By Patrick Doyle
The Rolling Stones are strongly considering at least one live concert later this year to mark their 50th anniversary, Stones insiders tell Rolling Stone. Sources add that the band is still considering a tour in 2013. "I'd like to get a couple of shows down and see how it goes," Keith Richards says. "But I'd love it."
The news comes after the band gathered in late April in the New York area for a full week of rehearsals -- their first time playing together at such length since the final night of the marathon A Bigger Bang tour at London's O2 arena in August 2007. In July, the band will gather in London to further discuss live performance possibilities. "It's all very hush-hush," Richards says. "I'm going over to London for a bit, so I'll find out more then."
He adds that the band will also use the summit to discuss whether they will be recording their first new LP since 2005's A Bigger Bang. "We're going to talk about that in July and see. I mean, I'd love to get some tracks down and see what songs we've got. And that goes along with part of getting the band back together and getting things moving. So I'd love to cut some tracks, yeah."
Does Richards see himself writing one-on-one with Mick Jagger again? "Oh, yeah," he says. "I have no doubt."
In late April, the Stones began rehearsing in New York and continued working across the Hudson River in Weehawken, New Jersey, inviting a film crew led by director Brett Morgen to shoot footage for a documentary celebrating the group's anniversary, set for a fall release. The Stones blasted through classics including "Beast of Burden," "Respectable," "Fool to Cry" and "Gimme Shelter." "We played everything, really," says Richards. "We're just getting our chops together. It was like playing in the garage, a maintenance check, you know?"
The vibe was joyful, with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger joking around between takes. "Someone would mention a song, and within the second run they had nailed it," Morgen says. "Having screened through 50 years of material over the last six months, I would rank it up there with anything I've ever heard from them. They were extremely tight." Adds Richards, "I thought I'd be quite rusty, after all we hadn't done it for a while, five years or something. But it sounded as fresh as you could hope for. It was a great week."
The best song song I've ever heard live was them playing "Gimme Shelter." Easily the best.
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