Rolling Stones announce new tour via blimp ride. The ageless rockers hit North American stadiums, arenas and clubs beginning in September
The Rolling Stones, Rolling Stones on the Road
Credit: The Rolling Stones: Kevin Mazur/

Its tents may be getting tattered, but the Rolling Stones’ rock ‘n’ roll circus lives on. The pushing-60 rockers couldn’t manage to deliver a new album to accompany the world tour they announced Tuesday, but they did gather enough enthusiasm to stage an old-school publicity stunt, arriving for a New York press conference in a wobbly yellow blimp emblazoned with their lips-and-tongue logo.

Their tour, dubbed simply ”Rolling Stones on the Road,” will kick off September 5 in Boston’s CMGI Field, and end its North American run in Mexico City in February 2003. The outing — which is slated to include small-scale club and theater dates between arena and stadium performances — will be preceded by a two-disc greatest hits set that will include a few as-yet-unrecorded new songs.

After exiting the airship, frontman Mick Jagger dodged questions about the band’s decision to tour without a full album of new material. ”Either we stay home and become pillars of the community or we go out and tour,” he said. ”And we couldn’t really find any communities that still need pillars.” Jagger also touted to his tour’s opening acts, which are slated to include Sheryl Crow, No Doubt, and bluesmen Buddy Guy and Johnny Lang.

Among the topics not mentioned at the press conference were Jagger’s recent flop solo album, ”Goddess in the Doorway,” and the constant tensions between Jagger and Richards — who did exchange grins often enough to suggest that they’re getting along these days. ”I said to Keith, I’ve come dressed as one of your famous songs,” said Jagger, whose silvery outfit evoked ”You Got the Silver.”

The 58-year-old frontman also brushed off a journalist who brought up his infamous pledge not to keep playing ”(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” past the age of 40. ”Who knows if we’ll even play ‘Satisfaction’ on this tour,” he laughed. Richards, meanwhile said it was way too early to talk about setlists for the tour, although the band is likely to pull out particularly obscure songs for their club and theater dates. ”We’re open to suggestions,” the headband-wearing guitarist said.

The Stones’ blimp ride, which began in the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Park and ended a few minutes later in, well, Van Cortlandt Park (they flew around a bit in between), was nearly as short as their press conference, which lasted all of 10 minutes. ”We had a very interesting first time experience in the airship,” Jagger said. ”But it was a one-time experience for Charlie.” In fact, 61-year-old drummer Charlie Watts seemed shaken by the ride, and hardly spoke at the press conference. Hopefully, he’ll recover by September 5th.

Rolling Stones Tour Dates (more will be announced):

09/05/02 Foxboro, MA CMGI Field
09/08/02 Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
09/10/02 Chicago, IL United Center
09/13/02 Chicago, IL Comiskey Park
09/16/02 Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom
09/18/02 Philadelphia, PA Veterans Stadium
09/22/02 Upper Darby, PA Tower Theatre
09/26/02 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
09/28/02 East Rutherford, NJ Giants Stadium
09/30/02 New York, NY Roseland
10/04/02 Landover, MD FedExField
10/12/02 Dearborn, MI Ford Field
10/14/02 Cleveland, OH Gund Arena
10/20/02 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
10/22/02 Fort Lauderdale, FL National Car Rental Center
10/23/02 Miami, FL American Airlines Arena
10/26/02 Atlanta, GA Turner Field
10/31/02 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
11/02/02 Anaheim, CA Edison International Field
11/04/02 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern Theatre
11/08/02 San Francisco, CA Pacific Bell Park
11/14/02 San Diego, CA San Diego Sports Arena
11/23/02 San Antonio, TX SBC Center
11/25/02 Nashville, TN Gaylord Entertainment Center
11/29/02 Las Vegas, NV TBA
01/10/03 Pittsburgh, PA Mellon Arena
01/25/03 Houston, TX Reliant Stadium
01/30/03 Phoenix, AZ America West Arena
02/01/03 Denver, CO Pepsi Center