In an interview with Absolute Radio, Richards said: "I think [the reason The Rolling Stones didn't perform at the Olympics] were basically there was some politics going on and technical things, and I don’t think that timing wise we would've been ready for it.
"So we had to give it a miss."
However, the 68-year-old still made sure to watch the opening ceremony, and gave it his stamp of approval - being particularly impressed by the Queen's famous helicopter jump.
He added: "I watched it, nearly all of it actually, and I thought the Queen did a great job – and in our place you know!"
1966: Who'd have thought then that they'd still be going now?
Richards went on to say that the secret of the band's reunion tour dates had been so well kept, he himself hadn't even been aware of them until a week ago.
He was surprised that the details hadn't leaked, saying: "I'm amazed we handled it so well. It’s been a bit of a secret from me until about a week ago as to exactly what was happening.
"It’s all been done a bit on the fly, but it sort of worked out I think."
Richards finished by admitting that he couldn't wait to tour with the Stones again, describing it as an itch that just needs scratching - how pleasant...
"I’d say that there’s a certain sort of collective itch that goes on eventually," he claimed. "And we all sort of look at each other and say, 'Well, you up for it?' And then we start scratching."
Watch a video for the Rolling Stones' new song 'Doom & Gloom' below:
Photos: Then and now: 50 years of the Rolling Stones