"I feel like it's kind of winding down," Bobby Keys tells Billboard. "This may be sort of the 'Sayonara, see you later, keep in touch'"
More signs have surfaced pointing to some special Rolling Stones 50th anniversary shows taking place before the year's out.
In a new interview with Q magazine, guitarist Keith Richards confirms that "We've got some shows in London, I believe, and in New York, but I really can't talk about any of that at the moment. They've put the gag on me on this. You can hint!"
It's the most concrete nod so far about a planned pair of shows on each side of the Atlantic. Billboard was first to report that the band will play two dates at London's O2 Arena and two at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn next month.
Meanwhile, Bobby Keys, the Stones' regular saxophonist, confirms to Billboard that the group is "gonna do some more concerts, starting in November with two in England and then a couple here in the States, then there's a few added concerts after that. Keith told me a couple months ago there was something in the wind and just be ready to go. I'm waiting for them to send me the plane ticket and the information, and then I'll go."
The Stones have plenty going on as those potential shows loom closer. The U.S. edition of "The Rolling Stones 50" coffee table book is due out Oct. 16. "Crossfire Hurricane," the new documentary directed by Brett Morgen, will debut at the London Film Festival and in theaters around Great Britain on Oct. 18, with its North American bow set for Nov. 15 on HBO. Another documentary, " The Rolling Stones Charlie is My Darling -- Ireland 1965," comes out Nov. 6, while a week later the group's new greatest hits set, "GRRR!," rolls out in four different configurations, all featuring the two new tracks -- "Gloom and Doom" and "One Last Shot" -- that the Stones recorded during August in Paris.
Of course, there's speculation -- as there always is -- that whatever the Stones do will be its last acts as a live entity. Keys, who's also been recording with Richards for his next solo album, says he suspects that might the case -- but with a caveat.
"The reality is this train is going to pull into the last station pretty soon -- I don't know how soon. I've been saying this since 1980," he notes with a laugh. "But I feel like it's kind of winding down. This may be sort of the 'Sayonara, see you later, had a good time, keep in touch.' I don't know that for sure. I haven't officially been told anything...I just take my cue primarily from what Keith says, so we'll have to see."