Rock off: Ailing Jagger forced to cancel Stones concert

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The Independent Culture

On the same day 39 years ago, he was dodging projectiles thrown by rioting fans. Yesterday, the nearest Mick Jagger could come to hellraising was reaching for a packet of throat lozenges.

In a sign that pop's first wild boys may be slowing down, the Rolling Stones postponed the first concert in the British leg of their world tour after their famously frenetic singer came down with the flu.

Sir Mick, who turned 60 last month, pulled out of tonight's sell-out performance at Twickenham stadium in south-west London after being told under "strict doctor's instruction" that he needed two days' rest to recover from a sore throat.

The postponement came just 72 hours after the band's promoters had promised that Jagger would be fit for the concert. It is third time that the singer has had to pull out of a gig on the Stones' current 40 Licks world tour for health reasons.

Michael Cohl, the tour promoter, said yesterday: "The Stones were looking forward to opening in the UK - for their hometown audience - with all guns blazing. We're sorry to disappoint the fans who were coming on Saturday."

The viral hiccup was in stark contrast to events on St Helier, Jersey, at a concert on 22 August 1964 at the start of the Stones' career. A note on the band's official website reminisced about how a mob of angry fans rioted when they were barred entry for wearing jeans and no ties. It added: "Mick gets hit on stage by assorted fruit as fights break out inside the venue."

Organisers of tonight's postponed performance said that the concert would be rescheduled for 20 September. In the meantime, Sir Mick vowed that he would be ready for tomorrow's Twickenham concert.

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