Keith Richards says that these days, he lets Mick Jagger call the shots regarding road work. The Rolling Stones kick off its 14 On Fire tour on Friday (February 21st) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, before hitting Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. Richards was asked by TimeOut.UK about the process of getting a workable setlist for the band to take on the road: "Basically what I do is I listen to what Mick has to say, because it’s very important that the singer feels confident about what he’s going to start with. After that, it’s a matter of pacing. Y’know how many fast songs you want, how many slow ones, so it’s really a matter of trying to balance a set list so that it works throughout two hours. You have just the right amount of energy and the right amount of melodies and songs and then the final part which is obviously going to be all systems go and both barrels blasting.
When asked about getting any resistance about touring from any of the other band members, Richards said, "Very little, no. We only do this when there’s an obvious desire. Mick’ll call me and say ‘isn’t it about time we did something?’ and I’ll say ‘I’ve been waiting for this call, how does Charlie (Watts) feel?’, and usually it’s almost a group desire to do it. We did have five years off the road in the early part of this century and, for a while, I was wondering if I was going to get the call again. But I actually do wait for Mick Jagger to say ‘I feel like rocking,’ and then it’s ‘okay mate, I’m right behind ya.'"
- Keith Richards spoke about how things came to a head after kicking heroin in 1977 and trying to become Mick Jagger's partner in the day-to-day decision regarding the Rolling Stones' operations: "This was a period during the '80s. And I have to say in defense of my friend -- sure, I wrote the songs, and I'm coming out and doing the gigs -- but in that period, I had nothing to do with the running of the Stones. He assumed control. He assumed that he was the leader. And so when I stopped dope, and I said, 'Hey Mick, thanks for holding the fort, y'know, I'll carry some of -- gimme the load, I'll carry my load now, y'know?' And it surprised me that instead of the sigh of relief, he didn't want to relinquish it."
- The Rolling Stones tour dates (subject to change):
February 21 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - du Arena
February 26 - Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo Dome
March 4, 6 - Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo Dome
March 9 - Macau, China - Cotai Arena At The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel
May 15 - Singapore, Singapore - Sands Grand Ballroom, Marina Bay Sands
March 19 - Perth, Australia - Perth Arena
March 22 - Adelaide, Australia - Adelaide Oval
March 25 - Sydney, Australia - Allphones Arena
March 28 - Melbourne, Australia - Rod Laver Arena
March 30 - Woodend, Australia - Hanging Rock
April 2 - Boondall, Australia - Brisbane Entertainment Centre
April 5 - Auckland, New Zealand - Mt Smart Stadiumceboo
- Out now is The Rolling Stones - Live 1965: Music From 'Charlie Is My Darling!' The collection, which makes its digital debut, accompanies the Rolling Stones' Grammy Award-winning 2012 box set Charlie Is My Darling! - Ireland 1965 -- which tied for the prize in the Best Historical Album category with Bill Withers: The Complete Sussex And Columbia Albums.
- Last year's "Super Deluxe Box Set" of Charlie Is My Darling! includes both DVD and Blu-ray discs featuring the new 2012 version of the film as well as the director's producer's cuts -- plus "significant unseen additional performance and other footage shot in Dublin and Belfast in September of 1965."
- The tracklisting for The Rolling Stones - Live 1965: Music From 'Charlie Is My Darling!' is: Show Intro, "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love," "Pain In My Heart," "Down The Road Apiece," "Time Is On My Side," "I'm Alright," "Off The Hook," Charlie's Intro To "Little Red Rooster," "Little Red Rooster," "Route 66," "I'm Moving On," "The Last Time," and "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Finale)"
CHECK IT OUT: The Rolling Stones on July 18th, 1978 performing "Happy" live in Fort Worth:
Keith Richards On Running The Rolling Stones