The Rolling Stones' tour director yesterday insisted Hong Kong got a fair deal from the band - and vowed they would put on an unforgettable show to help the city bounce back from Sars. Michael Cohl, a veteran of five Stones tours, declined to confirm the fee - reported to be about US$5 million - but insisted it was 'not extraordinary'. The deal gives Harbour Fest the right to make a 60-minute television documentary, including interviews with all four band members and at least two songs, he said. 'No-one has ever had the rights to that for under the mid-seven-figures level,' said Mr Cohl. The Forty Licks tour wound up on October 2 and restarting it was a mammoth task. 'The costs of coming off the road with 80-odd people are prohibitive,' he said. Mr Cohl praised the Harbour Fest, saying it was the only reason they could be here. The band had earlier been talking with the promoter of their original Hong Kong concerts - which were planned for March but cancelled because of Sars - for an autumn return, but had not agreed on a deal, Mr Cohl said. 'We were light years apart financially. There was a band meeting where a decision not to come was made final.' Then Harbour Fest offered them a deal and they changed their minds. The ensuing on-again, off-again saga of whether the Stones were coming was simply the result of tardiness by the band's management, the tour director said. Only when the government announced they had cancelled the Stones did the band confirm they were coming. 'I thought that was a good tactic,' said Mr Cohl. 'Sometimes, we're painfully slow ... It was always our intention to come.' He said the negative press surrounding the saga would not affect the Stones. 'We're here to help. We want to bring a whole lotta cheer to a whole lotta people.' The band's production manager, Jake Berry, said it was time to put the mud-slinging behind them and focus on the rock'n'roll. 'We're not political; we're just a rock band from England who have come to play music,' he said. Mr Cohl said the band was disappointed it had to cancel gigs in Beijing and Shanghai, saying there were too many problems to list, but they included a lack of 'proper promoters, money and time'. 'The band have wanted to come here for 40 years,' he said, adding that they hoped to play Shanghai and Beijing in the future.