Keith on His Relationship With Mick: ‘I Have His Back; He Has Mine’

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Keith Richards, during his video interview with Apple Music Hits

Keith Richards has weighed-in on the 2021 edition of the Rolling Stones’ “No Filter” tour. In a video interview with Apple Music Hits in late October, he reflected on carrying on without Charlie Watts. And he lovingly talked about his relationship with Mick Jagger, positively glowing about their friendship, particularly when they’re on stage. “I have to support my friend and he knows that I’m gonna be there.”

“The last thing I wanted to do was a Rolling Stones tour without Charlie,” he told Apple Music Hits host Strombo. “Charlie said, ‘Look, go on with Steve [Jordan].’ Everyone [knows] that I’ve worked with Steve for 30 years, and he’d also worked with Mick and me over the last couple of years in the studio. So it was kind of a seamless transition. Steve has brought a new energy.

“I can almost feel Charlie smiling down on us every night,” he added.

“You’ve got to roll with the punches. This is rock ‘n’ roll. My important thing is ‘roll.’ The rock is comparatively easy.”

He was asked about the current stage show. “[When] you see Mick doing his thing, what is that like?,” he was asked. “That is when we are at our closest, Mick and I,” said Richards. “It’s almost indescribable, but you know, when Mick and I are out there working and we both know that ‘Hey, I’m counting on you.’ And there’s a beautiful jousting and also like a support. That’s where actually, I feel my friendship with Mick more intensely than at any other time [when] he’s on stage. That’s the first time I said that.

“When I see my man out there singing, I think ‘Jeez, look at that cat there. He’s out there stark f*cking naked.’ I have to support my friend and he knows that I’m gonna be there.”

Watch the Stones perform “19th Nervous Breakdown” on Oct. 17, 2021

“I have his back. He has mine. It’s an interesting piece of improvisation goes on every night and it’s like, how far do you want to push it? And that’s half the fun of it. It’s never the same, this show, has no script.”

Richards, born Dec. 18, 1943, was asked about the new 40th anniversary editions of the Stones’ Tattoo You album.

“Mick did a lot of work, finding everything and putting things back together. It was one of the first albums that we made without actually going in ‘We’re going to make an album…’ Tattoo You was a few sessions in Paris and we realized that over the years we had left a whole lot of stuff trailing behind us that we needed to catch up on. ‘Start Me Up’ was at least five years old.

“The Stones have a lot of things in the can. We can’t finish everything. Tattoo You was a lot of catching up with what was on the back burner. We did, I think, 45 takes of ‘Start Me Up,’ and I was convinced it was a reggae song. It was in a totally different rhythm.”

Listen to a reggae-tinged take of “Start Me Up”

Tattoo You is like a beautifully flexible album, maybe because it wasn’t planned. This is what happens when you’re in a band for 60 years.

Watch Richards’ complete interview with Apple Music Hits

If the Stones announce a 2022 tour, tickets will be available here and here.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

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2 Comments so far

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  1. Goof
    #1 Goof 29 October, 2021, 13:32

    I gotta say, God bless Keith. A tour and no Charlie? At first I was thinking how blasphemous, but if Charlie gave his blessing….

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  2. RomancingDaShadow
    #2 RomancingDaShadow 1 November, 2021, 11:23

    The Stones don’t need the money so It’s obviously the love of performing that keeps bringing them back to the big stage..

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