The Rolling Stones have announced that drummer Charlie Watts is “unlikely to be available” for the group’s fall tour of the United States.
“Charlie underwent a procedure which was a complete success,” a spokesperson for the group said in a press release, “but I guess his doctors concluded this week that he now needs rest and recovery. 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.
“For once my timing was a bit out of place,” Watts added. “I’m working hard to be in great shape, but I accepted today, on the advice of experts, that it will take some time. After all the fan suffering caused by COVID, I really don’t want the many. Fans who held tickets for this tour were disappointed with another postponement or cancellation, so I asked my great friend Steve Jordan to replace me.
“It is an absolute honor and privilege to be Charlie’s understudy and I can’t wait to rehearse with Mick [Jagger], Keith [Richards] and Ronnie [Wood]said Jordan, who has played on all three Richards solo albums. “
Watts joined the Rolling Stones in 1963, a year after their formation, and has since appeared on each of their albums, singles and tours. He survived a battle with throat cancer in 2004. “I thought I was going to die. I thought that is what you did. You have cancer, you wither and die,” a- he said in an interview in 2011. “I had another operation to remove the lymph nodes and radiation therapy, which lasted for six weeks. Now it’s been clear for five years.”
The first show of the Stones’ fall tour is scheduled to take place in St. Louis on September 26.
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