They’re currently on the road in the US with former guitarist Mick Taylor appearing as a special guest. On May 5 Tom Waits made a surprise appearance to perform Little Red Rooster alongside Mick Jagger and co – see the video below.
The Stones encountered controversy over the price of entry to their short run of reunion shows last year, with standard tickets for their London gigs costing £406 and ranging up to £1140.
It’s been reported that some shows on the 2013 tour haven’t been the sell-out that was expected, and some promoters have dropped fees as a result.
But Richards argues there’s only so much the band can do about pricing. He tells Rolling Stone: “We say we want to put a tour together, and people come to us with proposals. And these proposals are all basically the same.
“We actually did push down the prices a little bit – we took the lower offer, in other words. But it’s the price of the market. I don’t have much to do with it other than I would like people to get in, to be able to afford to get in, without sort of starving their babies and all. And that’s about it.”
Meanwhile, Jagger admits he’s not sure why people still want to see the band – although he’s delighted they do. “However much we might like to do it for ourselves, if nobody wants to see you, we probably wouldn’t do it,” he says.
“You ask me what we mean to ongoing and changing audiences? I don’t know what we mean. I haven’t got a clue. I do think our longevity, standing up for being long-lived, rather than being any good – I’m not saying we’re not any good – but that longevity adds an extra sort of layer to the appeal.
“Because you’ve been around for 50 years, it does add this kind of luminosity, if you want. But in some ways, it’s a kind of a disadvantage – because then you’re tempted to rely on it.”
The Stones will play two shows in London’s Hyde Park this summer.