One more straight from the heart
|The Rolling Stones on Twitter (January 11, 2016): David Bowie 1947-2016
The Rolling Stones are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of our dear friend David Bowie. As well as being a wonderful and kind man, he was an extraordinary artist, and a true original.
Jagger, Keith Richards & Ron Wood (January 11-12, 2016): Godspeed David
Mick: David was always an inspiration to me and a true original. He was wonderfully shameless in his work. We had so many good times together. He was my friend, I will never forget him.
Keith: I’m going to miss him. Another goodbye to another good friend.
Ron: Thinking of you David, God bless.
Jagger (February 2016): Vinyl
I’m in Argentina and I’m driving to the gig and there are big billboards on the freeway, Vinyl! It’s quite funny really. Obviously it’s fictional. It’s a drama series and in a drama series you really want to bring out the characters, the narrative. Having said that, of course you also want to instil in people the sense of the times and you want them to buy in that. You have to make it believable — that’s our overarching goal, whether it’s actually true or not.
I never worked at a recording company like (the one depicted in the show) because in that time I was working at Atlantic Records with Ahmet Ertegun, and there’s some of that in there, but it’s a combination of a lot of things... I thought (my son James) was really good so I didn’t have to worry too much. I mean, if he was really, really not good, maybe I wouldn’t have been the one to tell him. I was really pleased with his performance.
Jagger (February 2016): Stones working after the OlÚ tour
I don't have a plan to stop. You know, we do this tour, and then we're talking about what we're doing the rest of (the year). We've been in the studio just before Christmas, we're cutting some new tracks. And no doubt when this is all finished, at the end of the spring we'll do some more.
Jagger (March 2016): Wearing L'Wren Scott's clothes onstage
I don’t find it difficult emotionally to wear her clothes. In fact it’s quite nice for me. I’ve got a big selection of her stuff and the wardrobe mistress goes nuts because I always want to bring them all on tour. At the end of the day I just pick them up and go: Ah that’s one of L’Wren's... I like this one.
Jagger (March 2016): Preparing Exhibitionism
It’s all being installed at the moment. I’ve been busy Skyping the team and seeing what it really looks like. It’s one thing a plan, the other is the reality. It’s going to be great when it’s up and running.
|Keith Richards (March 2016): Playing Cuba
That was unique, man, even in my book. God knows, it was an amazing outpouring of what the Cuban people have stored up inside themselves. There was a great sense of release and freedom and everybody had an incredible time. The band played their asses off. It was fantastic... I was quite proud that we’d been banned in the early 60s along with Elvis and the Beatles - good company you know?
I’ve got to put it up there with the Hyde Parks. Absolutely. Especially given the unique location. I mean what a way to finish off a great tour.
|Keith Richards (March 2016): Exhibitionism... and the guitars
I think people were planning ahead because this thing is going round the world for four years, which pains me a little because there are a couple of jackets I let in there that I ain’t going to see for a long while. The idea came up a few years ago. We were in Belgium and these guys came by and showed us how the exhibition might work. It’s not my area of expertise but it was intriguing and we kind of said, OK, go ahead. Within a few months, they were coming up with some great ideas.
I’m dying to see the reproduction of our first flat together in Edith Grove because the only thing that gave real character to it was the pong.
The really special, particular (guitars) are the ones I use when I work. These guys (guitars) in the exhibition have been important on certain records but I usually draw a line between the stage guitars and the recording guitars. Recording guitars you can pick and choose for a particular song, you know, I think we should go for a Gibson here. Onstage, you have to have reliability and those are obviously not in the exhibition... because I need them!
You know I’ve been through several different phases with guitars. But I’ve got it nailed down to 15 at the moment.
|Keith Richards (March 2016): The Stones album in the works
(T)hat’s in the can, although it might be a surprise to people and I can’t say any more than that right now. We did sessions in London in December which suddenly gave us a whole load of stuff. In fact, the Stones have never cut so many tracks in such a short time. Now that’s not necessarily a guarantee of a good record but there is something in the works and I’d just like to leave it up there in mystery land.
|Keith Richards (March 2016): More Stones shows on the horizon
We’re planning some gigs later on this year. I take each tour as it comes and at the moment I’m still shaking Cuba off me.
|Keith Richards (March 2016): Looking forward
I must say the resilience of this band, all the crap that’s happened to us so many times, doesn’t stop the fact that we will keep going. Just as long as we’re here. It’s not even a point of honour. It’s just a case of what else are you going to do? We’re probably more solid than ever. I’m looking forward.
|Mick Jagger (April 2016): Just the next thing
It’s fair to say I’m not very nostalgic. Obviously, to be able to help this along, I have had to invest in delving back. But the thing about nostalgia is that it is trying to hark back to something that no longer exists, and I don’t really feel like that about this exhibition. I look at it as part of an ongoing story. We’re still out there, still on the road, still going. This is just the next thing.
|Mick Jagger (April 2016): Camaraderie in the band
There’s been a lot of water under the bridge, but I think we still feel that camaraderie. I have a really good feeling when we get together and play, when we’re rehearsing and doing show days and so on. Before we go onstage, when you’re chatting, we still make jokes, it’s very light-hearted. We don’t do prayers, but we do jokes. So the bond is still there and it’s good that it is. It would be really rough if we didn’t have that. I think it would be impossible to be honest.
|Mick Jagger (April 2016): The new album
The next album? Well we just started before Christmas so I mean I don't really - I'm not saying anything about it. And don't ask Ronnie because he'll probably tell you too much! (laughs)
I can't say much but there are a lot of different things on this album.
|Ron Wood (April 2016): Blues covers recorded|
We went in to cut some new songs, which we did. But we got on a blues streak. We cut 11 blues in two days. They are extremely great cover versions of Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter, among other blues people... When we heard them back after not hearing them for a couple of months, we were, Who's that? It's you. It sounded so authentic.
|Keith Richards (April 8, 2016): Sing Me Back Home
Can I just say to Merle, The Hag - yeah, one of the great country singers of all time. And a hell of a guitar player. Gonna miss you, pal.
Jagger, Keith Richards & Ron Wood (April 21-22, 2016): Prince: you will be missed
Mick: I am so saddened. Prince was a revolutionary artist, a wonderful musician and composer. He was an original lyricist and a startling guitar player. His talent was limitless. He was one of the most unique and exciting artists of the last 30 years.
Keith: A unique talent. A true original. So sad, so sudden and, I will add, a great guitar player. We are all going to miss him.
Ron: I will miss a good friend who was so talented. He was such a great performer/guitar player. Sleep well Prince.
Jagger (May 2016): Coachella for Old People
We first heard about Desert Trip about a month ago and that sounded like a really fascinating idea. At that point they hadn't got everyone on board and I said, Well, come back if it all comes together. And it did come together so we're very pleased to be doing it.
(deadpan) I feel it's Coachella for Old People... Who knows, maybe I'll get my RV and stay (for the whole weekend).
I see it a bit like the U.S. Glastonbury. It's relatively remote, it's a big long weekend, and you have to camp, you know what I mean?
|Don Was (May 2016): The Stones' recording sessions: new songs and blues cuts
I'm not allowed to spill the beans but since Ronnie Wood has already spilled the beans - we did some recording in December, we'd convened to do some new songs, and just to blow off some steam Keith said Let's play "Blue and Lonesome", Little Walter, right? So it was just magnificent, man... And it was go good, everyone was, like, pretty Wow. Well let's do another, let's do another one. And over two days we cut a whole album of blues. And it's really good. (laughs). But we're also doing new songs too. So they want to finish - they're not sure how they're going to put it out yet. But the blues album is done. It was done after two days. But I think we're giong to hang on and finish the new songs too and see what we've got there.
|Ron Wood (November 2016): Stopping smoking
I gave up smoking 6 months ago - very proud! After 54 years of smoking heavily, I gave up... (And) sober in my 7th year now.
|Charlie Watts (November 2016): Recording a new album
We started (making a new album when we recorded the blues covers) and then we went back in recently, doing some new stuff. I don't know how long that's going to take.
|Ron Wood (June 2016): Somebody up there likes me
I’m the burper, walker, nappy changer and I’m still trying to work out when I can get to sleep in between all that. I have played the guitar to them and when I get round to it I will do some drawings. At the moment I’m just soaking up every moment we have. I have Sally, I have my beautiful family and I have two little gorgeous dolly girls. All I can think is that someone up there really likes me.
Mick popped in on the third day. He couldn’t wait to see them, I put one in each arm and took a photo.
|Keith Richards (June 2016): Keep on rolling|
(Other bands that didn't last as long are) not really bands. They’re groups. We’re a band. And a real band sticks until it dies! These bands, they become big, but they’re generational. Just for their one decade. They literally go when their testosterone goes... I mean, we work hard, no one takes it for granted. We’re still looking to make our best record and put on our best show. The Stones have managed to be part of life without being passÚ.
Also, what else are you going to do? I’m here, on the other end, and I’m looking at life from here... This is what happens. It’ll happen to you, it’ll happen to everybody that’s going to read this. Life changes as you go along, and the thing is, it never stops. You never grow up, you just learn a little more. I ain’t getting old, I’m evolving (laughs).
|Keith Richards (June 29, 2016): Farewell Scotty
It is with great sadness we say goodbye to Scotty Moore, my first inspiration. The work he performed on those incredible early Elvis tracks stays with me forever. Farewell old friend.
|Keith Richards (July 2016): Progress on a new Stones album
The Stones are working on one, yeah - at the moment, as we speak. We cut a few new things and we're going in (the studio) again later this year.
|Keith Richards (July 2016): Releasing a Stones blues covers album in the fall
The titles I can't reveal at the moment, for the reason that I can't quite remember them and I haven't got a list with me. (It'll be) coming out in the autumn some time.
|Ron Wood & Keith Richards (September 16, 2016): Upcoming Stones work
Ron: I’m really looking forward to people hearing the blues album. It’s coming shortly, yeah, it’ll be in the next couple of months.
We’re going to sort out a lot of things in rehearsals which start in a couple of days in L.A... I don’t think you’ll get a last tour out of us just yet.
Keith: Mick, I think, is on his way to L.A. because we're starting a tour and rehearsing. I'm joining him tomorrow.
|Mick Jagger (September 2016): Havana Moon
I thought (Havana Moon) was a kind of fun little reference. When we were looking for a title, that just popped into my head, although it’s a long time since I’ve heard that song. It’s really moody, and I thought it would work really well for a title. Everyone seemed to like it.
I don’t think we ever thought of playing (in Cuba), not until a couple of years ago, when it started to be mentioned by people, because the American restrictions were easing, bit by bit, you know? We probably could have played there ages ago, but it would have been quite difficult.
(It's n)ot really (the last frontier for the Stones). We’ve played one gig in Africa. That’s a big place. Like to go back. And maybe India as well.
|Mick Jagger (October 2016): "Little Red Corvette" and "Come Together"
Actually I wanted to play Little Red Corvette at the Desert Trip but I never got around to rehearsing it properly and we did Come Together instead... It was funny because I DID learn Little Corvette on the guitar and singing to play for Desert Trip. Maybe for another time! (laughs)
|Mick Jagger (October 2016): Donald Trump using the Stones' music
So Patty asked me about Donald Trump using Stones music, and we (had) said, like, Don't use our music. So, the thing is, when you appear in America, if you're in a public place like Madison Square Garden or a theater, you can play any music you want, and you can't be stopped. So if you write a song and someone plays it in a restaurant that you go to, you can't stop them. They can play what they want.
|Mick Jagger (October 2016): Thirty meters wider
(The Desert Trip stage) was 30 meters wider than our normal stage, which is quite wide, by the way, which I usually run. And I heard that nobody else went out there, apart from me. So what the fuck did they build the stage for?
Was that just for me? And I was just thinking, How long can I fucking do this? How long can I run the hundred-meter stage? I don't know the answer to that. I mean, as long as I can. And then should I stop performing when I can't run the hundred-meter stage, is that it? Does that mean I have to stop? No one else is using the hundred-meter stage!
|Mick Jagger (October 2016): Keith long ago suggesting he just stand in front of the microphone
(Sarcastically) That's good advice, Keith. Thanks so much. It's very useful. He should stop playing the guitar. I mean, come on! There is some other option besides Are you gonna run the hundred meters or are you gonna sit? You can still move a bit in the middle!
|Charlie Watts (October 2016): Playing festivals|
Glastonbury was the first one that I said, We don’t want to do that, it’s a load of crap, and actually it was very nice. I’d never go to see a band in a bloody field playing – I wouldn’t go to a stadium to see a band either – but Glastonbury and the desert thing were fun.
|Ron Wood & Charlie Watts (October 2016): The Stones' new touring methods
Ron: We've been non-stop working, really. It's a different emphasis now. The input that we have in live gigs is more of a drive. We want to keep it going all the time. There's hardly any time. We used to have years off between tours, didn't we?... I think some of our promoters in the past were slave drivers. Playing in five foot of snow in Chicago in winter, in the open air. We thought, Hang on a minute, we're not getting any younger. But there is a limit to how much you can do comfortably.
Charlie: That's age. Also it gets boring after a while. When you look at a sheet with 150 dates on it, which is that last long one we did, it's like, Bloody hell! Now I wouldn't get on the train to get to London to start the thing.
|Keith Richards (October 2016): Bill's bass playing
Bill Wyman is an incredible bass player. I'm so always amazed by Bill’s tastefulness in his bass playing. Which is not something I think that most people, you know, or anyone think. But when I listen back to what he's playing behind - I'll knock out a song right and say, It goes like this, Bill. And then I hear what he's putting behind it and I've got to say this is the most discerning, very sensitive musician. You know, I mean he might be embarrassed by that, but I've got to say he's like the top bass player for me, man.
|Mick Jagger (November 9, 2016): Donald Trump elected U.S. president
Just was watching the news... maybe they'll ask me to sing You Can't Always Get What You Want at the inauguration, ha!
|Mick Jagger & Keith Richards (October 2016): Making a blues album
Mick: (It was) an exercise in sprezzatura. You’ve got to concentrate, but it can’t sound like it’s difficult. And it doesn’t... It’s not like rock music or programmed drum music. It pulsates in a very weird way, where each bar is different. And that’s what’s interesting about this kind of music when it’s played properly. It has a swerve, and it has a dynamism about it.
I just looked back at the original records, and we wanted some of these moods. Every track is different. We all thought it was going to be easy but it wasn’t.
Sounds have changed. What makes you excited now is not the same. In music, everything’s different. But the blues still have something about them that’s really good. I love all kinds of music, and I still listen to the blues.
This album is a homage to our favourite musicians, people who kicked us off in playing music. That was the reason we started a band. For my generation it’s the equivalent of suburban white kids doing rap. It’s so culturally far away from your own experience. We were proselytisers of blues music. In the end that’s what we’re still doing.
Keith: What we're playing on this album is actually the same time as we were making our first album. So they're very connected. At least to me and I think to the band. They take us back to our earlierst recordings and even pre-recording actually. So in a way a full circle, I guess, is the way the band feels about it.
|Keith Richards (October 2016): Mick's musicianship
On this album, you can hear how much (Mick is) a part of the band and what a musician he is. Because he’s such a showman, a lot of his actual talent gets hidden. But on this record, he can feel very proud of himself. I’ve always loved the man. It’s just that I have to kick his ass now and again!
|Mick Jagger (October 2016): The wait between studio albums
I know it's a long time. I don't really know why. I guess we're touring a lot and nobody was that keen - I'm including myself in all this - in going in the studio. We just didn't do it... When I did Doom and Gloom, I did demos for lots of others. I just carried on doing that, but we've never gone in the studio all together.
|Keith Richards (October 2016): The ace of spades
I'm black as the ace of fucking spades, man. Ask any of the brothers. I didn't know what color these people were, as a kid. I don't think of blues as being of any particular color at all. Obviously, its history. But there were white slaves, as well. There have been plenty of work songs from way back. Try Egypt. Quite Jewish, actually. You know, people have been doing this since history began.
|Ron Wood & Keith Richards (October 2016): Touring and promoting the album
Ron: For me, I'm very pleased that we've made this blues album now because I'm really looking forward to seeing what's going to happen next year in the wake of the release of this blues album. Because I'd love to get behind it and I'm sure people would love the band to play the blues songs.
Keith: We'll push it, but I'd rather it seep into the collective consciousness or whatever it's called. Now The Rolling Stones' great blues record! I don't expect that. I expect it to have an insidious effect for several years.
|Ron Wood, Mick Jagger, Keith Richardsm Charlie Watts & Don Was (October-November 2016): The next Rolling Stones album|
Ron: There's about 10 or 12 new songs that Mick actually has been cooking up, and Keith's got the odd one, too... The new material will take a while to sit and reshape... In 2017 we’ll shape up these new songs – we’ve got some in the can and then there’s a lot more on the back burner... (Blue & Lonesome) is another adventure in the journey of the Stones. It happens to be where we come from but it's not to say this is where we're going to end. No, it's just another great milestone in the continuing adventures of the Rolling Stones.
Mick: (We'll finish the album) but I don't know when, because you want it to be really good and everything... I hope it's gonna be a very eclectic album. I hope some of it's gonna be recognizable Stones and some of it's gonna be some Stones you never heard before, maybe... I was working on it quite recently. We've got a long way to go, but I think it sounds really great and I'm looking forward to carrying on with that. I hope (next year)... I think it would be nice to do new songs and go in a new direction with them. Maybe not quite as much harmonica!
Keith: I've got three songs and they‘re dynamite. I don‘t want to make any decisions about this until this record comes out, because I think it might radically change Mick‘s attitude; it might change mine. I want to see the fallout from this record before I decide wheteher I want to record 40 of Mick‘s songs or whether he wants to sit down with me and record some songs together. That‘s my thing. That‘s my ball there. I‘ve always got a few songs on the back burner and so does Mick - he writes a lot. I don‘t. I tend to concentrate on two or three really interesting riffs or ideas, rather than being prolific... We did (record new songs) but they're still being worked on. (Blue & Lonesome won't be the last album). There will be more.
I don't think we're going to get (in the studio again) before the New Year, January or February.
Charlie: We went back in recently, doing some new stuff... (Blue & Lonesome won't be our last album). It's never going be the last - Keith won't have it. It's never going to be the last show and never going to be the last album. Who knows? And no, we're in the middle of doing another one. But it's really Mick and Keith 'cause they write them... There'll be another studio album, I think. I'm sure Mick and Keith think there will be.
Don Was: Those new songs we worked on? To be honest with you, we don't really have a handle on it yet. The clay is on the table, but it doesn't look like President Lincoln yet! I will say that for this new album, Mick has played me probably 40 songs that he has been working on, and they really run the gamut.
|Ron Wood (December 2, 2016): Next Stones activity|
We have (finishing the new album) sort of tentatively booked in the near future. But with everybody dealing with Christmas coming up, having a little bit of time to put your feet up because we haven't really stopped - I know Charlie wants the month of March off, which is fine: let's have a holiday, whatever. And I don't blame him! So by the time we've all done a bit of that, we'll get back in the studio and finish up what we've started the new songs-wise.
Keith just tried to get us into the studio in New York last week. He said Can't we go in? Can't we find some time? It was Hang on, do us a favour, we've all got Christmas coming up, we've got to spent time with our families!... It's going to pick up steam again.
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