Stones back in the studio

The Rolling Stones are heading back into the recording studio – presumably one well-equipped with nice warm blankets, a defibrillator and a big bucket of Werther’s Original.

The venerable rockers are in some doubt about whether 2012 is their 50th anniversary or not. That’s not due to collective memory loss, although that would be understandable, but to some uncertainty as to the exact beginning of the band.

"The Stones always considered '63 to be 50 years," Keith Richards explained, "because Charlie didn't actually join until January," he said. "We look upon 2012 as sort of the year of conception, but the birth is next year."

That may be why Richards wasn’t too concerned about touring in 2012, although a 2013 jaunt has not been ruled out. Meanwhile Ronnie Wood told The Mirror that the group were looking forward to trying out some new material. He said the band would be in the studio to "throw some ideas around and get the feel again".

Wood was sure that the 50th anniversary would be marked in some way, whether it was a tour, a one-off show or even a new album. "It's like working out for the Olympics or something," he said. "You've got to go into training. So we're going to go into training."

Relationships in the Stones have been somewhat strained since the publication of Richards’s autobiography in which he mocked Mick Jagger in a particularly personal way, and described the singer as "unbearable". The guitarist has since apologised and said he regretted the comments. Maybe the grumpy old men can put aside their differences for the sake of an anniversary cash-in.

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