SIR Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were fearful they'd be the only original members of THE Rolling Stones left alive, when drummer Charlie Watts was undergoing cancer treatment last year (04).

Jagger and Richards had convened to begin work on forthcoming album A BIGGER BANG, due out next month (SEP05), when Watts was in hospital receiving treatment that was ultimately a success.

Richards says, "There's suddenly Mick and I looking at each other and going, 'Possibly we're the only two of the originals.'

"But you don't talk about that s**t, you know?"

Guitarist Ronnie Wood joined the band in 1975. Original member Brian Jones died in 1969, while original bassist Bill Wyman left in 1993.