Keith Says He's Cut Back On His Drinking..He Got Fed Up With It!!

 Even as peers like Paul Simon and Elton John say goodbye to the road, the Stones are ramping up. The latest leg of their No Filter Tour kicks off April 20th at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. Between then and the final show in Chicago on June 25th, they’ll play 14 cities to nearly a million people. “[America] is really our first hunting grounds,” Richards tells Rolling Stone, recalling how the group first toured the U.S. in a station wagon in 1964. “Quite honestly, I can’t believe I’ve been around this long, man. I’ve watched this country grow up.”  For their first U.S. shows since Desert Trip in 2016, the Stones are planning to revamp their set with extended rehearsals. “It’s kind of like pulling out a great car that’s been sitting on the blocks for nine months — you’ve got to break it in again,” Richards says. Mostly, though, they rehearse because it’s fun; he mentions that he’d like to try bringing back the Stones’ cover of Solomon Burke’s soul classic “Cry to Me.”  Guitarist Ronnie Wood has been thinking about the band’s setlists a lot lately. An accomplished artist, he’s releasing Set Pieces this month, a coffee table book with more than 400 Stones setlists he’s painted over the last two decades backstage. “When I get the final list, I get cracking on my canvas,” says Wood of his backstage routine. Looking back at them has given him a lot of ideas for this tour; he’s hoping the band breaks out “Beast of Burden” and “Play With Fire,” which they recently performed in Hamburg, Germany for the first time in nearly 30 years (“Mick didn’t realize what a great song it was,” Wood says.) Wood has loved playing “Under My Thumb” recently – “It’s a difficult song to handle, but if you get it right, it’s a really good payoff” – as well as the raucous blues covers from their 2016 album Blue & Lonesome. “Mick decided to keep it to one [blues number] on the last tour, [maybe because] of his waning confidence in people thinking, ‘Maybe they don’t want to hear too much off of that blues album.’ I disagree there. I think, ‘Come on! Let’s do more! Let’s do a whole blues set!’ That’s what I’d like to do one day.”


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