||Rolling Stones Gather for a Tour, Floating on a Blimp in the Bronx
By KELEFA SANNEH
How did the Rolling Stones cross the park? The same way they plan to tour the world: slowly and with lots of pomp. At Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, the Rolling Stones announced their next tour yesterday afternoon; it is to take this 40-year-old group to four continents over the next year. The itinerary includes performances at stadiums, arenas and nightclubs.
The cross-park odyssey began when the band members climbed into a yellow blimp emblazoned with a Rolling Stones logo. The blimp wobbled aloft, did a brief tour of New York City, then touched down not far from where it had taken off. A team of half a dozen handlers pulled it toward a stage in the middle of a field.
The four members of the group — the lead singer Mick Jagger, 58; the drummer Charlie Watts, 60; and the guitarists Keith Richards, 58, and Ronnie Wood, 54 — made a brief appearance onstage, then disappeared into a trailer, reappearing in a nearby tent to answer reporters' questions.
Most Rolling Stones tours are organized to promote a new album, but this one will be linked to a forthcoming greatest-hits compilation, which is to feature a few new songs.
"The tour name will be revealed with the name of the record," Mr. Jagger said, and Mr. Richards offered a translation: "In other words, when we think of it."
The tour, sponsored by E*Trade, is to start Sept. 5, in Boston, and end sometime next year; not all of the dates have been confirmed. There are to be performances in Europe and South America, and perhaps the band's first-ever appearances in China.
The Rolling Stones plan to play three New York area shows: Sept. 26 at Madison Square Garden, Sept. 28 at Giants Stadium and Sept. 30 at the Roseland Ballroom. Tickets for these concerts go on sale Monday, but for subscribers to an online club called getAccess, some tickets are to be made available at www.samgoody.com, starting today.
The tour promoter, Michael Cohl, said that tickets for arena shows would cost around $100 each, seats for club dates would cost about half that, and those for stadium concerts would be somewhere in between.
The Rolling Stones have never been rock 'n' roll idealists, and they declined to present themselves as music lovers. "Either we stay at home and become pillars of the community, or we go out and tour," Mr. Jagger said. "And we couldn't find any communities that needed pillars."
The group was unfazed by accusations of greed. When it was suggested that the Rolling Stones charge more for tickets than, say, Sir Paul McCartney, Mr. Richards just shrugged. "There's more of us," he said.