Keith Richards claims he only knew about the Rolling Stones' tour dates a week ago.

The 'Satisfaction' rockers announced earlier this week they will play two gigs in London and two in New Jersey to mark their 50th anniversary and the guitarist is ''amazed'' they managed to keep the details under wraps until the official confirmation.

He said: ''I'm amazed that we sort of handled it so well.

''Mind you it's been a bit of a secret from me until about a week ago as to exactly what was happening. So it's all been done a bit on the fly, but it sort of worked out I think.''

Keith admitted he was ''amazed'' at how easily the group - which also includes Sir Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood - have found rehearsals and says the mood within the band is ''great''.

Asked how easy it had been to adjust to life back in the band, he told Absolute Radio: ''It's amazingly fast. I was surprised how little rust was on the machinery, you know. We went straight into oiling.

''But yeah, I think everybody was itching to go get on the road again or, you know, to get on stage and to play together. It's a great feeling.''