By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY, AP Music Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - The Rolling Stones (pictured, right) staged an eye-poppingspectacle that drew fans and media from around the globe -- and they haven't even gone on tour yet.
The rockers, whose tours have been among the top-grossingconcerts ever, announced another jaunt around the world in grandiose fashion Tuesday, circling New York's sprawling Van Cortlandt Park in a yellow blimp emblazoned with their red tongue trademark.
"We had a very interesting first-time experience on theairship," Mick Jagger said after emerging from the blimp. "We had a really good time on it."
The tour, their first since their top-grossing 1999 tour, willmark the band's 40th anniversary. It will kick off on Sept. 5 in Boston.
The band's Web site lists Ohio concert dates in Cleveland at Gund Arena on Oct. 14 and in Columbus on Oct. 20.
When asked why the band was heading out once again -- they haven't even begun working on new material for the album -- Jagger joked: "Either we stay at home and become pillars of the community, or we go out and tour. We couldn't really find any communities that still needed pillars."
The tour is expected to rake in millions of dollars. The Stonesalready hold the record for the highest-grossing concert tour ever with their 1994 tour, which brought in $121.2 million, according to Gary Bongiovanni of Pollstar, a concert trade magazine.
"Any year that they have toured, they have produced the biggesttour of that year," said Bongiovanni.
This time around, the band will play clubs as well as stadiumsand arenas.
Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood looked as ifthey were having plenty of fun even before the news conference began. The foursome boarded the blimp at the park and circled the area for about 15 minutes before landing.
They had even more fun at the news conference, cracking jokes asreporters asked questions.
When one asked if they would do any songs from the past,Richards said: "The set list is a bit down the road. It just depends if we can remember them."
One reporter reminded Jagger about a 1972 comment -- made "a couple of years after I was born," she noted -- that he would rather die than still be singing "Satisfaction" at age 40.
"How old are you going to be and when are you going to get sickof it?" she asked.
"Who knows if we're going to do 'Satisfaction' on this tour?"retorted the 58-year-old.
About 300 fans turned out for a chance to see the legendaryband, which formed in 1962.
"I wanted to be able to say that I saw their blimp come down,"said Kathleen Wieblack, who came from suburban Long Island to the Bronx.
"I've seen the last three tours," said Richard Bell, whotraveled from upstate New York. "Hopefully I will get tickets to see them."
Bongiovanni said unlike some aging rock bands, the Stones areable to outsell more contemporary bands because of "their ability to still stay vibrant and not be a classic rock act that just goes through the motions for a great payday."
Tour promoter Michael Cohl said tickets for the first few dateswill go on sale this week. Prices will range from $50 to $100.
Among the opening acts: Sheryl Crow, No Doubt, Buddy Guy andJonny Lang.
The group has not released an album since 1998's "NoSecurity." Jagger put out his own solo disc last year, "Goddess in the Doorway," which was a commercial flop.
Jagger said they're just beginning to work on the new materialfor an upcoming greatest hits disc that will include new songs.
"It's a minor problem," joked Richards.(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)