The Rolling Stones met their fans last month in a new-world-meets-old-school sort of way. Fans submitted questions via Twitter and the four Stones answered them in spoken interviews after a reporter read them the questions. Here are a few excerpts.
Q: As older men now, if you could talk to your 20-year-old selves, what would you tell them?
Keith Richards: Um, ha-ha-ha. I would have said, "Get ready for a pretty fast ride."
Q: Did you know what you were getting yourself into when you joined the Stones?
Ron Wood: Yeah, I think I did. When I made my first solo album in 1974, Keith came over for the evening and stayed four months. I knew something like that would be the start of a good friendship. And Mick was hanging out. We actually prepared "It's Only Rock 'N Roll" there in my basement.
Q: What's your secret in keeping your voice so strong?
Mick Jagger: Practice. You have to do it. You have to do warm-ups and look after yourself. There is a regimen. You do a warm-up before the show, and before the tour starts, I do a month of practicing. Every day I do a warm-up and after a couple of weeks I do karaoke — but not in a smoke-filled room.
Q: You've been performing for over 50 years. Do you still get pre-gig nerves? How do you overcome them?
Jagger: I don't really get nervous. I get excited before the first show of the tour sometimes. I get anxious because a lot could go wrong. I get a bit overenthusiastic at times, a bit too full of adrenaline. If you get too much adrenaline, you can forget what you're doing. You've got to control the adrenaline rush. You can make it work for you.
Q: Do you have special rituals before a show?
Charlie Watts: Yeah. I usually practice on a pad, with sticks — to make you loosen your wrists and to pass the time, because you're sitting there for two hours.
Q: Do you break many drumsticks on tour?
Watts: No, I don't. Very rare. I don't hit that hard, really. I just have very good sound guys that make them sound as though I do.
Q: Are you sick of seeing Mick's arse after all these years?
Watts: No. One of the finest views of the country.
Q: What is the song "Moonlight Mile" about? Named my dog after that song.
Jagger: It's about your dog and how he howls at the moon. It's about being a bit lonesome on the road, I think. Being on the road too long makes you a bit sad or wistful. I actually wrote it in London in my house.
Q: If you had to share a room with another member of the band for one night, who'd it be?
Wood: Keith and me are like bookends, and we could live in a cupboard if we had to.
Q: How do you keep your hair looking so good playing for two-plus hours on stage? It's fantastic.
Wood: My hair is the biggest gift anyone could ever be born with. Somebody up there likes me. I cut it almost every day.
Q: Can you get Keith to teach me the secret to immortality?
Richards: I ain't there yet. Ha-ha-ha. So far, so good. I think a clean and healthy life, plenty of exercise. Go to church on Sunday.