though I often don’t even do that. Me and Keith, we both realised, at rehearsals, I don’t think I’ve picked up a guitar since I last saw you.
|Ron Wood (August 2017): Being clean|
These days, (Keith's) favourite line about me is, Now you’ve straightened out and you’ve cleaned up your act, you’re exactly the same as when you were using. What a waste of 20 million quid.
|Ron Wood (August 2017): Should rock stars retire?|
No. Well, it depends which band they’re in, but we won’t.
|Keith Richards & Mick Jagger (September 9, 2017): Start me up|
Keith: We haven’t finished yet. It’s still too early for me to talk about the Stones’ legacy. There’s one thing that we haven’t yet achieved, and that’s to really find out how long you can do this. It’s still such a joy to play with this band that you can’t really let go of it. I’m more interested in learning how far this bunch can take it.
Mick: It’s incredible to think about working with the same band for more than 50 years. Of course, members have come and gone, but it is still the Rolling Stones. Inevitably it makes you think about the mortality of it. But here we are making plans.
|Mick Jagger (September 9, 2017): Kicking off in Hamburg|
We were told by our friends from Liverpool that Hamburg is a good place to make a start with your career!
|Mick Jagger (November 2017): Touring the United Kingdom in 2018
We were disappointed not to perform in the UK on our recent jaunt and we’re looking forward to getting plans in place to do so next year.
|Mick Jagger & Keith Richards (November 2017): The release of the Stones on the BBC
Mick: It's something the BBC wanted to do. They probably could have done it anyway but they wanted to do it with everyone's persmision and blessing. I'm perfectly happy with it... I wasn't really involved (with the album sequencing). If it was a regular album, I'd be very involved. But who cares about running orders? People push the button and play it in any order they want.
Keith: At the time we were doing this, we were like Oh, my God — the BBC! We were just trying to disguise our actual terror (laughs). There was a lot of adrenaline... The BBC wanted us and we didn't know really why or what we were doing. We were playing blues in bars, for Christ's sake, but then we got a top 10 record and suddenly we're the other alternative to the Beatles, bless their hearts.
When I hear it, I hear a lot of energy and enthusiasm — and then I want to go in and remix it (laughs). But there was no remixing done then... On those shows you had no idea what the microphones were picking up and what was actually coming out of the radio. You just winged it and hoped for the best. Listening to it now, I think they captured the spirit of it all. I could argue about whether Brian was too loud or not, but apart from (stuff) like that, I think it's a fascinating record as a piece.
For me it's hard to imagine people want to listen to BBC live recordings of the Stones from 1964 or 5 or 3 or whatever it was. What I can say is I'm amazed there is so much interest in it. And that you people in America know more about it than we do.
|Keith Richards & Mick Jagger (November 2017): Work on the next Stones' album
Keith: We're working on some new (material) now. There's a new album in the works. We're slowly putting it together.
Now I want to come out with another really good original album. That’s what I’m working on… So now I’m trying to pick up the threads on what we were doing before the blues album.
Mick: It’s going good. Just this afternoon I’m going to listen to some of the multi-tracks of that and we’ve done a lot of work on it... I haven't heard it for a while. I'm going to pick out the ones I really like, and Keith will be listening to it, too... But you know there’s ways to go but we’re still working on it. It sounds good, it sounds really good.
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