Keith Richards says The Rolling Stones’ longevity comes down to still wanting be in a band together.
The ‘Start Me Up’ rockers kicked off their ‘SIXTY’ anniversary tour at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Spain on Wednesday night, and the guitar legend has reflected on why he thinks the Stones have stuck it out for six decades.
He told The Sun newspaper’s Bizarre column: “Life’s just too interesting to die. Anything I wanted to do had to be done — I couldn’t slack off. And hey, there was just an awful lot of cocaine involved.
“Sixty years is a hell of a long time. How do you do that?
“I think the most important thing is that the people in the band want to stay together. That helps!
“We had our ups and downs, of course. But in the end we always noticed that we are more creative together.
“And, of course, across these — my God! — six decades, you have got used to each other.
“The special thing about being part of a well-rehearsed group is knowing the others so well that you can predict up to a certain point what is going to happen next.”
The epic opening night saw Sir Mick Jagger, 78, Ronnie Wood,75, Keith and 65-year-old drummer Steve Jordan power through the 19-song set list with ease.
A special tribute to late sticksman Charlie Watts, who died aged 80 in 2021, started the show with a video montage played during ‘Street Fighting Man’.
Frontman Mick, 78, recently admitted he misses his late bandmate every time he hits the stage or rehearses.
He said: “I don’t really expect him to be there any more if I turn round during a show. But I do think about him. Not only during rehearsals or on stage, but in other ways too. I would have phoned him up and talked about last night’s Arsenal game because he supported Tottenham and I’m Arsenal. I miss him as a player and as a friend.”
Around the halfway point of the jaunt, the ‘Paint it Black’ band will play two nights at London’s American Express presents BST Hyde Park on June 25 and July 3.
The run concludes in Stockholm, Sweden on July 31.