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The Rolling Stones Kick off Tour Friday in Los Angeles
By: Gary Graff

Delayed a day due to the NBA Playoffs, the Rolling Stones kick off the 2013 leg of their 50 & Counting tour tonight (May 3) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The currently 21-date trek, which includes shows in North America and England, continues to celebrate the group's 50th anniversary, a mark former guitarist Mick Taylor -- who will be a special guest on this year's dates, as he was at last year's handful of shows -- tells us the group never anticipated:

"We weren't even thinking 50 years. No, we were living in the moment. I think the Stones have always done things their own way, and they will always continue to do things their own way...Now that we've kind of regrouped for doesn't actually feel that long ago in a strange sort of way because being on stage is, I still get the same feeling that I used to get when we used to play on stage."

Ron Wood, who replaced Taylor in 1975, adds that even though the Stones took their time announcing tour plans, the December shows in London, Brooklyn and New Jersey essentially sealed the deal for more work this year:

"That was real fun, yeah. And it was just nice and easy, and it worked. It always works when we get together."

The Stones' trek includes shows in Oakland, San Jose, Las Vegas, Anaheim, Toronto, Chicago, Montreal, Boston and Philadelphia, as well as a stop at England's Glastonbury Festival and two shows in London's Hyde Park.

The group's 50th anniversary documentary, "Crossfire Hurricane," comes out May 21 on DVD and Blu-ray.

CLICK HERE to learn out more about Gary Graff and his award-winning music journalism including the books he has written on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

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