Seems as if new rumors about the Stones begin circulating almost as soon as a band member finishes talking to a reporter. Throughout the last few months as speculation rose as to what the band might do for its 50th anniversary, it seemed as if everyone but drummer Charlie Watts was hinting that some concerts were in the works.
Then came last week when the band officially announced it would do two shows on both sides of the Pond, playing The O2 – London Nov. 24 & 29 and Newark, N.J., at the Prudential Center Dec. 13 & 15.
Now the talk has turned to the band’s habit of performing one or more warm-up shows before the much-heralded gigs. While talking to British music mag NME, Ronnie Wood described how rehearsals were going, saying the band wants to give “200 percent.”
Then the Stones guitarist veered into warm-up territory, saying the band might appear under the nom de plume the ”Cockroaches.”
“There’s going to be little club gigs that we’re gonna surprise ourselves to do as well, we’ll bung a few in next week or the week after, so look out for any Cockroaches gigs or whatever!” Wood told NME. “I don’t know who we’ll be billed as but we’ll turn up somewhere and put a few to the test. Tiny, 200, 300 people kind of places.”
Doing surprise warm-up shows before a tour has been something of a Rolling Stones tradition throughout the years. In 1989 in preparation for its “Steel Wheels” tour, the band did a surprise gig at Toad’s Place in New Haven, Conn. According to media reports following the concert, fans determined the band was going to appear at Toad’s Place when they spotted someone from the club in a liquor store buying several bottles of Rebel Yell bourbon, a potent potable preferred by Keith Richards.