The Rolling Stones have been rehearsing vigorously for their 50th anniversary shows, which right now will take place only on November 25 and 29 at London's O2 arena, and on December 13 and 15 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. But as Keith Richards has hinted in several interviews, they're not doing all this work for only four shows.
"My experience with the Rolling Stones is that once the juggernaut starts rolling, it ain't gonna stop," he told RollingStone magazine recently. "So without sort of saying definitely yes – yeah. We ain't doing all this for four gigs!"
The band has been rehearsing about 60 songs in Paris, including rarely played tracks like the Lennon-McCartney-penned "I Wanna Be Your Man" and the Aftermath ballad "Lady Jane." They have also insinuated that they may do some surprise warm-up gigs in Paris under the pseudonym The Cockroaches. After all, the band of senior citizens needs to get in shape physically as well as musically.
"Everyone's human, and you can't really expect it to last forever," Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone when asked about his reputation as an ageless wonder onstage. "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."
The band explained that the physical burden is even harder on 71-year-old drummer Charlie Watts, who has a masseuse on hand for his back after every rehearsal. "It takes a heavy toll playing them drums, to make it look like he's doing nothing, and to make it sound like those firecrackers going off," commented Ron Wood. "It all goes to his back, you know? He suffers terribly."
The band added that some faces from the past will show up as guest players for the anniversary concerts, such as former guitarist Mick Taylor (who quit in 1974) and founding bassist Bill Wyman (gone since 1993). They are likely to play on a few songs each. And for the final show in Newark, which will be broadcast live on pay-per-view, the band could bring in even more star power. Wood added that guests like Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck could be on hand, according to Rolling Stone.