Rolling Stones: 50 and Counting

Exclusive: Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie talk about their epic concert tour and rock 'n' roll.
3:00 | 12/13/12

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Transcript for Rolling Stones: 50 and Counting
It has been noted that the average age of the rolling stones is now older than that of the u.S. Supreme court. But you know who's not making the predictable age jokes on this tour? Everyone who has seen this tour. Because mint, keith, charlie, and ron still rock with the best of them, while calling this live chapter 50 and counting in defiant refusal to ever roll to an end. Tonight, time is on our side, as "nightline" brings you the only tv interview since their golden anniversary. There's a scene in the new hbo documentary "crossfire hurricane" that takes us backstage with the stones in the EARLY '70s. Back when mick jagger would slither into a body suit, snort coke off a switchblade, and then with molten sexual energy proceed to blow the minds of an arena packed to the sweaty rafters. The laws of burnt out physics tell us that this level is supposed to either split a band or kill its stars young. Well, behold mick jagger at age 69. ♪ for two and a half hours, he shimmies laps around the lips and tongue stage, as baby boomers and their kids get a contact high from all this vintage uncut rock 'n' roll. How do you do it? How do you do it?I was sore watching. It's just what I do really. And then after that, you have a room full of people come over and go crazy and drink all your wine. We were talking about it. If people are willing to pay $500, $600 for a seat, just think what they would pay for mick jagger elixir, or whatever it is, your fitness regimen. I don't really have much of a fitness regimen, to be honest. It's pretty low-key. I mean, I do have one. Keith richards, who also turns 69 next week, is admittedly less mobile onstage, but as he proved during last night's concert for hurricane sandy relief, that guitar gives him no less power to anyone with an eardrum. What is it like to be keith richards and hit an opening riff and see it just rip like electricity through a room like that? It is indescribable. I wish you could all be there. But it's something I can't share with anybody. Maybe charlie watts and the guys in the band. There's just a magic to it. I'm in love of it, really. After all, when it comes down to it, what do duo, what are we good at, we touch people's hearts. And to think the stones nearly split for good several times over recent decades. As keith revealed in his recent autobiography "life," his resentiment for jagger began BUILDING IN THE '80s WHEN THE Singer's ego seemed to grow too big for the band. I used to love to hang with mick, he wrote, but I haven't gone to his dressing room in 20 years. Sometimes I miss my friend. Where the hell did he go? That line makes the film "charlie is my darling" all the more poignant. Shot in the 1965 tour, it shows the glimmer twins writing songs as a true creative team. But keith's insults of jagger in his book were so sering it took a reported apology from richards before this reunion could even happen. How would you characterize your relationship with keith these days? At the moment, it's good. A pretty good working relationship. We see each other, we go onstage and we play together and we rehearse six weeks in paris. It's pretty good. ♪ two new songs. Did you write those together? Separately? Separately. Keith lives in the united states and I live in europe. One of the great clips I came across was you guys noodling together. Yeah. How much of that is the secret sauce of the stones, where you two need to be together to do that? I think we've gone past that, really. We're made to do this. It's when we're not working there's a problem. Or could be. But otherwise, mick and I have been working together the last few months. It's been a revelation really. Really? Yeah. How you can all get along once you're in the groove and stuff and how much we actually do fit together. It's very interesting. There was a time earlier this year, I thought -- I don't think it will happen again. I didn't mind. There was a time when it was in the balance when people were saying oh, it's not going to happen. It looked like it, but I never believed it. And as they had struggled for harmony, some in the band have also tackled addiction over the years, most notably keith's hard-won battles with heroin. I don't do anything no more. I've done it all. Once you've done it all, what are you going to do, you know? You give it up and enjoy giving it up. The only thing I haven't done before was giving things up. This is another turn. It's wonderful being straight. He still enjoys a drink or three, but not so for drummer charlie watts. The elder stone has long been a well behaved family man, and no more partying until sunrise for guitarist ronnie wood. You've been sober for a while. For years. This is the first tour, though, right? To test that will power? Yeah, probably. Yeah. How's it going? Going great. I handle things much easier. He's doing very well. It's very difficult for him. Great support. But it's a big deal when you do it for weeks straight. You think I'm never going to make the end of it. But by all accounts, he did. They all did, thanks to eight weeks of all day rehearsals to prepare for just five shows. But even though this tour is called 50 and counting, you can't help but wonder when this incredible run will end. As you can see in "charlie is my darling", it's a question that goes back to the days of girls literally wetting themselves in the aisles and boys starting concert riots. Back when it seemed like the rolling stones were the most dangerous force in the universe. When we first got a record, given the chance, we thought well, it's good -- we'll probably be around a year, maybe a year and a half. Then it's all going to be over. First year -- 1965. Can you keep doing this? I remember being asked that in 1965 and every decade I was asked it. You are not a nostalgic guy. You're not an introspective guy at all. Not really. I hate to put up with this 50-year thing. It was sort of thrust upon you. It's something to be proud of. But I'll be glad when it's over. Would you allow yourself a moment to just soak in the enormity of what you guys have accomplished over these years before walking onstage for this one? yeah, it's a pretty humbling thought when you actually think about it. And I don't get humble often. One more shot is what they're

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