Photo Sante D'Orazio
  • December 31, 2005


    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Rolling Stones smashed their own 11-year-old record for the highest-grossing North American concert tour of all time in 2005, helping lift overall ticket sales to a new high, trade publication Pollstar said on Thursday.

    The Stones sold $162 million worth of tickets by playing their golden oldies for 1.2 million concertgoers, while Irish rockers U2 pulled in $138.9 million from 1.4 million fans. U2 worked a little harder for its payday, playing 78 shows in North America, compared with 42 performances by the Stones.

    The old record for a tour was $121 million, which the Stones set in 1994.

  • December 18, 2005


    Happy Anniversary to Keith & Patti too!
    And Happy Birthday to Bobby Keys as well!

  • November 28, 2005


    The most exciting and powerful rock 'n' roll show in the world is coming to the stadiums of Europe next year. Kicking off on Saturday May 27, 2006 at Barcelona's Olympic Stadium, The Rolling Stones - A Bigger Bang European Tour - will play over twenty countries at the most famous stadiums and venues in the world. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood & Charlie Watts announced today that there will be over 30 European concerts in 2006. They confirmed dates in Holland, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, UK, Poland, Austria and The Czech Republic. Tickets for all these markets will go on sale to the public from December 3rd 2005. (dates, cities & venues).


    Additional concerts in Russia, Greece, Croatia, Serbia & Montenegro, Portugal, Denmark, Switzerland and Ireland are also confirmed with venue and/or on-sale information to follow. In keeping with the band's philosophy of making their shows accessible to all fans, tickets for the stadiums will be available in a broad range of price categories. The average price of tickets across Europe is 75 euros.

    Anticipation for the tour is already running at an all-time high following the incredible critical and box-office response to the Stones' North American shows. 'A Bigger Bang' world tour opened in Boston in August 2005, when The Rolling Stones rocked Fenway Park Stadium with a stunning performance. Critics were as one in their admiration for the unrivalled exuberance and sheer excitement that continues to characterize the live Rolling Stones experience.

    In Europe, the Stones will fulfil the ultimate dream of music lovers across the globe, offering the unimaginable - the opportunity to be onstage with them. Several hundred spots are built directly into the stadium set, offering fans the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share the excitement and adrenaline rush of being onstage as the Rolling Stones perform to an audience of 50,000 plus. "The band is redefining the concert experience - there is nothing even comparable to the thrill of being onstage with the Rolling Stones and seeing a stadium show from the band's perspective," said Michael Cohl, tour director, "For fans this will be the greatest tour yet"

    "It's as simple as this - you will not be able to do in your 60s what you did so effortlessly in your 20s. The Rolling Stones can."...... Boston Globe

    "They're still the slickest live rock'n'roll act on the evening's end, it was impossible to find a dissatisfied customer."...... Billboard

    "Appearing before a near-capacity audience of 43,000 under a moonlit sky, they delivered a thundering, two-hour performance...the result was a triumph for the group, whose 'World's Greatest Rock Band' moniker still seems well-earned...classics that the band first recorded as many as 40 years ago were delivered with so much energy and excitement that they took on new life."...... San Diego Tribune

    "They keep inspiring enough awe and astonishment to fill stadiums, so let's marvel first: The most amazing thing about the Rolling Stones right now is that four decades on they still seem to be improving."...... LA Times

    "In the end, it's a simple thing that keeps them going - the prickly kick of their riffs carries an energy that just won't quit."...... New York Daily News

    The tour has been rolling through North America like an unstoppable locomotive since the Boston shows, picking up ever greater praise along the way. Devoted fans and critics have hailed Mick Jagger's aura as the world's greatest rock frontman, Keith Richards' awesome effervescence as the ultimate guitar maestro, Ronnie Wood's brilliant guitar intricacy and the redoubtable energy of the engine room that is Charlie Watts.

    Demand for Europe's hottest ticket of 2006 is certain to be as feverish as that in North America this summer and fall, where capacity has run at 100% throughout the entire run of stadium and arena shows. "Superstars remain superstars," wrote Billboard magazine's Ray Waddell. "The Rolling Stones remain monster attractions."

    The Rolling Stones set the bar for the live modern rock spectacular and have continued to raise it tour after amazing tour. They hold the record for the top 2 most attended North American tours of all time - 'Licks' and 'Bridges To Babylon'.

    This show also includes an amazing technological extension of the famous "second stage" feature of recent tours. Not to mention that among dozens of their all-time classic songs, the Stones' ever-changing set list also boasts show-stopping tributes to such legends as Ray Charles & Bob Marley.

    The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang European Tour is presented by American Express. "Partnering with the Stones on the European leg of their milestone tour is a great privilege for American Express, and we're fortunate to be able to extend this privilege to our Cardmembers in the form of special, once-in-a-lifetime access to these legends of rock-and-roll," said John Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express.

    American Express has a long history of providing special access and meaningful experiences to Cardmembers. As part of this ongoing commitment, American Express has partnered with the Rolling Stones to secure a special opportunity for Cardmembers to purchase their tickets prior to the general public on-sale (in select markets and venues), for what promises to be an incredible tour. See attached for American Express early on-sale details.

    Fans are able to enjoy special access to tickets, exclusive erchandise and can also follow the tour online at For the first time ever, concert goers will be able to see the exact seat locations and choose the price level of tickets before purchasing a platinum membership to the fan club. Every ticket sold for the tour will include a free Virtual Ticket membership in the Rolling Stones fan club. Updated daily, users will be given an exclusive insider's look at every aspect of the tour. From rehearsals and preparations to on-going coverage via audio and videos streams, downloads, set lists and news and much more.

    Rolling Stones World Tour 2005/2006 will be presented by Concert Productions International and The Next Adventure and produced by WPC Piecemeal Inc.

    ALSO: The Rolling Stones will take a brief break from touring to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show.

    The rock 'n' roll greats will go on stage during the game Feb. 5 at Ford Field, the NFL said Tuesday.

    "We are thrilled to perform for millions of fans at one of the most exciting and highly anticipated sporting events of the year," the band, which earlier in the day announced its European tour dates, said in a statement.

  • November 18, 2005

    Click HERE to read about my California trip...

  • November 5, 2005

    Off to California...

    I am flying to LA on Sat. Nov. 5 and will return home Thursday Nov. 16. I will be seeing 2 shows at the Hollywood Bowl, 1 in San Diego, and 2 in San Francisco. In addition, I will also be seeing Tim Ries play in Oakland on Nov. 14, promoting his Rolling Stones Project cd, with Bernard Fowler on vocals and Michael Davis on trombone. Stay tuned for review and photos when I return!

  • October 29, 2005

    My costume this year...part pirate/part rock star...LOL

  • October 26, 2005


    Following BOB DYLAN's bootleg Starbucks release, the ROLLING STONES will release an album of rare tracks, aptly dubbed "Rarities 1971-2003," through both music outlets and the Starbucks coffee chain on November 22nd. Among the sixteen tracks are live versions of "Tumbling Dice" and "Beast of Burden," dance mixes of "Miss You" and "Harlem Shuffle" and B sides such as their cover of CHUCK BERRY's "Let It Rock." The Stones are currently on a North American tour in support of their first studio album in eight years, "A Bigger Bang." "I can't think of a tour that's kicked off with such wonderful enthusiasm," guitarist KEITH RICHARDS told Rolling Stone. "Even at this late date, this is an adventure."

  • October 18, 2005

    October 18, 2005 PRESS RELEASE



    The Rolling Stones will be seen performing on the “2005 American Music Awards,” Tuesday, November 22nd on ABC-TV. The band will appear live from the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they will be in concert that evening as part of their “A Bigger Bang” world tour.

    On the special, the Stones join a line up of performers which already includes Mariah Carey, Kenny Chesney and Rob Thomas. Additional performers will be announced at a later date.

    The Rolling Stones, “The World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band,” are currently touring the U.S. as part of their sold out tour which is presented by Ameriquest. Two of their previous tours hold the record for the most attended North American tours of all time. On the “2005 American Music Awards” they will perform a song from their new critically acclaimed Virgin Records CD “A Bigger Bang.”

    “The American Music Awards” honor the past year’s elite in contemporary music as voted by record buyers. On the 33rd annual TV special, which will be hosted by Cedric “The Entertainer,” awards will be presented to top artists in Pop/Rock, Country, Soul/Rhythm & Blues, Rap/Hip-Hop, Latin Music, Contemporary Inspirational, Adult Contemporary and Alternative Music.

    The special is a presentation of dick clark productions, inc. Executive Producer is Allen Shapiro. Larry Klein produces the show, with Jeff Margolis directing. Executive in Charge is Fran La Maina.

  • October 16, 2005

    Photo albums from Pittsburgh & Hershey just added!

    Pittsburgh Photos

    Hershey Photos

  • October 15, 2005

    Check out my photo albums from Toronto and Washington, DC. Click on the two links below. Photo albums from Hershey and Philly are coming soon!

    Toronto Photos

    Washington, DC Photos

  • October 14, 2005

    Ok, really, I promise I have an update coming soon. I have been on the road for quite a few shows & between have had no time to do anything but catch up on my "real" job-WORK. But, I will be adding some details about the Toronto, Pittsburgh, Hershey, DC and Philly shows very soon. I have a lot of great photos from Toronto & Philly #1, so stay tuned. A new issue of Stones Planet will also be coming out in December so renew or subscribe now!

  • September 29, 2005

    MY REVIEWS OF TORONTO, PITTSBURGH, HERSHEY & DC ARE COMING AS SOON AS I RETURN FROM MY EXTENDED ROAD TRIP! Special thanks in Toronto to Blondie and special thanks in Pittsburgh to Bill, Tony, Keith, Shelley, Elizabeth and Angela & Dominic.

  • September 5, 2005


    CD Review: The Rolling Stones: A Bigger Bang A Bigger Bang is the solid rock album The Rolling Stones promised us By MIKE BELL -- Calgary Sun

    The Rolling Stones -- A Bigger Bang

    And so it is.

    So we shall all be judged by our prior deeds, our past indiscretions and our former triumphs.

    Those who knew us then, presume to know us now -- our histories, twelve-hundred pound albatrosses around our necks, keeping us planted and where others remember us.

    For more than 25 years, The Rolling Stones have attempted to resuscitate said bird, and fly away from a storied past, which not only have they been weighted down by, but which all other rock after-comers have been burdened with.

    Not an easy feat.

    Nor one Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie have ever fully been up to.

    In moments, maybe, but never over the course of an entire post-Some Girls album.

    The answer, then, as simple as it's always been, is to fully embrace the past and build from it, expand on it, run with it and have some fun with it.

    That's exactly what the old gang does with A Bigger Bang, their 24th studio album and the album longtime fans have been waiting a long, long time for.

    It reunites them with producer Don Was, who took them through the less successful studio tour of duties in Voodoo Lounge and the band's last release 1997's Bridges to Babylon.

    But production, however good or enabling it may be, isn't the story here -- it's the songs and the performances, which belie the age of the band members and the time they've spent together.

    Writing together again with a single purpose, Jagger and Richards sound as though they still have something to say and -- maybe after viewing drummer Watts' recent brush with mortality -- have a new eagerness and enthusiasm to say it.

    That starts right out of the gate with the first North American single Rough Justice, which, upon repeated listens -- a necessity to help you get past any of those knee-jerk and jaded perceptions of 60-year-old rockers, or even that inherent forgiveness you have as a Stones fan -- reveals itself as an excellent raggedy rock cut.

    The band, including a stunningly caustic and un-caricaturistic Jagger, has found a looseness which slops slightly outside the comfort zone while remaining centred in it -- a good description of the album as a whole.

    The funk groove of Rain Fall Down, the boozy blues of Back of My Hand (a standout in their recent live dates), the swagger and taunt of Oh No, Not You Again, the naked disgust of Sweet Neo Con, the last call of the Richards-sung ballad This Place Is Empty, the raw, sexy street fight of Look What the Cat Dragged In -- it's all sides of the Stones we've heard before, but with a freshness that makes you remember the songs themselves, and not what they may or may not remind you of.

    Maybe there are three or four too many songs -- a little selective editing might have bumped it up a half star and further into the pantheon of the band's greatest albums.

    But they don't dip the overall quality of the album down enough to tear it from the spot of best Stones' studio album in two decades.

    And maybe we should give A Bigger Bang the ultimate compliment we can.

    Looking at it entirely as an amnesiac, the Stones' past peeled aside and entirely erased from our memories -- how does it fare?

    Is it a very good to great rock record?

    And so it is.

  • August 27, 2005


    Boston opening Night Review!

  • August 13, 2005


    I have a longer review coming in the September issue of Stones Planet Fanzine, but this is the excerpt from my tour diary with a bit more of the personal detauls of what went on. Blue Lena's Toronto Tour Diary from 8-10-05

  • August 11, 2005


    Just returned from Toronto where I had the pleasure of seeing the Stones perform at the Phoenix Club to a crowd of around 1000 people-and I was in the front fucking row on Keith's side! Too bad they didn't allow cameras in. I will write a longer review later, but all in all the show was just spectacular. The new tunes came off really well, and the boys looked super fit and ready to tour! Look for a review here and also in Stones Planet Fanzine, due in September.

  • July 26, 2005


    TORONTO (CP) - A world tour by rock's grizzled bad boys, The Rolling Stones, will be accompanied by a new CD, entitled A Bigger Bang, the band announced Tuesday. The 16-song album will mark the group's first all-new studio album since 1997's Bridges to Babylon. A Bigger Bang will be released on Sept. 6. The title comes from the band "reflecting their fascination with the scientific theory about the origin of the universe," according to a statement released on the band's website, Songs include the first single Streets Of Love as well as Rough Justice, Back Of My Hand, It Won't Take Long, and Rain Fall Down. This Place Is Empty and Infamy will feature guitarist Keith Richards on vocals. The Stones are currently in Toronto rehearsing for the tour, which kicks off on Aug. 21 in Boston.

  • July 24, 2005

    THE ROLLING STONES are finalising plans for their first studio album in eight years. Expected to be released on September 5, it’s believed the band have recorded 18 tracks from which the final album will be selected. The album was recorded in France during late 2004 and spring 2005 with producer Don Was. Mixing took place in Los Angeles earlier this summer. Among the tracks being considered for the album is ’Neo-Con’, which is believed to be an attack on the politics of George Bush and the Republican administration. On July 22 many US radio stations began playing the new track "Rough Justice" and a ballad "Streets of Love" is also being released. Meanwhile other songs that may feature on the record include: ’Oh No, Not You Again’, ‘Back Of My Hand’, ‘She Saw Me Coming’, ‘Under The Radar’, ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’, ‘This House Is Empty Without You’, ‘Walking Alone In The Rain’ and ‘You Drive Too Fast’. The album, is the band’s first studio since 1997's ’Bridges To Babylon'. As previously reported, the Rolling Stones kick off their world tour on August 21 in Boston, Massachusetts.

  • July 14, 2005

    Stones Start Rehearsing in Toronto Today!

    They're back. The Rolling Stones are in Toronto, preparing for their 2005 World Tour at the Greenwood College School. The location was confirmed yesterday by entertainment industry impresario Gino Empry. When asked whether Greenwood, near Mount Pleasant Road and Davisville Avenue, would be a locale for the Stones, he replied: "As far as I know. They have a couple of spots they're practising at." Jerry Stone, who knows Keith Richards and Mick Jagger personally and owns Stone's Place, a Queen Street West bar, confirmed the band would rehearse at Greenwood and said roadies and backup crew are expected in town soon. "You starting to bug them already?" he asked. Advertisements Music pulsed from behind the school's blacked-out windows this week and a handful of people dressed in black who loitered outside the exits would allow only that a "private event" was being held inside. The neighbourhood has been buzzing with news of the Stones' arrival for days. "It's the most exciting thing that's happened on Davisville," said Lorne Hogan, a contractor who lives beside the school. "There are famous people at the end of our street." Mr. Hogan could hear the bass last night, but said he wasn't distracted by it. The band has rehearsed at Maple Leaf Gardens, Crescent School, the Masonic Temple and Downsview Park before other world tours, Mr. Empry said. Toronto is where the band's tour promoter, Michael Cohl, lives. "They like Canadians. We're very polite and we don't demand they do certain things and bother them," Mr. Empry said. Hosting an internationally renowned band has been a little off-putting for Greenwood staff members who confirm they have limited access to the premises this month. It's "won't get no satisfaction" for fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the legendary rockers because the entrance to the school's property is sealed off by gates very similar to the mesh fencing used to control crowds at concerts.

  • July 9, 2005

    The Palomar Hotel in San Francisco has a special package prepared for Rolling Stones fans. This is a boutique hotel, with nice rooms, located near Union Square. If you book, please tell them you heard about it through Tamara aka Blue Lena on

    November 11 – 16, 2005 The Palomar STONES package includes: • One night accommodations in a Deluxe King or Double Beds, Executive Room or Suite (Package price varies depending on room type)

    • (2) “Lick your Lips” Cocktails at the Lounge on Five, located at the Fifth Floor Restaurant (A perfect pre-concert energizer!)

    • (1) Rolling Stones Welcome Amenity Souvenir

    • Arrive like a “rock star” with other Stone fans in our Palomar Stretch Limo to the SBC Stones Concert (limit 2 people per reservation)

    Rates starting at $209.00 for Deluxe Room, $229.00 for Executive Rooms or $409.00 for a Deluxe Suite. Each additional night is $175.00 for Deluxe Kings or Double Beds, $229.00 for Executive Kings or $400.00 for a Deluxe Suite.

    Package is based upon availability November 11-16, 2005 and subject to the 14% occupancy tax. Rates are based on single and double occupancy. Each additional person is $15.00.

    Hotel Palomar is located 4 Minutes or 1.07 miles from the concert at SBC Park.

    More information and photos of rooms, etc are available at Hotel Palomar website

    HOTEL PALOMAR, A Kimpton Hotel 12 Fourth Street San Francisco, CA 94103 Direct Line: 415-344-3307

    If you have questions about the package ask for Armel Reyes, director of group sales.

  • June 24, 2005

    Keith Plays Live in LA & Stones Host Private Album Party

    Things must be going well with the new Rolling Stones album, since Keith Richards found time to get away from the studio for a guest shot with some friends. Richards joined folks including singer-keyboardist Ivan Neville, Stones bassist Darryl Jones, and Stones backing vocalists Bernard Fowler & Blondie Chaplin at The Joint in Los Angeles for versions of "Wild Horses," "Street Fighting Man," and "Jumpin' Jack Flash," among others.

    Richards and Mick Jagger are in Los Angeles, finishing the upcoming Rolling Stones studio album. The Stones are reportedly going to host a private album listening party in LA very soon.

  • June 6, 2005

    Keith Featured on Les Paul 90th Birthday Tribute CD

    Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played All tracks - Les Paul With: 1. ... (intro) 2. Sting, Joss Stone .. Love Sneakin' Up On You 3. Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Edgar Winter .. Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo 4. Eric Clapton & Sam Cooke .. Somebody Ease My Troublin' Mind 5. Peter Frampton .. So Into You 6. Billy Gibbons .. Bad Case Of Lovin' You 7. Neal Schon & Beth Hart .. I Wanna Know You 8. Jeff Beck & Sam Cooke .. Good News 9. Richie Sambora .. Let Me Roll It 10. ... Caravan 11. Buddy Guy, Keith Richards, Rick Derringer .. Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl 12. Johnny Rzeznik .. All I Want Is You 13. Les Paul & Friends (All-Star Jam) .. 69 Freedom Special 14. Steve Miller .. Fly Like An Eagle 15. Alsou .. How High The Moon 15. Mick Hucknall & Joe Perry .. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know

  • MAY 27, 2005

    Alameda, California police have closed the murder case into the death of a ROLLING STONES fan 36 years after he was stabbed at a concert. The Stones' 1969 free show at Altamont Speedway in San Francisco, California is remembered for all the wrong reasons - after teenager MEREDITH HUNTER died in a knife fight, which was captured on film in the 1970 documentary GIMME SHELTER. Initial investigations led police to believe Hunter was attacked and killed by a gang of Hells Angels motorcyclists, who were hired as security for the concert. But gangleader ALAN PASSARO was acquitted after a jury concluded he acted in self-defence. Police refused to close the case, following up leads that a second unidentified man had inflicted the fatal wounds, but Alameda County sheriff's SERGEANT SCOTT DUDEK announced yesterday (26MAY05) that despite ongoing investigations, the authorities concluded Passaro was the only person to stab Hunter, and did so only after Hunter pointed a gun at the stage.Footage from Gimme Shelter was used to show Passaro was indeed the lone attacker.

  • MAY 26, 2005

    Stones honored at 50th Ivor Novello Awards in London. The Ivors' Special Songwriting Award went to SIR MICK JAGGER and KEITH RICHARDS.

  • MAY 26, 2005

    Keith to Present at Canadian Red Carpet Ceremony News Staff The stars have landed and you can catch them on Canada's Walk of Fame. Be part of our red carpet audience and get your chance to see your favorite homegrown celebrities up close and personal. You don't want to miss the unveiling of the stars dedicated to this year's inductees including Alanis Morissette, George Chuvalo, Paul Anka, Rex Harrington, Kiefer Sutherland, to name a few. The red carpet is taking place in Toronto, at the Elgin Theatre on Sunday June 5, 2005. If you would like free tickets, please send us an e-mail to with your name, phone number, and the number of tickets needed. The inductees won't be the only famous faces at this year's red carpet. You might get a glimpse of additional stars including presenters such as Jason Bateman, Michael Douglas, Gordon Lightfoot, Norman Jewison, Veronica Tennant, and Keith Richards. Hosted by etalk's Ben Mulroney and Tanya Kim, this star-packed show is sure to be a summer hit that you won't want to miss.

  • MAY 15, 2005

    Stones Shooting Music Video in NY

    Click HERE to see thumbnail photos.

  • MAY 14, 2005

    Stones Announce Second Fenway Show, more add-ons to follow

  • MAY 12, 2005

    Matt Lauer Interviews Mick & Keith

    Click here to read Matt Lauer's Today Show interview with Mick & Keith and see a video clip of it as well. The rest of the interview will be on Friday's Today Show-don't miss it!

  • MAY 10, 2005

    Stones Announce ON STAGE 2005 Tour in NYC Today!

    Rolling Stones On Stage 2005 Tour Dates

    August 21 Boston, MA Fenway Park
    August 23 Boston, MA Fenway Park
    August 26 Hartford, CT Rentschler Field
    August 28 Ottowa, Canada Frank Clair Stadium
    August 31 Detroit, MI Commercial Park
    September 3 Moncton, NB Magnetic Hill Concert Ctr
    September 6 Saint Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
    September 8 Milwaukee, WI Bradley Center
    September 10 Chicago, IL Soldier Field
    September 15 East Rutherford, NJ Giants Stadium
    September 24 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
    September 26 Toronto, Canada Rogers Centre
    September 28 Pittsburgh, PA PNC Park
    October 1 Hershey, PA Hersheypark Stadium
    October 3 Washington, DC MCI Center
    October 6 Charlottesville, VA Scott Stadium
    October 10 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
    October 15 Atlanta, GA Philips Center
    October 17 Miami, FL American Airlines Arena
    October 19 Tampa, FL St. Pete Times Forum
    October 21 Charlotte, NC Charlotte Arena
    October 28 Calgary, Canada Pengrowth Saddledome
    October 30 Seattle, WA KeyArena at Seattle Center
    November 1 Portland, OR Rose Garden Arena
    November 4 Anaheim, CA Angel Stadium Of Anaheim
    November 11 San Diego, CA PETCO Park
    November 13 San Francisco, CA SBC Park
    November 20 Fresno, CA Save Mart Center
    November 22 Salt Lake City, UT Delta Center
    November 24 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
    November 27 Glendale, AZ Glendale Arena
    November 29 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
    December 1 Houston, TX Toyota Center

    See full story and photos from Stones Planet HERE

  • MAY 5, 2005

    Stones Press Conference Confirmed for NYC May 10 12:30 at Julliard

    NEW YORK - Juilliard School of Music is rolling out the welcome mat for The Rolling Stones - but they're not going to be taking any classes. The rock legends are scheduled to appear at the prestigious school to make an announcement, which is expected to be about a summer tour. The Rolling Stones last went on tour in 2003, a global trek that ranked among the year's most profitable and popular. The Stones are due to appear at Juilliard on Tuesday. If history is any indicator, their announcement should be quite spectacular.

  • APRIL 29, 2005

    Waiting for the Official Tour Announcement

    Ok, I am as anxious as everyone else. The official press conference and tour announcement should be held within the next two weeks. Then we will all finally know for SURE, what the tour dates are, instead of reading all the rumors and speculative crap that appear on almost every Stones message board across the web. I hope to be at the press conference when it occurs and cover it exclusively for Stones Planet Fanzine and the Pittsburgh City Paper. Stay tuned. As soon as I know something official, I will post it here!

  • APRIL 16, 2005

    Keith Remembers Johnnie

    Stones guitarist reflects on friend, idol Johnson

    "It's a sad day," says Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, mourning his idol and good friend Johnnie Johnson. "I've been playing Chuck Berry records all day, listening to Johnnie." Johnson died on Wednesday at his home in St. Louis, at the age of eighty, after recent bouts with pneumonia and a kidney ailment. With his death, rock & roll lost a vital link to its roots in the Chicago boogie-woogie of Meade Lux Lewis and the jumping-piano jazz of Earl Hines and Count Basie. Born on July 8th, 1924, in Fairmont, Virginia, Johnson was the son of a coal miner and entirely self-taught on the piano. By the early Fifties, he was in St. Louis, leading his own combo. But on New Year's Eve 1952, Johnson hired a struggling, local guitarist, Chuck Berry, to sit in for another member of the band. Johnson quickly ceded the limelight to Berry's guitar and songs, and both of their lives were changed forever.

    Johnson went on to become the greatest sideman in rock & roll, at the very moment the music was being born. He played on most of Berry's biggest and best records of the Fifties and early Sixties, including "Maybellene," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Memphis, Tennessee," "Little Queenie" and "Nadine (Is It You?)." Johnson played with Berry, on and off, into the Seventies, until personal tensions, compounded by Johnson's drinking, caused Johnson to retire back to St. Louis. He was driving a van for the elderly when Keith Richards brought him out of retirement to play at the 1986 shows filmed for the Chuck Berry concert movie, Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll.

    Richards and Johnson quickly became collaborators and more, a relationship that lasted until Johnson's death. The day after Johnson's passing, Richards took a break from spinning those Berry records to talk about Johnson and his rock & roll legacy.

    Do you recall the first time you heard Johnnie Johnson -- when you realized who he was and what he was playing on those Chuck Berry records?

    That's a good question. I talked to Johnnie about that. It took me a couple of years to track down the band members' names, to know the name "Johnnie Johnson." At first, it was just, "What a great band!" They didn't give credit then. And especially knowing Chuck, you'd never get a credit [laughs].

    As a guitarist, what attracted you to Johnnie as a piano player?

    Johnnie had amazing simpatico. He had a way of slipping into a song, an innate feel for complementing the guitar. It's the kind of thing I hear when I listen to Muddy Waters with Otis Spann or Pinetop Perkins. Back then, I was also listening to Scrapper Blackwell and Leroy Carr, Big Maceo with Tampa Red. I always thought piano and guitar were a very interesting combination.

    Johnnie was a jazzman, too. In fact, most of the best blues piano players were basically jazzmen. You should have heard Johnnie talk about Art Tatum.

    But Johnnie came out of jazz, to rock & roll, with a natural energy. He never sounded too smart or clever for the music.

    "Natural" is the word. There was also a great sense of humor in his playing. It really fit, because that was what rock & roll was all about. It's a humorous music -- "Too Much Monkey Business." There were a lot of jokes going on.

    I was listening to "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" and marveling at the power in Johnnie's playing, which was not always immediately evident on the records because of the way he was mixed back, behind Berry's guitar.

    It was that left hand. That left hand was a power station. And the right hand -- listen to "Wee Wee Hours." Wow! You knew you were in the wee, wee hours.

    It was very fortuitous that I got to do the Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll movie with him. I knew Johnnie and Chuck hadn't been together for years and years, and I didn't honestly know if Johnnie was still playing. The most surprising thing was Chuck said, "Yeah, he's in town . . . I'll give him a call." That, for me, was the crown on the taping. And it was such a beautiful thing, the way he slipped in and, through that movie, had a whole new career.

    He looked like such a gentle, unassuming man. It was hard to imagine the brilliance coming out of those hands.

    He was a real gent, absolutely. He was such a sweet, warm guy -- almost like a big baby at times. But inside, there was a very strong guy, and it came out in the music. I was fascinated by those huge hands, doing such incredibly precise, delicate work. I always compared them to a bunch of overripe bananas. But he could do amazing things with those bananas.

    You produced two tracks on his 1991 album, Johnnie B. Bad, which was the first album he'd ever made under his own name.

    One of the tracks I did was "Tanqueray." That was one of his favorite tipples, before he had to give it up. He was an amazing guy to play with: You could close your eyes, listen to him, and you were back in Chicago, at the Chess studios.

    One of his last live performances was with the Stones, in Houston in 2003, on the Forty Licks tour. He came out and played "Honky Tonk Women" with you. Was he still in good form?

    He seemed in pretty good shape. He'd slowed down a bit, but not playing-wise. To me, he seemed his beaming, old, jolly self.

    Did Johnnie ever talk to you about his feelings over the songwriting credits for those Berry hits? [In 2000, Johnson sued Berry for credits and royalties on more than fifty Berry songs, but a federal judge dismissed the case, saying too much time had passed since the songs were written and recorded.]

    In a way, I'm a bit responsible. I said to Johnnie, "These songs should really say Berry/Johnson." It was obvious after talking to him and watching him play. But Chuck being Chuck, you'd be lucky to get a quarter. Or you'd end up paying him.

    But in the end, with the way Johnnie's career took off again after the Chuck Berry movie, he got his due.

    To me, that was the joy of working with him -- to see him get his own record contract, tour the world and work with loads of other people, who got to dig him. Because otherwise, he would have just been Chuck Berry's sideman.

    Actually, it was Johnnie's band to start with. Chuck superimposed himself on top. And Johnnie, being such an easy-going guy, was like, "Yeah, he's the frontman now." He'd take it like that.

    In a way, Johnnie reminded me a lot of [Stones pianist] Ian Stewart. It was Ian who pointed Johnnie out to me, because he was a Johnnie Johnson freak. So it all comes around.

    DAVID FRICKE (Posted Apr 15, 2005)

  • MARCH 27, 2005

    Veteran British rockers THE ROLLING STONES will be the first entertainers to play London's new $1,425 million ($750 million) Wembley Stadium. The GIMME SHELTER band will make history when they open the new venue by playing three nights in June 2006 as part of their final world tour. The Stones - SIR MICK JAGGER, KEITH RICHARDS, RONNIE WOOD and CHARLIE WATTS - plan to kick off their farewell road-trip with the historic Wembley Stadium dates. A stadium source says, "Wembley are absolutely chuffed to have landed the Stones as the opening act for the new venue. "They are the most famous band in the world, so it makes perfect sense for them to re-launch the world's most famous stadium." The Stones played the former Wembley Stadium, which was demolished in 2002 to make way for the new construction, on numerous occasions.

  • MARCH 26, 2005

    Alexandra & Theodora Richards appear on the April cover of Rolling Stone Magazine along with the other "Children of Rock".

  • MARCH 15, 2005

    Mick, Keith & the boys in Paris, Tour Rumors Surface

    Mick and Keith have been in Paris working on the new album since last week. Ronnie, Bernard & Darryl have reportedly joined them as of this week. New tour rumors arose on the airwaves and internet Monday saying that the tour will begin in Boston at the end of August, possibly at Fenway Park. Nothing official has been announced.

  • MARCH 13, 2005

    Ronnie & Fiends Play London

    Mick Jagger made a surprise appearance at Ronnie's London gig. Listen to Ronnie's Gig in London March 13, 2005

  • MARCH 6, 2005

    Stones Re-Release Sucking & Made in The Shade

    Virgin/EMI Music is preparing for the April 5 reissue of two classic, long out of print Rolling Stones compilation albums, Made In The Shade and Sucking In The Seventies. Unavailable for over 10 years, the Gold-certified 1975 collection Made In The Shade features early '70s chart-topping singles "Brown Sugar" and "Angie," plus other Stones hits, including "It's Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It)," "Bitch," and "Tumbling Dice." Also returning to stores is the Platinum-certified hits and rarities set, Sucking In The Seventies, including mid-to-late '70s signature hits "Beast Of Burden," "Shattered," and "Fool To Cry," plus three previously unavailable tracks found only on this collection. Sucking In The Seventies is a bit of a curio. Originally released in 1981, the compilation features album cuts and rarities, including three tracks that are unavailable elsewhere: the original B-side to "Shattered," "Everything Is Turning To Gold," recorded late 1977 in Paris; "When The Whip Comes Down," recorded live in Detroit in July 1978; and "If I Was A Dancer (Dance Part 2)," co-written by Ron Wood, previously released only on a 12" promo. Made in the Shade was originally released in June 1975 as a precursor to the Stones' North American tour. It covers the choice cuts from the band's first four albums of the Seventies - Sticky Fingers, Exile On Main St., Goats Head Soup, and It's Only Rock 'N Roll. Previously available only briefly on CD in the mid-Eighties, Made In The Shade has been long sought after by collectors. The tracklistings for both CDs are as follows: Sucking In The Seventies 1. Shattered 2. Everything Is Turning To Gold 3. Hot Stuff 4. Time Waits For No One 5. Fool To Cry 6. Mannish Boy 7. When The Whip Comes Down (live) 8. If I Was A Dancer (Dance Part 2) 9. Crazy Mama 10. Beast Of Burden Made In The Sahde 1. Brown Sugar 2. Tumbling Dice 3. Happy 4. Dance Little Sister 5. Wild Horses 6. Angie 7. Bitch 8. It's Only Rock 'N Roll 9. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) 10. Rip This Joint

  • MARCH 3, 2005

    Stones Radio on AOL

    With last week's introduction of Satisfaction Radio, Stones fans now have a reason to be on AOL 24 hours a day. The AOL Radio Network, along with ABKCO and Virgin Records, have put together a non-stop collection of Stones' gems for your listening pleasure. Consisting of classics, new favorites, B-sides and rarities, as well as covers from many diverse artists the band has influenced over their illustrious five-decade career, Satisfaction Radio promises to have fans' ears glued to the computer monitor for hours on end. Not solely limiting itself to just playing Stones' music, the station is also delivering fans newly conducted interviews with key figures in the band's career. First up is one time manager and producer, Andrew Loog Oldham, who discusses his experiences working with the band during their formative years. Look for more interviews coming soon, but only if you are a member of AOL.

  • JANUARY 22, 2005

    Mick Wins Golden Globe Award

    NEW YORK, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- "Old Habits Die Hard," the single from the acclaimed soundtrack of Alfie, was named Best Original Song in a Motion Picture, at the 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles.

    The song is one of thirteen originals written, produced and performed by Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart on the Virgin Records soundtrack album "Alfie -- Music from the Motion Picture." It was the first Golden Globe nomination and win for both Jagger and Stewart. The song was created for the 2004 version, starring Jude Law, of the classic 1966 comedy.

    Virgin Records Chairman and CEO Matt Serletic said: "Everyone at Virgin Records joins me in congratulating Mick and Dave for this well-deserved honor. It's an acknowledgement of the obvious depth and quality of 'Old Habits' -- both musically, and for its contribution to the emotional ambience of the movie."

    "Old Habits Die Hard" appears on the "Alfie" soundtrack album in three versions: a solo version by Jagger, an instrumental reprise, and a bonus-track duet with guest vocals by Sheryl Crow. Jagger also sings lead vocals on "Let's Make It Up" and two versions of the pivotal song "Blind Leading the Blind" on the soundtrack.