Rolling Stones Announce Tour of Museums

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NEW YORK – The Rolling Stones are expected to announce at a press conference tomorrow that guitarist Ron Wood’s paintings will hit the road again late this summer. The press conference, scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Museum of Modern Art, has been the source of much speculation among the rock art press.

“It’s surprising that Ronnie’s paintings are going to tour again so quickly,” said Q magazine’s art critic Edgar Parker Bowles. “Usually he’s too involved in seminars, lectures, and rehab to be able to tour more than once every four or five years. I imagine the success of Bono’s line drawings of Pope John Paul II, which are currently on a monster world gig, has lit the competitive fire in Ronnie.”

Wood’s paintings last toured in 2003 when they grossed a record $15 million on a ninety-five-city trek that took them to museums, restaurants, boutiques, corporate board rooms, and selected financial establishments in twenty-seven countries. At the last stop of that record breaking tour, a two-show sellout at the Louvre in Paris, Wood hinted that he didn’t know how much longer he could go on exhibiting and talking about the same old paintings: Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, Brian Jones at Monterey, Eric Clapton and George Harrison dueling over Patti Boyd.

“Sure, I could become a nostalgia act, touring every five years behind another remastered greatest hits compilation with the odd new painting tossed in,” said Wood, “but that would get old fast.”

The “old” question is one that stalks Wood with increasing tenacity these days. Fast approaching sixty—too fast some younger artists contend—Wood is well aware of the theory that rock art is a young man’s game. A struggling, hungry young man’s game.

“What’s that old geezer with his five mansions know about art in the streets?” sneered popular rap painter 29 Cent. “He’s been pimping reproductions of that lame old watercolor of Mick Jagger singing ‘Satisfaction’ since way before my fans were even born. He’s like so yesterday. It’s time the old fart painters like him and The Who and ‘Paula’ McCartney content themselves with looking after their money and babysitting the grandkids.”

Not surprisingly, the Stones firebrand realist Keith Richards considers that opinion “a load of bullocks.” According to Richards, “artists like Norman Rockwell and Andy Wyeth have proved that if you got something to say, say it, and age be damned. Young bucks aren’t the only ones who suffer, you know, and losing your chick isn’t half the bummer that losing your hair or losing control of your bladder is. So-called old farts like Ronnie can teach these youngsters a thing or two about pain.”

In related news, a source close to the Stones told Spin magazine that Wood’s Faces ‘n’ Places tour will begin this August at the newly renovated Copely Museum in Boston. A new collection of paintings by Wood—”some of the best stuff he’s done in years,” according to the source—is scheduled for a July release.

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