MILAN, Italy – On the eve of the relaunching of the Rolling Stones' European tour, Keith Richards said he's recovered completely from a head injury suffered in a fall — and shrugged off a question about whether he had worried about dying.
"I feel great. I can't wait to get back on the stage again. Basically everything is cool," Richards said Monday. The 62-year-old guitarist fell from a tree April 27 while vacationing in Fiji, forcing the Stones to postpone their European tour.
He later had surgery in New Zealand to relieve pressure on his brain.
"Of course they put me out like a light. I was surprised myself. ... I had total comfort. When you got to do it, you got to do it," Richards said.
The Stones were to resume their "A Bigger Bang" tour Tuesday at Milan's San Siro stadium. The 21-date tour wraps up Sept. 3 in Denmark.
Asked what he's been doing since the fall, Richards responded, "I recovered. ... Six weeks, I mean not bad for a brain job."
Did he ever worry about dying? "Good one," he said, good-naturedly.
The Stones were in a jovial mood, and when the inevitable question came — what was Richards doing up in a coconut tree and did he find what he wanted? — everyone was ready to set the record straight.
"That's a good one. If you saw the tree, you'd realize the joke. Fiji is not just made of coconut trees. It was a little tree," Richards said.
Richards also confirmed his role in the third installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, saying he'd be filming for a week or so in September. Richards is to have a cameo role as the father of the flamboyant Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp.
"Now I know why (Depp) paid for all those lunches," Richards deadpanned.
Asked what success meant to the Rolling Stones after 44 years, Richards responded: "The opportunity to continue." His bandmates nodded in agreement.