The Rolling Stones kicked off their European “Stones 60” tour last night (June 1st) in Madrid, Spain, marking the band’s first shows of 2022. The big surprise of the night was the band performing the 1966 Aftermath favorite “Out Of Time” for the first time since their fall ’66 UK tour.
The 1978 Some Girls classic “Beast Of Burden” was the Internet “fan choice” of the night — and the band and fans got the chance to sing “Happy Birthday” to guitarist Ron Wood who celebrated his 75th yesterday.
The “Stones 60” tour plays through July 31st in Stockholm, Sweden. The band will also perform open air shows in Germany, England, Austria, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy. There are already industry whispers about upcoming North American dates — but nothing concrete has been announced.
Mick Jagger told us that in terms of the band’s nightly setlist — just because a song might’ve cooked during rehearsals, it hardly means that it’ll be a hit when introduced onstage: “The thing about when you do running orders, is that it’s completely hypothetical. You don’t know if this song is going to work — and you soon do. And you go out and you do it. And if it doesn’t work. . . you don’t know about songs.”
Keith Richards was asked if after all these years he gets nervous just before jumping on stage — especially playing venues like the massive football stadiums the Stones usually play: “No — but there is. . . it depends what you mean by nerves. I mean, some people (get) nerves, or butterflies — no, that don’t come into it. But there is at the same time a sense of excitement. You really, gotta, like, fly. Y’know, that’s what you try and do, y’know; and I got some fliers in this band.”
Ron Wood, who first recorded with the Stones back in 1974 and toured with the band the following year, still remembers what it was like to be one of the band’s original legion of early British fans: “Yeah, well, I still look at it from a far, y’know? It’s a bit like. . . it’s very surreal to be in this unit where you used to run home from school to watch on the telly, going (claps hands): ‘I’m gonna be in that band!’ — Y’know, to actually be in that band.”
In 1982, Chuck Leavell replaced former-Faces member Ian McLagan to become the Stones’ keyboardist for the European leg of the band’s tour behind Tattoo You — a gig he’s had since then. Leavell, who also played with Eric Clapton, had previously achieved fame as part of the Allman Brothers Band and his own group, the Allmans off-shoot ensemble, Sea Level.
After playing an identical show night-after-night, for the band’s 1989/1990 Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle trek, Leavell told us he pressed the Stones to stretch out and really explore their entire catalogue: “I said, ‘Let’s dig deep guys’ — and we did. And so I started taking notes. I would do chord charts on early songs that the band had done, or I would take notes — ‘Do we have horns? What were the horn parts? What were the background vocals? Did we change the arrangements for any reasons?’ And so, I began to take copious notes during that experience. And so, I, sort of, came to be the ‘go-to’ guy: ‘Hey Chuck, how does the middle-eight go?’ ‘Hey Chuck, what’s the tempo of this?’ I keep a lot of that in my head, but I have the notes to refer to. I now have two encyclopedic notebooks that encompasses most, y’know, I would say 90 percent of the work that the band has done.”
The Rolling Stones’ setlist last night in Madrid:
“Street Fighting Man”
“19th Nervous Breakdown”
“Sad, Sad, Sad”
“Out Of Time”
“Beast Of Burden”
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
“Living In A Ghost Town”
“Honky Tonk Women”
Band intros & “Happy Birthday Ronnie”
“Start Me Up”
“Paint It Black”
“Sympathy For The Devil”
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”