50 and counting for Rolling Stones

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Wood is often the diplomat if things get rough between Jagger and Richards.

“I still feel that necessary sometimes,” he said. “They’re getting along so much better than I don’t have to be the referee or the adjudicator.”

Wood said he’s pleased with how the band has shaken off the rust. As Richards‘ fellow guitarist, he sees his role as keeping the band tight, and said the Stones have a greater economy in their playing than they used to, getting to the essence of the songs.

“You give Mick a song and have a good beat to it, he can entertain anyone,” Watts said. “He’s the best in the world at it. Now that Michael Jackson’s dead and James Brown is gone, he’s the best in the world.”

Jagger was a driving force as co-producer of “Crossfire Hurricane.” The film focuses on the rise and classic years of the Rolling Stones, back when their shows were considered dangerous and not an institution that you’d take the whole family to see.

Footage shows concerts cut short when enthusiastic fans rushed the stage and made it impossible to play. “We were playing pop songs to 10-year-olds,” Jagger said. “It was very weird. You get used to it in 10 minutes, it’s not that difficult. It’s much easier to play three pop songs to teenagers than two hours of blues music to connoisseurs.”

The film contains interviews from all Stones, including former members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor. None are seen as they are today; Jagger wanted to keep the emphasis on the era and not go back and forth between the past and present.

For his part, Richard said he barely remembers the cameraman being there for all the backstage scenes. “I’m crashed out in the dressing room with some babe with me,” he said.

From the looks of things, he’s fortunate to remember anything. The thin, dissolute rocker has given way to a character that children often point to on the streets, recognizing him as Captain Teague, father of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.

The parents will tell them: “Oh yeah, he’s also in the Stones,” Richards said, laughing.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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