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Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, Keith Richards Discuss Rift in New "Rolling Stone" Cover Story

Terry Richardson for RollingStone.comIn the midst of the North American leg of their 50 and Counting tour, The Rolling Stones will grace the cover of the next issue of the famous magazine named in the group's honor, Rolling Stone.  The band also is the subject of a lengthy article that focuses on the status of the relationships within the legendary group, particularly between Mick Jagger and his longtime songwriting partner, Keith Richards.

Speaking candidly with acclaimed journalist Mikal Gilmore, Jagger reveals that the tour may never have happened if Richards hadn't apologized for the many critical and insulting remarks about Mick that the guitarist included in his best-selling memoir, Life.

"I think it was a good thing he got together with me and said [he was sorry]," declares Jagger.  "It was a prerequisite, really [for me to agree to tour].  You have to put those things to one side; you can't leave them unspoken."

Among the negative comments Keith made about Mick included complaints that Jagger had changed as he aged, becoming colder and more controlling.  He also lambasted Jagger's solo projects, suggesting that his 2001 solo album Goddess in the Doorway could have been called Dogs**t in the Doorway.

Asked whether he would consider writing an autobiography of his own, Jagger says, "I could only see the appeal of money in writing [a book like that].  I can't see the appeal of anything else."

Gilmore went on to ask Richards for his side of the "apology" story, and Keith confirmed that the frontman did indeed ask him to apologize.

"And I said that I regret if I caused you any…inconvenience or pain, or something," recalls Richards, laughing.  He then added, "I'd say anything to get the band together, you know?  I'd lie to my mother."

Keith also says he has no regrets about writing the book.  "I say what I say and that's it," he declares.  "I wouldn't retract a thing, man."

Even with all the conflicts between him and Jagger over the years, Richards tells Gilmore that he never was worried that The Stones were in danger of breaking up.

"Sometimes I'd look at it and say, 'This damn band is broken -- but not unfixable,'" Richards notes.  "That's what we've done the last year, is we've knocked the thing back into shape and into far better shape than I'd hoped for."

No matter how strained Richards and Jagger's personal relationship may be at times, Keith says he still has the utmost appreciation for the magic the singer can create on stage.

"There's moments when you realize, 'God, man, I love you, baby,'" he gushes.  "That can happen onstage a lot.  I watch Mick and I'm still astounded. I have to watch out that I don't become the audience from behind, because when he pours it on, he still amazes me."

Visit to check out all of the band's upcoming tour dates.

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