The Rolling Stones Can't Stop: 'I Really Can’t Imagine Doing Anything Else'

Finding a new normal for the vagabond rock legends

September 4, 2020

The Rolling Stones don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. Despite nearly 60 years of touring and the threat of COVID-19, guitarist Keith Richards told Rolling Stone magazine the group plans to keep playing.

“You might call it a habit,” Richards said. “I mean, that’s what we do. And also there’s that thing between us, like, ‘Who’s going to be the first one to get off the bus?’ You have to be kicked off or drop off, right? So it’s like that,” Richards told the publication. “I really can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Mick Jagger stays cautiously optimistic about the possibility of safely touring during the coronavirus pandemic. “How is everyone that performs live going to function in the future? We don’t know. In Europe, we’ve had small-scale concerts. We’ve had socially distanced concerts. You can see [concerts] starting in some parts of the world — New Zealand, Australia and so on."

"But ... as far as the U.S. is concerned, we don’t really know what the future holds. So many people are out of work, losing money. Is it ever going to be the same again? Will it be always different? We just don’t know at the moment.”

The Stones were forced to cancel their American/Canadian No Filter tour due to coronavirus safety precautions. But the group has used down time to write new music. “I think we have five, six or seven tracks we’ve slowly been putting together,” Richards says. “Right now, seeing if this [pandemic’s] going to go on, maybe we should think about putting them out in another way.”

An expanded version of the classic 1973 album, Goats Head Soup is now available. The work includes a collaboration with The Killers on a re-imagined version of “Scarlet.”

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