The Rolling Stones have played their music on stages all over the world. So is it time for the stage to return the favor with a musical based on the rock group? Actors are reportedly auditioning in London’s West End… with one caveat.
Mick Jagger and crew–Keith Richards, 73, Charlie Watts, 76, and Ronnie Wood, 70, have yet to sign off on the production.
The band is very selective about their use of their music, so you can bet the Stones will have a big say–not to mention big slice of the pie– before the show goes on.
Besides, who would ever play Mick?
“The idea came from top theater execs who know a Stones musical has the potential to be a worldwide hit,” says a source attached to the effort.
“But they know the show has to be outstanding for the band members to back it,” the source adds. “Only then will it ever see the light of day – and at the same time make the rockers an absolute fortune.”
Maybe, maybe not. Rock musicals have had a mixed track record, at least on Broadway in New York City.
Hair, the 1960s musical based on the counterculture, eventually made its way to Broadway and was a smash.
The Who’s Tommy, based on their music, hit Broadway in 1993 and ran for 899 performances.
Perhaps the best known and most successful musical, Jersey Boys, is based on the music of ’50s group The Four Seasons. The show debuted in 2005 and just closed in January after 4,642 performances.
But a more recent production, 2010’s American Idiot, based on punk band Green Day’s music, ran for only six months. It’s considered a flop.
Still, the Stones may feel they have something to prove.
Auditions are reportedly being conducted under tight security, according to London tabloid The Sun.
“Only incredible talent is being invited to attend,” a source told the newspaper.
The plot and songs are reportedly still up in the air. The band’s music catalog goes back to 1962, so there is plenty of material.
Our pick would be a musical focused on the band’s 10th studio album Exile on Main St.
The band holed up in a rented villa in Nellcôte, France, to produce the album. At the time they were being charged with tax evasion in Britain and were at one of the lowest points in their career.
The album rocketed them back into the limelight and the group has never looked back.
A string of celebrities, including, William S. Burroughs, visited the Stones and the partying and depravity are the stuff of legend.
Meanwhile, the Stones are still very much engaged in their own careers. They just renewed their contract with Universal records for a reported $2.4 million.
They plan to release a compilation album late this year followed by a new studio album and a European tour in September.
“Both Mick and Keith would rather be carried off stage in a coffin than give up their great love – writing and making music,” an associate said recentlyl.
“They were experimenting in the studio earlier this year, and everything just gelled. They ended up with around 15 tracks which they have cut down to album-length, and when the label execs heard it they were thrilled.”
The Stones’ latest album, Blue and Lonesome, a collection of blues covers released last Christmas, was their 25th record.