The Rolling Stones lost drummer Charlie Watts earlier this year, but despite his sad passing, their late bandmate was keen to see the rockers carry on, according to frontman Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger says late drummer Charlie Watts urged the Rolling Stones to carry on without him.
In a new interview on their US tour, Jagger, 78, said he was skeptical that fans wanted the band to retire when Watts died.
“Maybe one or two do,” he said. “But I don’t think that’s a movement.”
“No band is the same when you lose someone. But the Stones is a very resilient band. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs through the years, and we’ve had changes of personnel, as have a lot of bands.”
He added: “When you’re a band for this long, it’s unlikely you won’t have any changes.
“Of course, this is probably the biggest one we’ve had. But we felt — and Charlie felt — that we should do this tour. We’d already postponed it by a year, and Charlie said to me, ‘You need to go out there. All the crew that have been out of work — you’re not gonna put them out of work again.’ So I think it was the right decision to keep going.
“The band still sounds great onstage, and everyone’s been really responsive at the couple of big shows we’ve done so far.
“They hold up signs saying, ‘We miss you, Charlie,’ and I miss him too.”
Speaking to the LA Times, Ronnie Wood also recalled his final meeting with Watts, revealing he spoke to his bandmate weeks before he died.
Watts, the group’s beloved drummer, died in August at a London hospital at the age of 80.
Guitarist Wood, 74, said he visited Watts before he died – in the same hospital room where Wood was treated for cancer in 2020.
“We call it the Rolling Stones suite,” Wood told the Los Angeles Times. “We watched horse racing on TV and just shot the breeze.
“I could tell he was pretty tired and fed up with the whole deal. He said,
‘I was really hoping to be out of here by now,’ then after that there was a complication or two and I wasn’t allowed back. No-one was.”
Guitarist Keith Richards, 77, told the newspaper he was still coming to terms with his friend’s death, which occurred following an unspecified medical procedure.
He said: “I’m still trying to put it together in my head. I don’t think I can be very erudite on Charlie at the moment.”
Drummer Steve Jordan, 64, who began playing with Richards in the mid-’80s,
is unconcerned with any criticism of his taking over Watts’ role.
He said: “Number one, I’ve known Charlie since I was 19 years old.
“Number two, I’m just as devastated if not more than any fan out there about the loss. So nobody can tell me anything about that.”
The band has embarked on its No Filter tour of the US and paid tribute to Watts on stage in St Louis, Missouri, during their first major performance following his death.
The 13-date No Filter tour is scheduled to end in Austin, Texas, on November 20.