The Rolling Stones kick off their “50 & Counting…” tour tonight (May 3, 2013) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. After gigs in Anaheim and Northern California, they’ll be back on May 20. There’s been a lot of buzz and excitement in L.A. over the Stones’ tour — especially after they played a last-minute gig on April 27 at a small venue in Echo Park.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards both turn 70 this year, Charlie Watts turns 72 in June, and youngster Ronnie Wood is 65. These rockers continue to inspire with their creativity, passion, and stamina.

As writers, Jagger and Richards are geniuses — how else to explain their endless stream of remarkable compositions?

Richards talks about songwriting in his autobiography LIFE (Little, Brown, 2010). Here’s a quote:

What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way you want to stretch yourself into other people’s hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance, where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you’re playing. It becomes almost an obsession to touch other people. To write a song that is remembered and taken to heart is a connection, a touching of bases. A thread that runs through all of us. A stab to the heart. Sometimes I think songwriting is about tightening the heartstrings as much as possible without bringing on a heart attack.” 

I was lucky enough to attend Stones’ concerts in Chicago a couple of times, but for the “50 & Counting…” appearances at the Staples Center the “cheapest” seat price, with limited availability, is $85. No matter. I won’t complain about the prices — because the Stones are worth every penny. If you can afford it (and even if you can’t) — go!  This is a once in a lifetime chance to see the greatest band in the world on what may be its final tour.

For ticket information and tour dates, visit