- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 6 October 2021, 9:10AM
The Rolling Stones are grieving the death of drummer Charlie Watts on their U.S. tour, and Mick Jagger says the band is healing a little bit with every show.
The band moved forward with the U.S. 'No Filter' tour with Watts' blessing. As the tour goes on, Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood continue to feel they have a future as the Rolling Stones beyond these shows.
Jagger noted in a new interview that perseverance has been part of the Rolling Stones' identity since the '60s.
"Some people said, 'Oh, Charlie died, and you should have not done the tour — and stopped," the frontman said. "And other people would think, 'The thing about the Rolling Stones throughout their career has been their resilience in the face of adversity.' And we've had ups and downs — mostly ups, to be honest — but we've had adversity. And this was probably one of the most difficult ones."
Watts withdrew from the 'No Filter' tour in early-August after going in for an emergency heart operation. Since the tour had already been postponed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Watts urged the band to go on without him with drummer Steve Jordan in his stead; he planned to rejoin the Stones when he was healthy again. Unfortunately, he passed away a few weeks later.
"After doing the first couple of shows, I feel really good about [the band]," Jagger added. "I'm glad we're doing it. I know Charlie wanted us to do it, and I think the audience wanted us to do it. They seem to. And of course it's different — and of course in some ways it's kinda sad ... But you just go out there and rock out, and you feel better. And it's very cathartic. So I think it's really good."
While Jagger may be bullish about the Stones prospects of touring beyond this year with Jordan, he said recording without Watts will be the biggest challenge. Watts joined the Stones in 1963 and recorded on every one of the band's albums to date.
The Stones have had ambitions to record a new album for a few years now. Jagger said he and Watts worked together in the studio earlier this year, specifically on material for the extended edition of Tattoo You and "some other things."
But it's hard to accept that Watts won't be playing drums if the Stones write any new songs, Jagger added.
"It's just so weird and then very sad," Jagger continued. "It's such a long time that you work with someone like that, and you get to know someone so well and their quirks and their idiosyncrasies, and they know yours. And there's a language in communication with musicians. ...After all this length of time, you have this ease of communication, so to speak. ... I miss that so much."