Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards doesn't know if the band will ever tour again.
The 76-year-old Richards, "laying low" during the pandemic at his enclave in Connecticut, said Covid-19 raises doubts about the aging band performing in concert again.
But Richards ended an interview with the Wall Street Journal on a positive note, expressing hope for future appearances by the Stones. "Another final tour," he said with a laugh.
A new Stones album is also in limbo, Richards said in the interview with the WSJ, which surprisingly covers boomer rock better than The New York Times. Richards said that he and Rolling Stones co-leader Mick Jagger are still working on songs for a new album.
But Richards fans won't be bereft: A live album by his band, the X-Pensive Winos, will be released Friday. The box set "Live at the Hollywood Palladium" was recorded on Dec. 15, 1988, when Richards was feuding with Jagger.
Richards said that his experience as a front-man for the X-Pensive Winos gave him a new appreciation for Jagger's talent. The X-Pensive Winos, with a looser sound than the Stones, perform several of their songs on the album, along with some written by Richards.
The X-Pensive Winos album features Richards' duets with noted guitarist Waddy Wachtel, which gives the music a distinctive flavor, Richards told the WSJ. The band also included drummer Steve Jordan, bassist Charley Drayton, keyboard player Ivan Neville, singer Sarah Dash, and the late saxophonist Bobby Key
As the pandemic's autumn resurgence rages, the album from a distant time will be a melancholy reminder of when people could gather together to hear music.
Rolling Stones fans will listen with the hope that those days return soon and that the band will be back onstage throughout the world.