When NBC announced that Mick Jagger would host and perform on the May 19th season finale of Saturday Night Live, fans wondered whether the Rolling Stones would use the platform to stage their first live performance in nearly five years – or at least make a cameo. But Keith Richards tells Rolling Stone that he won't be involved. "I spoke to Mick and he said it's something that he said yes to many months ago, so he's just doing it," Richards says. "He's on his own."
Will the guitarist be watching? "Probably," Richards says with a laugh.
News of Jagger's SNL gig – which marks the singer's third appearance on the show, and his first as a host – set off speculation among fans, some of whom wondered whether the Stones might use his appearance to announce their anticipated 50th anniversary tour. Jagger isn't promoting anything else currently (his last project, SuperHeavy, was released last September), and the Stones have staged rehearsals in recent weeks. However, Jagger is only confirmed to perform with Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters and Jeff Beck on the show.
Richards previously told Rolling Stone that the band will not tour in 2012 to mark their 50th anniversary. "Basically, we're just not ready," he said, adding that 2013 is the new goal. "I have a feeling that's more realistic … The Stones always really considered 1963 to be 50 years, because Charlie [Watts] didn't actually join until January. We look upon 2012 as sort of the year of conception, but the birth is next year."
But don't count Richards out of SNL completely. Stones plans often change at the last minute; Richards never announced that he was joining Jagger at 2001's Concert for New York, but he showed up, joining the frontman on "Miss You" and "Salt of the Earth."