By Jon Friedman | Jon Friedmans Media Matrix April 3, 2013 at 9:57AM
The Rolling Stones are launching a North American tour early next month at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It's calculatedly dubbed "50 and Counting," to refer to the Stones' big anniversary as an entity and allowing them the luxury of touring under this banner in years to come. It's a cool slogan to boot.
The band has announced only eight shows so far http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/1555867/rolling-stones-announce-50-and-counting-north-america... but that initial word means nothing. The Stones will surely play more gigs.
Their London and NYC-Brooklyn-New Jersey blitz last December proved very successful both critically and commercially. That romp was merely a tease, though, a set-up for the main event, the shows this year all over the world.
The Stones also haven't yet confirmed one valuable piece of the puzzle: What broadcaster will get the TV show of the tour? HBO and Showtime are locked in a furious fight for viewers. The Stones showed a pay-per-view extravaganza last December from the show in New Jersey, the final date on the mini-tour, consisting of two shows in London and followed by a few more in the New York metro area.
A TV concert or a film documentary of the tour could turn out to be a nifty bit of marketing for the broadcaster. What if Mick Jagger danced on stage with Lena Dunham of HBO's hit show "Girls" or the Stones performed a song to a "Game of Thrones" theme or did something to promote a Showtime (or CBS) program? Great publicity for the network, that's what.
That included a brief but memorable slot in the benefit concert to help victims of Hurricane Sandy in the NYC area. The Stones only performed two numbers but Mick Jagger's unfortunate quip about how New Yorkers should remember to help out Britain when that country got a little rain showed a) the Stones' hearts weren't exactly in the cause b) They had no sensitivity to the people who lost their lives and their homes in the hurricane and c) the Stones could still provoke people after all these years.