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The Rolling Stones recently announced that they will not make a world tour in 2012, the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the band’s career. The possibility of an intensive tour has been postponed to 2013. Talking about the 2012 world tour, guitarist Keith Richards told Rolling Stone magazine ‘Basically, we’re just not ready.’ Referring to a 2013 world tour, instead, he said ‘I have a feeling that’s more realistic.’
It seems, though, that the band would still be interested in live performances this year. The Stones could play multinight runs at arena locations according to a Rolling Stone’s source, who said “For example, they’d do 10 nights at MSG, 10 nights at Staples, 10 nights at London’s O2 arena.”
An official announcement for a 2012 world tour had never been made by the band, but during the past years, rumors and statements of the band members hinted the tour was going to happen. The biggest concern was the complicated relationship between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. The latter did not appreciate a number of unpleasant comments about him made by Richards in his autobiography ‘Life’.
In December the band members reunited for a three-days-long jamming session in London. The meeting was intended to solve the unpleasant situation between the two eccentric members, Richards and Jagger.
Jagger told Rolling Stone about the London meeting “We played a lot of blues and outtakes of Some Girls and things like that, it went very well.” The positive atmosphere created by the encounter was confirmed by Richards, who added “It was a very back-to-basics sort of session. There was a lot of jamming. On the third day, Mick turned up, which was a real joy. Because I set it up really as a magnet, you know.”
Furthermore Richards recently stated in an interview: ‘I know that some parts of it ['Life'] and some of the publicity really offended Mick and I regret that.’
As Jagger and Richards reconciled, their relationship is no longer an obstacle for the Stones’ tour. The real reason behind the delay of the world tour is ultimately Keith Richards’ health, according to a source of Rolling Stone. Concerns were raised about the guitarist’s general health condition, leading to the band’s decision to avoid the stressful commitment of a world tour.
After a head trauma in 2006, the playing style of the guitarist was toned down. He performed with the Stones for the last time in 2008, already then showing a notable decrease in the quality of his performance. He confirmed fans’ doubts when he appeared live this year. Richards performed two live shows in February, one in New York, and one in Boston with Elvis Costello; he was unable to match the usual quality he brought on stage with the Stones years ago.
Rolling Stones, though, will not leave fans empty handed on the year of their 50th anniversary. The band returns to the studio for the recording of new material next month; “We’ll just get the boys back together again then and maybe cut a side,” said Richards to Rolling Stone. “I’ve got plenty in the locker here, but it’s not on tape.”
Moreover, next fall will see the release of a documentary exploring the entire 50-year career of the Rolling Stones, including previously unreleased footage and music.
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