Three days earlier, Jagger proved he was in tour-ready form when he performed for President Obama at a White House blues celebration alongside B.B. King and Buddy Guy – his performance ranging from high-voltage R&B to the sleek soul of "Miss You." "It was so much fun," he says. "I've been playing guitar and singing and getting myself back together. You can't just walk up there and do it. If you're playing a football tournament, you've got to practice. I feel very confident. I don't want to sound cocky, but it' sjust part of what you do. If you prepare, then you can be cocky."
In the meantime, fans will get their Stones fix from the upcoming documentary, out in the fall, which will trace the band's entire 50-year journey and is packed with unseen footage and unreleased music. "Nobody has put the story together as a narrative," says the movie's director, Brett Morgen, who made 2002's The Kid Stays in the Picture. "We've been looking under every rock going through their archives. It will be music never heard before, and I've conducted 50-plus hours of interviews so far. By the time we're done, they will be the most extensive group interviews they've ever done." Says Richards, "He told me 80 percent of the footage has never been seen before, which amazes me. I didn't know there was that much around."
Despite holding off on touring this year, the band is still buzzing from reuniting with Wyman. "We're back in touch, which is great, because I hadn't really spoken to him for years," says Richards. Will Wyman rejoin the group on the road in 2013? "I think he's up for it," Richards says. "We talked about it. I'll let you know when I can."
And Richards points out that next year works just as well for an anniversary trek. "The Stones always really considered '63 to be 50 years, because Charlie [Watts] didn't actually join until January," Richards says. "We look upon 2012 as sort of the year of conception, but the birth is next year."
This story is from the March 29, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.
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