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Rolling Stones to play "surprise" LA gig ahead of U.S. tour

Mick Jagger performs onstage during the Rolling Stones final concert of their "50 and Counting Tour" in Newark, New Jersey, December 15, 201
Mick Jagger performs onstage during the Rolling Stones final concert of their "50 and Counting Tour" in Newark, New Jersey, December 15, 201

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Rolling Stones will play a "surprise" gig for fans in Los Angeles on Saturday, a week ahead of kicking off a U.S. tour to mark 50 years in the music business.

Hundreds of fans, alerted on the band's Twitter account, lined up from as early as 5 a.m. on Saturday to get hold of the $20 dollar tickets for the concert at the 320 person capacity Echoplex club in Los Angeles.

Tickets were distributed by a lottery system and, according to the band's Twitter account, sold out swiftly.

The veteran British rockers will officially launch a 17-date North American "50 and Counting" tour on May 3 in Los Angeles, after playing a handful of dates in London, Paris and New York at the end of 2012.

Tickets for the Los Angeles opening concert at the Staples Center arena went on general sale on April 15 and were still available on Saturday at prices up to $600 each.

Guitarist Mick Taylor, who played with the Stones from 1969 to 1974, will join frontman Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood and drummer Charlie Watts, as a guest on the North American tour, the band said in a statement.

For the official tour, the Stones will play on a specially designed stage in the shape of their iconic tongue-and-lips logo, allowing Jagger to get up close to fans.

As was the case last year, the set list is expected to focus on classic Stones hits like "Gimme Shelter," "Paint it Black" and "Jumping Jack Flash."

Later this summer, The Rolling Stones will play London's Hyde Park, and for the first time in their long career, the Glastonbury music festival in England.

(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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