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Every bit as adept at press events as they are at singing "Brown Sugar," the Rolling Stones on May 3 announced their 1994 album and world tour from a spot more creaky than anyone has ever accused the band of being.

Pier 60, on the Hudson River at 18th street, is one of four Chelsea Piers proposed for renovation into a sports and entertainment complex. That's still just a vision, though, and under the peeling white walls and rusty old girders, the Stones looked downright fresh-faced.Which, if you've seen pictures of Keith Richards or Mick Jagger since "Exile on Main Street," is no small feat.

But Tuesday they were looking to the future, announcing the "Voodoo Lounge" album will come out in mid-July with a year-long tour starting Aug. 1 in Washington, D.C.

Virgin Records says the album is due July 12, though Stones history suggests that's a target, not a pledge. Exact dates didn't seem vital Tuesday to Jagger and Richards, who wisecracked their way through the media dance that launches all Stones tours.

Plenty of cameras, plenty of free beer from tour sponsor Budweiser, and the Rolling Stones besides. Life is good.

The only potentially somber moment Tuesday, when the band was asked about the suicide of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, was dispatched quickly when Ron Wood seemed to mutter, "Death wish."

On Stones musical matters, Jagger and Richards said the new record will have some acoustic material, at least one blues track and no remakes, while Wood said they have not yet begun formulating a set list for the live show.

They plan several different opening acts, including Counting Crows, Lenny Kravitz and Stone Temple Pilots.

They also promised not to play Woodstock. "Didn't go to the first one, won't go to the second one," said Jagger-- a good thing, since they play Giants Stadium that weekend.

Otherwise, Richards still looks like a skinny kid in blue jeans who doesn't seem fully dressed without his guitar. Jagger looks like he wants to be ready for either a rock show or a board meeting.

Wood looks like whatever Keith looks like, and Charlie Watts, elegant in a gray suit, stayed silent enough both for himself and long-time bass player Bill Wyman, who has left the band.

"We tried very hard to get Bill to stay," said Jagger. "But he said he'd done it, and I think that's the end of it."

For now, the band is renting a bass player-- Darryl Jones, who has played with folks like Sting-- on the premise that "after this tour, we don't know what's next."

Jagger declined to call this the last tour, however. The band has a three-album deal with Virgin Records, and "Voodoo Lounge" is just the first. Besides, when they sailed into Pier 60 aboard the yacht Honey Fitz Tuesday, there was a long waiting line of men in suits who may not know rock 'n' roll, but who know walking dollar signs.

Or, to put it another way, four rock 'n' roll guys may give a quicker return than four Chelsea Piers.