Following my recent article regards The Rolling Stones possibly performing a 50th Year Anniversary gig in July 2012 - other possible appearance rumours have since circulated in the press suggesting another likely occasion. After The Rolling Stones' 50th birthday, the second biggest event taking place this year is - The London Olympics. Some press sources are beginning to indicate 'The World's Greatest Rock'n'Roll Band' could possibly be lined up for the honour of performing at the Olympic opening ceremony or some other major feature of the celebrations.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, also happens to co-chair the Olympic Board that oversees the development of the 2012 Olympic Games project. Boris is also reportedly - as strange as it may sound - a big Keith Richards worshiper. The Telegraph reported last October that Boris met Keith for the first time when they both attended a ceremony in Covent Garden. Boris was there to make a short speech in honour of Lord Coe and present him with a prize. Keith was also there to receive his Writer of the Year award for his book called 'Life'. Boris also has a book similarly titled 'Life of London', and the Telegraph ran a small story on the meeting and published a short excerpt from the Boris book.
According to Boris, he has spent some time cycling around London visiting all the known historical Stones places such as the flat where they lived in Edith Grove, places where the band hung out and some of the clubs they played - including the Ealing Jazz Club. Mr Mayor also goes on to praise London's music culture by explaining 'London currently has more live music venues - about 400 - than any other city in the world, and there is more happening in London every night than there is anywhere else. In the 60s, London became the rock/pop capital of the world, and as the driving force behind the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards played a big part in that achievement.'
Now, whether Keith met or spoke with Lord Coe and Boris at the awards event is unknown, so any plot regarding the Olympics would be pure conjecture. Following the meeting with Boris, a few weeks later in November, the Guardian reports that Keith had confirmed the band will be starting some form of rehearsals in London during December. This quickly ignited the assumption that a 2012 Stones tour will be due.
Then on 10 January 2012, along came Prime Minister David Cameron saying loud and clear - 'The Country has to go for it - Olympics 2012 is a big opportunity to showcase Britain etc.. and the whole Country will benefit from this sporting spectacular. Cameron goes on with more rhetoric saying it will be the greatest games ever and is on schedule and on budget. There will be a £1billion boost for the economy and leave a massive legacy for Britain. Cameron's mindset seems to be: He wants the best of everything and no taxpayers money will be spared regardless of costs. This is all for an event that only lasts four weeks, so why not make the extravagant most of it?
The latest news to fuel rumours was published 22 Jan by the Mail Online stating that Olympic organisers are planning the biggest ever event in music history with 12 days of concerts taking place during the games. Paul McCartney, and the Rolling Stones are listed as likely to be headlining somewhere along the way. Other British artists listed as possible are Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the Spice Girls. Several American acts including Madonna are also included as being in the frame. A project of this scale - twelve star studded mega rock shows tied in with the Olympics - would easily out glitz anything that has gone before, and could be the changing face for Olympics of the future.
As the proposed shows are mentioned as being charity events, could it be that Sir Bob Geldof will also be called upon to organise them? Sir Bob is the man who has done this before. He is ever remembered for organising the legendary Live Aid Concert that raised 150 million for charity in 1985, also held in a July. The worldwide publicity angle for any artistes playing at the London Olympics should also prove virtually irresistible. Many forgotten careers were given a new lease of life after Live Aid, with a boost in record sales and concerts. If the proposed London Olympics music formula is successful, it could lead to much bigger things. With the Olympics being held every four years they could become untouchable as - The World's Largest Sports and Music Festival.
Unfortunately for London taxpayers, there is no indication the shows will contribute financially towards paying the costs for the London Olympics or increase those costs even further. One thing is for sure, Londoners will have many reasons for remembering The 2012 Games.
And Boris: If you are cycling down Edith Grove again - the kitchen window for the middle floor flat is at the back of the house and cannot be seen from the street.