The Stones roll into town for a birthday bash on the 50th anniversary of their first ever gig
07:51 GMT, 6 July 2012
Start me up! The Rolling Stones haven’t been seen together in public for four years, but next Thursday, on the 50th anniversary — to the day — of the group’s first gig, original Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and those ‘new’ lads Charlie Watts (1963) and Ronnie Woods (1975) will meet up in London to kick off their big Five‑O golden jubilee celebrations.
It’s not often they decide to spend the night together. Mick will be there with girlfriend designer L’Wren Scott, Richards with wife Patti Hansen, Charlie with wife Shirley and Ronnie will wander in with whatever girl he’s squeezin’ on the night.
They will pose on a red carpet for photographers, then stride inside to reminisce about their five decades of concerts, recording sessions, girls — and all that nefarious confectionery described in glorious detail in Keith’s sublime memoir Life.
This won't be the last time: Mick and his fellow bandmates Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts are in the party mood
Obstensibly, the group will be attending a gala preview for The Rolling Stones: 50 photographic exhibition at Somerset House, featuring images from the first time the band went on stage — at the Marquee Club on July 12, 1962.
Back then the line-up was Mick, Keith, Brian Jones (billed as Elmo Lewis — Elmo after his hero Elmore James and Lewis being the name he was christened with), Dick Taylor on bass, pianist Ian Stewart and Mick Avory on drums.
A couple of other old Stones will also be rolling up for the event. Bill Wyman (1962-93) will attend as a guest, as will Mick Taylor, who played with the band for five years until 1974.
‘They’re all flying in to party,’ a source close to the group told me last night. And they’ve certainly earned the right to party for as long as they want.
I remember Keith commenting a few years back that there’s no precedent for how rock and rollers behave as they age, and he’s right.
The Stones were there almost at the birth of the art form, and they’ve made (and broken) the rules for behaviour ever since.
There has been a lot of chatter about the Stones doing a gig sometime this year or next, but this has been strenuously denied by Mick and people in the band’s back office.
If you want to see what it was all about, Thames & Hudson has published a coffee table book packed with photographs linked to the exhibition.
You can't keep a good spy down!
David Oyelowo was in the original Spooks on BBC TV, but spies — fictional or otherwise — never fade away.
Oyelowo has come in from the cold, this time in the guise of an MI5 operative by the name of Edward Ekubo, for a Channel 4 film called Complicit, about a would-be terrorist who is tracked down to Cairo.
‘You can’t just pick someone off the street,’ David explained. ‘You must have a bunch of evidence, and if you can’t do that, every day that passes increases the threat of an attack.’
Cairo case: David Oyelowo in the new channel 4 film Complicit
The Brits do it by the book, he claimed, while some abroad chuck the tome out and do it their way. ‘It’s a tough moral dilemma: do the ends justify the means, in terms of keeping us safe’
He’d just finished shooting the film in Morocco and was all psyched up. ‘It was like a chess game between the MI5 officer and the possible terrorist,’ he said. Not only that, but the spook had to contend with all that upper-middle-class ingrained institutionalism. ‘My guy didn’t go to the right schools, so he feels a bit of an outsider,’ David said.
He described the film as having something of the feel of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation about it. The actor, who lives in LA with his wife and four children, has a host of movies coming out including Lee Daniels’s wonderfully outrageous drama The Paperboy.
Then there’s Jack Reacher, based on a Lee Childs thriller, with Tom Cruise in the lead role.
He also plays a Unionist cavalryman in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Honest Abe.
Next, he relocates to New Orleans, working again with director Daniels in The Butler. Forest Whitaker is the butler who served eight U.S. presidents and David plays his son who, as a reaction to his father’s work in service, becomes a civil rights activist.
‘He’s a Black Panther, and then he goes into politics. It has a Gone With The Wind sweep, going from 1928 to the inauguration of President Obama.’
Defector: Andrew Lloyd Webber, pictured with with Jason Donovan and Dawn French who will be helping him on his hunt for the next theatre star, will launch his first ever show with ITV Superstar tomorrow
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats will saunter into the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park next summer, which is quite a clever idea. I just hope, and pray, that the composer doesn’t cast it using one of those god-awful reality TV shows.
I see his latest — Superstar — begins on ITV1 tomorrow, as judges search for someone to play JC in a stadium tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.
I understand the argument that these nightmare TV programmes increase theatre audiences, but has the good lord thought about how he has allowed such programmes to desecrate his scores It’s shameful.