The Rolling Stones announce new live shows - but tickets could set you back €1,200
THE Rolling Stones have announced their first live shows in five years but fans who want a spot right in front of the stage face being charged more than €1,200 for a ticket.
Even the cheapest tickets for their two nights at London’s O2 Arena next month cost €131 – more than the band themselves were paid when they performed their first gig 50 years ago.
Confirming widespread rumours, the rock group said they were playing four dates, two in Britain and two in the United States, to mark their 50th anniversary.
Tickets for the London shows on November 25 and 29 cost up to €503, including booking fees, for the best seats.
However, at present any Stones lover who wants to guarantee a place standing in the “tongue pit” in front of the stage, based on the band’s classic tongue and lips logo, will have to purchase a VIP hospitality package costing €1,250 including VAT.
Standing tickets only will go on sale later at a cheaper price, but they will be restricted to members of the Rolling Stones fan club.
By contrast, the original members of the Stones each received £5 – about €105 in today’s money – for their first concert at the Marquee Club in London's Oxford Street on July 12 1962. The late Brian Jones, who came up with the band’s name, was paid slightly more.
The latest gigs will be rather more lucrative for the ageing rockers. Reports suggest that promoters are paying them about €20 million for the four concerts.
Sir Mick Jagger, the band’s frontman, admitted on Monday that it felt “crazy” to have reached the 50-year landmark.
“You think it’s going to last a couple of years. At the time that seemed like a perfectly rational thing to say – why would you think it would go on for any longer? That was about the shelf life of a pop group at the time,” he told the Evening Standard.
“Obviously at the beginning you didn’t have any inclination. It’s a nightmare idea, really, that you’d do anything for 50 years at that age.”
The estimated 30,000 tickets for the two London dates went on advance sale on Monday to American Express card holders and people wanting a package including hospitality or hotel accommodation.
Tickets will be available to O2 mobile customers and subscribers to the Stones Archive mailing list from Wednesday, and will go on general sale at 9am on Friday.
The American concerts will be held at the Prudential Centre in Newark, New Jersey, on December 13 and 15.
Fans who manage to get one of the prized tickets are promised a run through the group’s greatest hits, which include "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", "Honky Tonk Women" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want”.
The Stones have recorded two new songs - Doom And Gloom and One More Shot - which will be included in a repackaged “best of” collection called “Grrr!”, to be released on November 12.
Sir Mick suggested on Monday that the announced dates would be a teaser for a full series of shows. There have also been rumours the Stones are being lined up to play Glastonbury Festival next year.
Sam Marsden Telegraph.co.uk