LONDON – Mick Jagger may need to rethink the words he sang more than 45 years ago — “What a drag it is getting old.”

Thursday marked 50 years since Jagger played his first gig with the Rolling Stones, at London’s Marquee Club, and the group is marking its half-century with no letup in its productivity or rock ‘n’ roll style.

Now in their late 60s and early 70s, the band members celebrated the anniversary by attending a retrospective photo exhibition at London’s Somerset House — and looking to the future by rehearsing for new gigs.

Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts mingled with celebrities from Mick Hucknall to Tom Stoppard at a launch party for the exhibition, which charts the band’s career from their first official photo shoot — young mop tops lined up against a row of red phone boxes — to their stadium tours.

“It’s like walking into an old diary,” Richards said.

The band took its name from a song by bluesman Muddy Waters. They first were billed as “The Rollin’ Stones.”

The lineup for the first gig was vocalist Jagger, guitarists Richards and Brian Jones, bassist Dick Taylor, pianist Ian Stewart and Mick Avory on drums. Taylor, Stewart and Avory soon left the lineup; drummer Watts joined in 1963 and guitarist Wood in 1975.

The band had its first hit, a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On,” in 1963, and soon became one of the world’s biggest and most influential rock acts, rivaled only by The Beatles.

The Beatles split up in 1970, but the Stones are still going strong — something Jagger says he could never have imagined at the time.

“Groups in those days and singers didn’t really last very long,” Jagger, 68, told the BBC. “They weren’t supposed to last. It was supposed to be ephemeral. It was only really Elvis and The Beatles that were the biggest things that ever happened in pop music that I can remember. But even (Elvis) had lasted perhaps less than 10 years, so how could anyone really last?”

Richards told the BBC that his biggest regret in the last 50 years was the drowning death in 1969 of Brian Jones.

Wedding gown creator, husband split

NEW YORK – Fashion designer Vera Wang, who launched her label with wedding gowns, and her husband, Arthur Becker, are separating.

A statement from company President Mario Grauso to Women’s Wear Daily this week said Wang and Becker “mutually and amicably agreed to separate.”

The couple married in 1989, when Wang worked for Ralph Lauren. They have two daughters.

Wang’s business has grown to include high-end runway collections, household goods and a mass-consumer line at Kohl’s. But she is best known for her bridal gowns. Chelsea Clinton, Alicia Keys and Ivanka Trump have walked down the aisle in Vera Wang designs.

Tyler leaves ‘Idol’ to give band priority

NEW YORK – Steven Tyler says he’s exiting “American Idol” to put rock ‘n’ roll first.

Tyler said he’s leaving the hit show after two seasons to rededicate himself to Aerosmith, the band he fronts.

The rock star said he loved every minute on the hit Fox singing contest but added, “it’s time to bring rock back.”

“After some long hard thoughts I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress ‘American Idol’ before she boils my rabbit,” Tyler said in a statement, making a joking reference to the 1987 Michael Douglas-Glenn Close thriller “Fatal Attraction.”

Aerosmith is on tour with Tyler and has an album due out in the fall.

Tyler’s “Idol” departure leaves original judge Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez, but the singer-actress’ future with the show is cloudy.

In a phone interview with The Associated Press as the news about Tyler broke, Lopez said she was saddened to hear that he was leaving.