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Rolling Stones Rule Out 2012 Tour, Citing Keith Richards’ Health

Keith Richards
Joe Corrigan, Getty Images

It’s often been said that the only two things that will survive a nuclear war are cockroaches and Keith Richards. However, it’s possible that the Rolling Stones guitarist might not be in good enough health to tour in celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary this year, as had been reported last month.

Although no specifics as to Richards’ condition were given, an article in the new Rolling Stone cites anonymous sources inside the Rolling Stones camp as wondering whether or not Richards can withstand the rigors of a major tour. Instead, the Stones are considering performing multiple nights in major cities, or waiting until 2013.

The band convened in December to jam for the first time since their last tour in 2007, with original bassist Bill Wyman sitting in for the first time since he left in 1992. Both Richards and Mick Jagger say the rehearsals went well, with Richards adding that he spoke to Wyman about rejoining the band for the tour. However, those plans will have to wait until they figure out their next move.

Richards, who has managed to stay alive for 68 years despite years of drug abuse, falling out of a tree in 2006 and working alongside Jagger for 50 years, was well enough to report that the tour is not coming together as planned.

“Basically, we’re just not ready,” says Richards. “The Stones always really considered ’63 to be 50 years, because Charlie [Watts] didn’t actually join until January. We look upon 2012 as sort of the year of conception, but the birth is next year.”

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