A lifetime of making controversial comments in the press and needling his frontman has taught Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards a thing or two about how to get in front of a story.
Within hours of the publication of a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, Richards was already walking back an off-color remark he made about Mick Jagger, who became a father for the eighth time about a year-and-a-half ago.
“Mick’s a randy old bastard,” Richards said in the interview published Wednesday morning. “It’s time for the snip — you can’t be a father at that age. Those poor kids!”
By Wednesday afternoon, Richards had already issued an apology via twitter.
"I deeply regret the comments I made about Mick in the WSJ which were completely out of line," he wrote. "I have of course apologised to him in person."
The comment in question came as Richards was talking about his famously contentious relationship with Jagger, saying earlier "Mick and I live off this fire between us."
The guitarist says there's a new Rolling Stones album on the way, though he wouldn't say when it might see the light of day.
“We have some stuff down, which is very interesting," he said. "It’s more difficult for us to write together the further apart we are, but it also has its benefits in that we come back to it from a different angle.”
Of his partnership with Jagger, Richards says his objective is always to write something that will excite the singer.
"I’m writing for the lead singer of the Rolling f---ing Stones, and that is my job — to give him a riff that he leaps on and goes, ‘Right, I know what to do with this.’"
The Stones haven't done an album of new material since 2005's A Bigger Bang.
The band's last studio record, the GRAMMY-winning Blue and Lonesome, consisted of cover versions of blues songs from the likes of Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Willie Dixon and others.
The Rolling Stones are set to tour Europe this spring and summer.
Drummer Charlie Watts said in a recent interview that the band could retire anytime and he'd be fine with it.
Watts said he doesn't know if the upcoming No Filter Tour will be the Stones' last run, but he says he isn't thinking too far beyond the tour's last show in July in Warsaw.
"I love playing the drums, and I love playing with Mick and Keith and Ronnie," Watts told the Guardian. "I don’t know about the rest of it. It wouldn't bother me if the Rolling Stones said 'That's it – enough.'"
Check out the newly-announced tour dates here.
Photo: Getty Images