The Rolling Stones cockteased the crowd with three songs at Manhattan’s Juilliard School of Music behind the pompous halls at Lincoln Center in a lunchtime press conference to announce their upcoming tour. This was the first time the band played at one of their press conferences since 1975 when they sang on top of a flatbed truck as it careened down Fifth Avenue sideswiping winos along the way.
This time around they played “Start Me Up,” “Brown Sugar” and a new one, “Oh No Not You Again,” that went down like classic Stones from a pumped up band of geriatric rockers with something to prove. Jagger and Richards beamed at each other like two old dogs as Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood laid down the jackhammer beats and rhythms to the plaza’s water fountains, leaving more than a few hundred lucky ones that cut school or called in sick to work “Shat-tered.”
Afterwards they took on the press like a Marx Brothers routine and fielded questions that ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. Someone asked if they had a set list yet, to which Jagger replied, “Perhaps we’ll dig into the catalog and find some songs we haven’t done for awhile.” The swashbuckling guitarist Keith Richards countered with a wild-eyed grin, “Sometimes they choose themselves.”
Someone from the BBC asked them how much they plan to make from the tour and Richards replied with a coy, “Millionsssssss” and “You can have the money!” He then asked the band if they’d left Britain for tax reasons that led to a mini-microsecond of silence until Richards told the crowd, “What do you expect, he’s from the Boring Broadcast System.”
As for the new album that is “85 percent completed” Jagger added, “We tried to make this album a very direct album…It’s a simple album with a lot of different ideas as far as lyrics are concerned.We tried to make it very wide-ranging and very hard-hitting, though it’s got its sensitive moments.” Richards chimed in, “It kicks some ass.”
The Rolling Stones will perform at Giants Stadium in E. Rutherford, NJ on Sept. 15.