Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts skips group’s U.S. tour

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Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who has been with the band since 1963, is expected to miss their next US tour this fall, according to reports.

Watts turned 80 in June and is “unlikely to be available” for the band’s next “No Filter” tour of US stadiums after undergoing unspecified medical intervention, according to a Stones spokesperson.

“Charlie underwent a perfectly successful procedure, but his doctors concluded this week that he now needs proper rest and recovery,” the spokesperson said, according to Variety. “With rehearsals starting in a few weeks, it’s very disappointing to say the least, but it’s also fair to say that no one saw it coming.”

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Charlie Watts, of the Rolling Stones, in concert in Nanterre, in the Paris suburbs, on October 22, 2017 (Associated Press)
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Charlie Watts, of the Rolling Stones, in concert in Nanterre, in the Paris suburbs, on October 22, 2017 (Associated Press)

Veteran drummer Steve Jordan, who played with Stones co-founder Keith Richards for years, will take his place. Jordan called it an absolute honor and privilege to be Watts’ understudy, adding that he looked forward to rehearsing with the other members.

“No one will be happier than me to give up my place on the drum lift as soon as Charlie tells me he’s ready to go,” Jordan said.

The “No Filter” tour begins in St. Louis on September 26th. The group is expected to visit several US cities, including Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

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In a statement, Watts said that for once his timing was “a little off,” according to Variety.

“I am working hard to be in great shape, but I accepted today, on the advice of the experts, that it will take some time,” the statement added. “After all the fan suffering caused by Covid, I really don’t want the many RS fans who held tickets to this Tour to be disappointed with another postponement or cancellation. So I asked my great friend Steve Jordan to replace me .”

Watts is the only Rolling Stones member, along with Mick Jagger and Richards, to feature on every studio record.

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He underwent successful treatment for throat cancer in 2004. The tour had previously been interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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