‘50 & Counting’

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Apr 2013 ‘50 & Counting’
The Rolling Stones celebrate their 50th anniversary by touring Britain and North America from May to July, including concerts at Glastonbury and in London’s Hyde Park – just as The Beat reported exclusively way back in its August 2012 issue.


This underlines once again how well plugged in The Beat is with the world of showbusiness and the influential role we have with our mission statement ofkeeping the music playing live.

The Stones performed two concerts in London and three in the New York area late in 2012 as a warm-up for this year’s ‘50 & Counting’ tour, which highlights the fact that it was 1963 when the group broke through for the first time in the charts.

“We had such a great time playing the five concerts last year, we want to keep it going!” said Mick Jagger.

“Hyde Park holds such great memories for us and we can’t think of anywhere better to perform to our UK fans this summer. ‘50 & Counting’ has been pretty amazing so far. We did a few shows in London and New York last year and had such a good time that we thought let’s do some more.STONES

“It’s a good show. Lots of the classic stuff everyone wants to hear with a few little gems tuck-ed in here and there.

“The stage is shaped like lips and goes off into the venue, so I get to run around in the crowd. It’s great fun to be able to get that close to the audience.”

Keith Richards said: “We all had such a ball last year, and the energy between the band is so good. We can’t wait to get back on that stage where The Stones belong.

“From day one at rehearsals, it sounded so fresh. You could tell that everybody was dying to get their teeth into it. It was like open the gates, let us out! Cause, man, it is the life and blood of us to play in front of people.”

The Stones’ Hyde Park concert on July 6 is being billed as the biggest musical event of the British summer. The concert takes place nearly 44 years to the day since the Stones first played Hyde Park, and will see Mick, Keith, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood return to the emotive scene of the group’s performance just two days after the death of Brian Jones. It inevitably became a tribute to Brian.

Rob Hallett, of promoters AEG Live, said: “This will be the biggest gig of the summer in London. The Rolling Stones are a true British institution and the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. Their return to Hyde Park is a landmark event.”

Guitarist Mick Taylor, who replaced Brian and was a member of the Stones from 1969-74, will be a special guest throughout the tour.

The Stones have already announced 18 dates for the Canadian and US legs of the tour.

The stage design for the tour is based on the band’s ubiquitous tongue and lips logo, which extends out into the crowd, allowing the Stones to interact directly with their audience.

Known for their ground-breaking sets and use of cutting-edge technology, the group’s set design will feature video screens and special effects that will enhance the high-octane experience of attending a live Stones’ show.

It was in 1963 when The Rolling Stones, then with the late multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones and long-time bass player Bill Wyman, entered the UK charts for the first time with a cover of Chuck Berry’ s ‘Come On’. It reached No.21.

Their second single owed much to being a Lennon-McCartney number entitled ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’. The Beatles were already big and it reached No.12 in the UK charts.

The Stones cultivated an anti-establishment image, posing unsmiling on the cover of their first UK album and making headlines like “Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?”

stonescentreMick and Keith soon became fine pop songwriters, adding to the Stones’ armoury for success.

The Stones’ fourth hit single ‘It’s All Over Now’ went to No.1 in 1964 and that was followed by a run of four more chart-toppers – ‘Little Red Rooster’, ‘The Last Time’, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ and ‘Get Off My Cloud’.

That firmly established them across the world and the hits kept coming.

By Ralph Gowling