Italian Soccer Stars Join Stones Onstage
Wed, 12 Jul 2006 11:40:46
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Leave it to The Rolling Stones to arrive fashionably late and still have perfect timing. The Stones' much-benighted Bigger Bang tour finally started its European leg last night (July 11), several weeks behind schedule thanks to guitarist Keith Richards' infamous fall from a coconut tree. But thanks to all those postponed dates, the band got to start their tour in Milan, where they were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd fresh from Italy's victory over France in the World Cup earlier this week.
Even better, for an encore, the Stones were joined onstage by Italian World Cup stars Marco Materazzi and Alessandro Del Piero. Then, NME reports, a truly bizarre confluence of pop culture took place: Materazzi led the Stones and the crowd in a singalong of The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army," substituting the words "we are the champions" in Italian for the original lyrics.
Mick Jagger, showing off his language skills, joked in Italian that "Materazzi and Richards have something in common tonight -- they both recently had head-related problems" -- a reference to Richards' tree-diving head injury and the infamous head-butt Materazzi received from French player Zinedine Zidane in the World Cup final.
Richards, who looked about as haggard as usual, told the crowd, "It's good to be here. It's good to be anywhere." During an earlier press conference he claimed to have made a full recovery from his head injury. "I feel totally normal, whatever that means," said the 62-year-old guitarist. "I feel great."
--The ARTISTdirect Staff