The Rolling Stones haven’t spoken at length in the press following the death of drummer Charlie Watts. However, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood each took part in a new interview where they discussed a wide range of topics related to their late friend and bandmate and their current tour in the United States.
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Jagger said the idea of canceling the tour was never really considered.
“…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,’” said Jagger. 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.”
Wood recalled the final time he saw Watts, which happened to be in the same room at the same hospital Wood had previously occupied in 2020 for cancer treatment. He referred to the room as “The Rolling Stones suite” and added of his last time hanging out with Watts, “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.”
Richards, meanwhile, is still processing life without Watts saying, “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…Charlie was one of the funniest guys I’ve ever known, and the most unlikely man to be famous. He hated that side of the job and used to savagely take the piss out of it.”
The Stones, of course, have been at work on new music and intend to release an album at some point in the near future. While they didn’t disclose the progress on this LP, which would be their first collection of new music since 2005’s A Bigger Bang, Richards made sure to note of the album, “Let me put it this way: You haven’t heard the last of Charlie Watts.”