Over the past couple of years, everyone from Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen to Jack Antonoff and Stevie Nicks have parted with their publishing catalogs for enormous payouts. In a new interview with CBS This Morning, Keith Richards says the Rolling Stones are unlikely to join them anytime soon.
“Mick and I have not spoken about it on a serious level,” he said. “I don’t know if we’re ready to sell our catalog. We might drag it out a bit, put some more stuff in it. The only thing about selling your catalog…it’s a sign of getting old.”
He also said that the death of Charlie Watts last year came as a big surprise to him. “I think he tried to keep [his health] under the wraps last year,” he said. “It came as quite a shock. He had had a rough with cancer a year or two before, but he beat that one. He just got hit with a double whammy, bless his soul.”
Richards said they thought about possibly canceling their tour last year after Watts’ death. “I think Charlie wanted us to go on the road,” he said. “He wanted the tour to happen. That was my feeling the last time I spoke with him.”
The Stones haven’t released an album of new songs since 2005’s A Bigger Bang, but Richards says they are working on it. “I was working with Mick last week, and [drummer] Steve [Jordan], and we came up with eight or nine pieces of new material,” Richards said, “which is overwhelming by our standards.”
Earlier this week, the Stones announced tour dates for a 60th-anniversary tour of Europe. It kicks off June 1st in Madrid, Spain, and wraps up July 31st in Stockholm, Sweden. Richards, meanwhile, is re-releasing his 1992 solo LP Main Offender this week as a deluxe edition. On March 10, he played a rare set with the X-Pensive Winos at the Love Rocks benefit in New York City.