...well, I don't know.... but you may wish to start counting how many times you see a version of this headline in the next eighteen months. Rumours surface daily regards the likelihood of the Rolling Stones organizing a 50th Anniversary tour and other possible public appearances for the band. I won't venture into the possibilities of using 'It's All Over Now...'
Our friends at NME have explored a different angle - rather than predict when the band will start their 50th Anniversary activities - they have tipped us information of when the band will finally cease live activities. To be fair to NME, they do say their source for the story is one of the tabloids. I did publish a story myself a few months back - also sourced from a tabloid report - that the Stones would possibly be performing at the Olympics 2012 opening ceremony. Unfortunately, once my piece was published, the original printed evidence was mysteriously withdrawn.
The NME report - that gives credits to the Sunday Mirror article headlined 'One Glast time... The Rolling Stones set to bow out at Glastonbury Festival' - says of the Stones 'their Glastonbury appearance will be their final date in a "handful" of shows in the UK and USA in 2012.' Now we know..or do we..? It then goes on to say "All four members have agreed that next year is the right time to have one final hurrah and put on the gig of their lives." There we are then, it's either this year or next year... well, it will definitely be after they do or don't open the Olympics. In my previous article, I did mention that the Stones line up was not completed until January 1963 when Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts joined full time. This last fact has now also been recently mentioned by Keith Richards and that date coordinates when Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Brian Jones and Ian Stewart were all joint members of the band for the very first time. Picking that date as the start of the 5oth year, also provides the luxury of extra time by extending the '50' into early 2014.
Seasoned Rolling Stones fans have been living with 'is this the final tour?' and 'the last chance to see the Stones' type speculation since around 1982, and the odds of the band retiring are getting shorter. However, Mick Jagger has previously said to the effect" We would never announce that we were doing a last tour or show - that would be unfair to our fans." Some reasoning behind that is - it could make fans panic for tickets - and the ticket touts and scalpers could raise ticket prices to ransom levels. That would also not be good business and could leave a bad memory if the band later decided they wanted to perform again. So, for those reasons, I personally wouldn't take the 'Glastonbury is The Last Time' story as being a final show. Although it is well documented that Ronnie Wood is keen they should go there as it will plug the hole of a major missing venue in their itinerary diary. It could also mean they will now have to do another gig - just to prove the press were wrong and that Glastonbury was not the last time...