Image Courtesy of Brian RasicWhen The Rolling Stones kick off their rescheduled tour of Australia and New Zealand this Saturday, they’ll do it without their longtime touring saxophone player, Bobby Keys. According to a message on the band’s official website, the 70-year-old musician, whose association with The Stones dates back to the group’s 1969 album Let It Bleed, will miss the nine-date trek because he’s been “a bit under the weather” and “is under doctor’s orders to take it a bit easy for the next month.”

Filling in for Keys during the outing will be Karl Denson, who leads his own group, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and was a founding member of the California-based acid-jazz outfit The Greyboy Allstars.

Denson says of getting the chance to perform with The Rolling Stones, “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to see the world through a giant pair of lips…It’s going to be amazing to get even closer to this music that I have listened to all my life.”

Keys has been an in-demand session and touring musician for decades, and has appeared on such classic Stones songs as “Brown Sugar,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” “Bitch,” and “Happy.” He’s also played with John Lennon, George Harrison, Joe Cocker and many other stars.

The Down Under leg of The Rolling Stones’ 14 On Fire Tour begins in Adelaide, Australia, and runs through a November 22 show in Auckland, New Zealand. You can check out a promo video for the trek on the band’s official YouTube channel.

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