Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 | 5:57 p.m.
Is Britain’s longest-reigning rock group headed to the Las Vegas Strip? I can reliably confirm that initial discussions have been held for The Rolling Stones to play the new T-Mobile Arena before year’s end.
Cuban and Spanish newspapers are reporting from President Raul Castro’s inner circles that Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts have a March 20-21 date, the same as President Barack Obama’s scheduled visit, in a 100,000-capacity Havana park.
Mick flew there last week to make an advance check of dance clubs and music cultural center in addition to touring the capital’s historic center. Even the official Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma covered his visit with photos of him dancing at the Shangri La club!
The DJ there played Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” for the 72-year-old rocker to dance with a group of female fans. Spain’s El Mundo newspaper reported that Keith has said that The Rolling Stones want to play in Cuba.
It would mark the end of The Rolling Stones’ Latin American tour, which currently wraps in Mexico City on March 17 after stops tonight and again Saturday in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 2 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, March 6 in Lima, Peru, and March 10 in Bogota, Colombia.
AEG officials from Las Vegas flew to Rio de Janeiro last week to talk with the band about the possible Las Vegas dates. After landing in Bogota, The Rolling Stones get three days of rest to acclimatize themselves to the thin-air altitude at 8,661 feet above sea level.
Having been there several times, I can assure they will need the rest to be able to breathe properly while performing. Their Havana date may well be moved, but only slightly, because of President Obama’s plans to visit the communist dictatorship 227 miles from Miami now that trade restrictions are being lifted.
Cuban authorities do not want both first-time events to conflict on the same dates, as they want to score world media coverage for them separately. Something tells me that The Rolling Stones will slide rather than the president changing his schedule.
After the rock icons’ concerts, the discussions about a fall weekend of two, possibly three shows at T-Mobile Arena would become “very serious.” I was told that Mick and his three compatriots are “very open” to playing Las Vegas before year’s end and that AEG and MGM Resorts International, who run the concert bookings here, are ”ready to turn penciled dates into inked ones.”
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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