Whether it's the upcoming tour or the fact that he's going to be 69 years old the week before Christmas, reports are that Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has finally scaled back his alcohol intake significantly.

Richards took up Jack Daniels after kicking heroin in the late-'70s, eventually moved to Stoli and Sunkist, and now maintains that he keeps things on the lighter side these days. Richards told Rolling Stone, "I don't get ridiculous. I like a glass of wine with my meal and everything, but I've given up sort of waking up and having a drink, y'know? I gave up smack, I can give up anything. No big deal to me, I do it to impress other people. But if they come up with a great new drug, I'll be the first one on it, believe me."

Ron Wood, who has successfully battled back against years of heavy alcoholism, says that despite not being quite a teetotaler, Richards' staying straight most of the time is definitely evident in his guitar work: "Keith is a pleasure to play with now. It was a pain on the last tour toward the end, because he was really going for it on the drinking and denial. But now he's realized that he has gotta look after himself. . . I'm not going to preach to him. I will step in if I see any danger."

The Rolling Stones tour dates (subject to change):
November 25, 29 - London, England - The O2 London
December 13, 15 - Newark, NJ - Prudential Center