The Rolling Stones' musical director says the band have no plans to retire: ‘The passion is still there’

Virgin Radio

1 Jul 2022, 15:06

Chuck Leavell

Credit: Getty

They might be celebrating sixty years together, but The Rolling Stones are not slowing down any time soon. 

The iconic rockers will perform their second night at BST Hyde Park on Sunday 3rd July, with the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Sam Fender supporting.

The festival date is part of their Sixty Tour, and joining them on the road is their musical director Chuck Leavell, who has been with the band for four decades himself. 

Mick Jagger, who turns 79 this month, is still rocking with his signature swagger on stage, and the band are back making new music, but as the legendary musicians enter their sixtieth year together, are they planning on making their next tour a retirement one?

Not so fast, according to Chuck, who revealed to that there are no plans to stop in the new future. 

He exclusively told us: “I remember The Who announcing 20 years ago that this is their farewell tour, and then they decide, well, maybe not, just kidding. The Stones have never done that. And I admire that, that they've never said it. 

“There was an interview on CBS television. The interviewer asked Keith [Richards], ‘when do you think the band will end?’ And his answer was, ‘what do you want me to say, okay, August the 20th 2023, we're going to stop being a band?’ It doesn't work that way."

Chuck continued: “We don't know, we're making music, we're a band, we're going to continue writing songs, until something happens that prevents us from doing it. So I love that about the fact that the band has never said ‘this is it.’ I think that's very smart.”

When asked about the longevity of The Stones, the musician was quick to say the group ‘never thought it would go on’, but they still feel the same way about music as they did when they first started all those years ago. 

Chuck continued: “I would never have thought it would have continued this long. I don't think any of the principal members would have thought that it would go on. There's the famous statement that Mick Jagger made way back saying ‘I can't see myself singing Satisfaction at the age of 30!’

“Just the longevity factor, the fact that the passion is still there, that's why we're doing this, more than anything. The love of the music, the thrill of being on the stage, and interacting with that audience.”

Chuck also recently hinted that new music is very much on the horizon.

When asked at what point we could expect to hear brand new stuff from Sir Mick and the band, Chuck told “There's been a lot of recording over the past three, maybe four years. I've been privileged to be involved in some of that, but certainly not all of it.

“I can tell you that even recently, not long prior to the rehearsal period for this tour, Mick and Keith [Richards] got together, one on one, and were writing songs. So the answer is, yes, there's going to be new music released at some point, it's up to the band, of course, to decide when that will happen.”

The Rolling Stones will continue their Sixty tour at BST Hyde Park on 3rd July.