After the Stones postponed a number of tour dates, Jagger had heart valve replacement surgery last week and is said to be resting up at New York’s Presbyterian hospital.
“Thank you everyone for all your messages of support,” he told fans after the operation. “I’m feeling much better now and on the mend – and also a huge thank you to all the hospital staff for doing a superb job.”
Now his younger brother Chris, also a musician, has spoken of how his condition was spotted during a routine check-up. The same condition killed The Clash’s Joe Strummer back in 2002.
“Mick is doing OK,” Chris told the Sunday People. “I spoke to him – he’s good. It just showed up on a scan so it could happen to anybody, you know.
“It happened to Joe. He came back from walking the dogs and his wife found him collapsed on the sofa. He had this valve problem. His father died from it. It was hereditary. With Mick it came on a check-up.”
Chris continued: “That is why when you get to a certain age they want to check for this, check for that. You get to 70, you got to be careful, you know. I’ve had a few health issues. At least he has not got to wait in line for the NHS.”
As for whether the scare will impact on the band’s upcoming commitments, Chris added: “Maybe he will slow down. Touring is a pressure.”
“Sometimes it’s not as much writing as listening to what’s been written and figuring it out, and honing and all kinds of stuff,” he said. “It’s very boring. It’s like a carpentry shop.”
Asked about the band’s upcoming tour and the feeling of playing live after so many years doing so, Richards said that he was “not at all” tired of life on the road. “I mean, hey, how bad can it be?” he said.
“You get up there and do what you love to do, and fortunately so do millions of others. It’s not something to turn your nose up at, you know.
“And it’s what I do. It’s the way the band feels. You can only do this is everybody is absolutely on. And the fact they all are is an incredible tribute to the lads. They just want to do it.”
He added: “I think it’s also, how can you stop? Because I think it has to be written in a different way, whatever the ending is.”
Rolling Stones will release a new ‘best of ‘ compilation ‘Honk‘ on April 19.