“I’m feeling pretty good,” Mick Jagger said in his first interview since heart surgery caused him to reschedule the Rolling Stones’ upcoming North American summer tour. On Toronto radio station Q107, Jagger said it’s been business as usual since his operation. “Been rehearsing a lot lately in the last few weeks … This morning [I did] a bit of gym. Nothing crazy. Then I go into rehearsal with the rest of the band.”
In those rehearsals, the band has been trying to come up with some surprises. “We’re trying to pick some ones we haven’t done in recent years, stuff we haven’t done before,” he said. “Most of the time people don’t want too much unusual. People like a little bit unusual. They don’t want 100 percent unusual.” Jagger added that “Memory Motel” is one of the rarities the band rehearsed a few days ago.”
Jagger is well aware of the classics most people want to hear. “The favorite ones people like to hear are, you know, ‘Paint it Black, ‘Honky Tonk [Women]’ and ‘Satisfaction’ and things like that. We don’t always necessarily do all of them. We sometimes drop one or two, but there’s maybe ten favorites. I don’t know how people would feel if you didn’t do any of them. I think people would say, ‘Oh, that’s a bit unfortunate, I came to hear this.’” At the same time, he says “We usually have a [fan] vote song. We usually throw a couple different things in. There might be a few.”
Jagger says that he still likes being on the road – just not as much as he used to be. “I don’t do it all the time, [like] 12 months a year. When you’re young, that’s what you do. [Today I] spend three or four months on the road in a year and that seems to be quite a good balance.”
News of Jagger’s surgery broke in April, but the frontman put any doubts about his condition to rest when he posted a dancing video on Instagram. Keith Richards recently gave an interview to the Toronto Sun about the episode: “He went through it very easily. He’s in great shape — rocking. As I say, it seemed to be no problem at all really.” Richards said he had no fears about Jagger’s mortality. “It was just, ‘Oh, Mick will be better.’ We’ll just wait around because there was no doubt that we’d soon pick it up. It just had to be done. So we did it.” The Stones kick off their tour on June 21st in Chicago.