I swear we're never gonna stop
|Mick Jagger & Charlie Watts (February 2018): The last time?
Mick: I haven’t really thought about this set of gigs being our last tour, to be honest. There is going to come a point when we don’t want to do it any more, for whatever reason, but I’m not thinking about that this summer.
I think you have to be honest … if you weren’t enjoying it or it was too much of an ask physically, to do it with the energy you would really require. You would have to seriously consider it, but I haven’t reached that point yet.
Charlie: I’ve got absolutely no idea. I’m looking forward to Sunday 8th July, which is the last show. That’s as far as I can think ahead with The Rolling Stones.
|Mick Jagger (February 2018): Conserving energy on tour
As soon as we come off stage, I’m in a car usually going back to the hotel. I’m pretty tired. But after an hour, I feel OK. But you can sometimes make the mistake of going out dancing, which is not always a good idea because you’ve got to conserve a bit of energy. On the last tour, I did make one or two mistakes like that. I got a bit over-exuberant on the after-show front. That’s no good, but I don’t usually feel that bad.
We play quite a long show – sometimes two hours and 15 minutes – so you’ve got to conserve some sort of energy. It’s like sport. You don’t go 100% all the time. It may appear you are, but you’re not. At the end, you feel OK, you’re not gonna lie flat on your back, that wouldn’t be a good ending. So I don’t feel too bad, normally.
|Charlie Watts & Keith Richards (February 2018): The end of the band
Charlie: I hope (when the band ends) that everyone says, That’ll be it. I’d hate for it to be a bloody big argument. That would be a real sad moment. But to say this is the last show wouldn’t be a particularly sad moment, not to me anyway. I’ll just carry on as I was yesterday or today.
I think if Mick or Keith retired then it would be (the end). But they could get another drummer, another guitar player. If Darryl didn’t want to do it anymore we’d have a nightmare finding another bass player but Mick and Keith would or could carry on. If Mick said I’m retiring I don’t know how we’d do a show without him, or Keith.
Keith: There's never ever been a word about it muttered among ourselves. I guess the day's obviously going to come, some day. But not in the near future. We're all looking forward to doing what we're doing, especially back in Blighty.... I never think about it. Never. I know loads of other people worry about it, and I let them concern themselves with it. Me, I'll wait for it to happen.
|Charlie Watts (February 2018): The new album
When we did the blues album Blue and Lonesome, that was in the middle of the second lot of sessions for the album. We’ve done another lot since then. So we’ve done three or four sets of sessions. But I don’t write the songs so I don’t have the final say. Once we’ve played them I’m not interested really (laughs). But Mick has to live with them and put his voice on them. Keith will sit for hours listening. I don’t know where we are with them to be honest. Every time we go in to the studio I think, Well that was the one. But it’s whether they’re happy with it and I don’t know if they are yet.
|Keith Richards (Late February-early March 2018): The new album
We’re working on it right now! I’m in the studio and I’m waiting for Mick to turn up. We’re doing a few days knocking some songs around and playing about, so work is in progress as I speak... He'll be here in half an hour and we'll be sitting face to face, making music, like always.
|Keith Richards (Late February-early March 2018): Trying sobriety
I'm not saying I'm definitely off all of this (alcohol). In six months' time, I might be on it again. But at the moment, for a couple of months, I haven't touched it... It's novel (laughs).
|Keith Richards (Late February-early March 2018): Heatlh of the band
So far, no one is tottering and falling over... Everyone is in remarkable shape and, yeah, as long as that holds up, I think we’ll keep at it... So far as I know, (Mick) doesn’t feel any pain. He would tell me if he did, I’m sure! He’s just in good form, I mean we all are.
|Keith Richards (Late February-early March 2018): The death of rock
I don't think eras end, they sort of fold and meld into each other. If rock & roll is at an end, when was the beginning? It's part of the blues, it's built into the musical framework of the world. If we're talking about fashion and all the other things, everything was rock for a while - you can't expect that to go on forever. But we'll see. We're going to be playing to several million people in the coming months, so I wouldn't call that dead.
|Ron Wood & Mick Jagger (March-April 2018): Starting the tour in Ireland
Ron: It was a nice surprise to find out that Ireland is going to be the first gig of the new tour because we’re going to try keep that momentum going from the earlier dates. When we finished the last leg, only a few months ago in Paris, Keith said to me, We’ve only just started to warm up. That’s the feeling with all of us, Mick and Charlie were the same, and we just felt like we were just beginning to let rip. Hopefully that momentum will keep up for Croke Park. I’m pretty sure that it will.
Mick: It should be really fun, we haven't played in Ireland for ages and we're really looking forward to coming.
|Charlie Watts (February 2018): Life as a Rolling Stone... 55 years on
I don’t really talk about (the Stones) much. They don’t really enter my life to be honest. If Mick rings up it’s not The Rolling Stones. Obviously there’s a bit of me that thinks it’s work. But he usually rings to ask my opinion on a design or something. He gets very annoyed with me because I don’t have a mobile. So he can’t get an instant reply – he’s a real speed freak. It has to go via the postman, then I have to ring him and hope he’s in. He gets a bit pissed off nowadays with that. Years ago, that’s how we used to design the stage. But now it’s a bit quicker. It’s easier to do it when we’re altogether. But other than that, they don’t really enter my life to be honest.
|Keith Richards (Mid-March 2018): Working with Mick|
The secret is that neither of us know what we’re going to do until we put ourselves together. And then just see what happens… I can walk in and say I hope Mick’s got a song because I haven’t got a thing (laughs) Probably vice versa at times. But the fact is when we get together we come up with something else anyway… It was a great week last week. We just - I don’t know we did about 10, 12 different things that didn’t exist until that moment. And that’s a great thing , you know, ‘cause it’s a sort of creative thing.
|Mick Jagger (April 2018): The Stones' success across 55 years
I mean it is a bit mind-boggling if you think about it. It's not something to be taken for granted I think. Why would you still after all this time when there's so many musicians out there, and there's so many great ones, and there's so many people with great songs, why would you still be in any way in demand? It's really a mystery but I'm very thankful for it. However the mystery unfolds, I'm very thankful that people still come along. It's brilliant for me.
|Mick Jagger (April 2018): Performing and writing songs
I still really enjoy it, you know... The last tour we did, the last European tours we did were really a lot of fun. We just keep going doing it... (I)t's not always easy being in a band but you sort of rub along and make the most of it. There's pluses and minuses, you know. In the end when you go on stage and you're doing the music together, I think it all gels and then everyone is really happy in being there and it all works perfectly. It's better than anything else.
My main job is to be the cheerleader for this band and sing, you know, and get out there and entertain. That's my main job. My other job is to write songs really, and then I've got lots of other things that I have to do. They're the most things that I like doing, is being out there and gently cavorting. I also said it before, I love writing.
|Keith Richards (2018): Touring the UK
The whole tour takes us through, oh man, England and Britain and Scotland and Wales. I mean to do it all in one go again is going to be very interesting... We started there. They'll probably be our most critical audience. Playing hometown makes you a bit nervous.
(Touring is) a habit. It's a lovely habit; it's one of the few I haven't given up. It's a joy to play with these guys, that's all. And they all want to do it. I mean who's going to be the first one of us to say I want to get off this bus. You know, get out of here, right? I mean, it's like... til you drop, you know.
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