The unbelievably sad news that Charlie Watts has died is just beginning to reverberate around the world. The public knew he was going to miss out on the upcoming Stones tour since he was recovering from surgery, but the 80-year-old drummer had survived past health scares unscathed and it truly seemed like he was made of steel.
Watts joined the Rolling Stones in January 1963 and is the only member besides Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to appear on every record. He also didn’t miss a single concert throughout his 58-year history in the band. The last one took place August 30th, 2019, at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. It was originally booked for the following evening, but the band moved it forward a night since Hurricane Dorian was barreling toward the state.
It was a standard show for the 2019 No Filter tour that mixed classic hits like “Honky Tonk Women,” “Start Me Up,” and “Brown Sugar” with deeper cuts like “Out of Control,” “Dead Flowers,” and “Sweet Virginia.” And it ended, of course, with “Satisfaction.” Rain was pouring down by that point, but the Stones barreled through it. Watts looked as unflappable as ever.
Nobody in Miami that night could have possibly known that they were witnessing the end of a major chapter of Rolling Stones history. The group announced earlier this month that Steve Jordan will be filling in for Watts when their latest tour kicks off September 26th in St. Louis. And if the shows aren’t somehow derailed by Covid, they’ll likely become public wakes for Charlie. The Stones are even rumored to be contemplating a 60th-anniversary tour in 2022. But they’d be the first to admit that they simply will not be the same band without Charlie.