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“It’s like working out for the Olympics or something... You’ve got to go into training. So we’re going to go into training.”
—-Ronnie Wood on touring with the Stones
STONES READY TO ROLL?
Ron Wood Says Band Is Ready to Return to Studio to Mark 50th Anniversary
How do you celebrate a 50-year anniversary?

If you’re the world’s greatest rock and roll band, you go back to the studio and record some songs.

At least that’s what guitarist Ronnie Wood said yesterday, noting the group were set “to bat some ideas around” and “get the feel again” by doing just that.

The occasion was a news conference in New York at the opening of an exhibition of Wood’s paintings, “Faces, Times and Places.”

If the sessions produced any new material, it would mark the first since A Bigger Bang came out in 2005. Wood also suggested that a tour might be in the offing, its date yet to be determined.

“It’s like working out for the Olympics or something,” he said of preparations for going on the road “You’ve got to go into training. So we’re going to go into training.”

The band first played together as the Rollin’ Stones on July 12, 1962, according to two books written by its former bass player Bill Wyman. But that configuration featured only three members of the ensemble that would record the first single, Chuck Berry’s “Come On,” backed by Willie Dixon’s “I Want to Be Loved,” in May 1963: Wyman joined the band in December 1962, and the drummer Charlie Watts signed on a month later.

Theoretically then, the Stones could, if they so desired, milk any 50th-anniversary commemoration well into 2013; sometime this fall.

A documentary of the band’s history is scheduled for release later this year. In separate Rolling Stone interviews last month, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards seemed to rule out a tour this year, with Keith adding that 2013 “would be more realistic” a time frame.

That article also noted that the Stones gathered in a studio in London in December to play together for the first time since August 2007. Among those taking part was Wyman, who left the band in 1992, harshly criticizing Jagger and Richards in his autobiography, Stone Alone.

Both Jagger and Richards have performed in public recently, but not together. Mick sang at the White House in February alongside B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Jeff Beck at a PBS celebration of the blues, and Keith, who has been working on a solo record, joined Eric Clapton at the Apollo Theater the same month in a memorial concert for the influential blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin.

A message the Stones posted on their Web site on March 29, titled “The Rolling Stones need your help”: “Dear Rolling Stones fans: We’re gearing up to celebrate our 50th anniversary with a lot of exciting plans, and we’d appreciate your help with some of them. Have you got any interesting photos, videos or audio of the band or band members?” The post ended by saying that “it’s been a wild ride, and there’s plenty more to come.”

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