On the eve of their US tour, the Rolling Stones will be performing next month at a private party hosted by Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family at Gillette Stadium.
On Sept. 20 — six days before the group kicks off its “No Filter Tour” at the Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis — the Stones, or most of them anyway, will play for the Kraft clan and a few hundred of their friends in Foxborough.
The e-mail invite, which went out July 23, reads: “Time to Get Started Up!”
This isn’t a first for the Rolling Stones. The band played a private gig for the Pats owner at Gillette Stadium in 2016, blazing through a two-hour, greatest-hits set — “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Brown Sugar,” and “Sympathy for the Devil” — for a crowd that included former Senator John Kerry, designer Tommy Hilfiger, J. Geils frontman Peter Wolf, Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca, Red Sox (and Boston Globe) owners John Henry and Linda Pizzuti Henry, and former Bain Capital managing director Paul Edgerley, among others.
This time, though, Stones singer Mick Jagger, and guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood will have someone else keeping the beat. Drummer Charlie Watts, who at 80 is the oldest member of the group, announced this week that he needs more time to recover from a recent surgical procedure.
“For once my timing has been a little off,” Watts said in a statement. “I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted, on the advice of the experts, that this will take a while. After all the fans’ suffering caused by COVID, I really do not want the many RS fans who have been holding tickets for this tour to be disappointed by another postponement or cancellation.”
Watts will be replaced on drums by Steve Jordan, who’s played on Richards’s solo albums as a member of his X-Pensive Winos band.
There have been whispers — which we haven’t been able to confirm — that the Stones will actually be in Boston for a few weeks of rehearsals prior to the performance at Gillette and the beginning of their 13-date US tour. In 1981, before their massive US tour promoting “Tattoo You,” the Stones holed up at Long View Farm in North Brookfield to rehearse.
It’s impossible to know what it might cost to hire the legendary rockers for a night — and Patriots spokesman Stacey James isn’t saying — but we do know that former Hewlett-Packard chairman Ralph Whitworth once ponied up $3 million to have the Rolling Stones perform at a private party.
Whatever the number, Kraft, who’s worth an estimated $6.9 billion, according to Forbes.com, can afford it. In May, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Pats owner, who owns homes in Brookline and Palm Beach, expanded his real-estate portfolio, paying $43 million for a spectacular, 7,000-square-foot residence in the Hamptons.
It’s also not clear if the Stones concert is celebrating any particular milestone. Kraft turned 80 in June, but he already marked the occasion with a birthday party in the Hamptons hosted by 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin and a guest list that included Jon Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney, Meek Mill, Billie Jean King, and Adele.
Maybe this one’s just for fun. After all, “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll.”