Rock Hall of Fame Ceremony Didn’t Include Tribute Jam for Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts

by Taylor Cunningham

The 2021 Rock Hall of Fame ceremony was supposed to include an all-star tribute to the late Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts. But due to time constraints, the show never happened.

According to a blog post by Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine, last month’s induction was going to end with a star-studded rendition of Tumbling Dice in honor of Charlie Watts, who passed away on August 24th, 2021. But the show ran over its allotted time, and they had to scrap the performance.

“[The tribute] ended up not happening, due to the show length and [a] union issue I am fairly certain,” Valentine shared on her personal website. “It was not the Rock Hall’s fault, that’s for certain.”

But the bassist has fond memories of rehearsing the performance “that was never to be” the night before the show. Jamming on stage with her rock and roll idols was the “highlight” of her Hall of Fame experience. And by the end of that night, she ended “feeling totally comfortable” with her “place in the whole she-bang.”

Go-Go Bassist Kathy Valentine Remembers the Night She Rehearsed For the Tribute for Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts

After dinner with her family, Kathy Valentine headed back to the venue to rehearse her “everyone-onstage mega-version of ‘Tumbling Dice’ in honor of Charlie Watts.”

Since The Foo Fighters was the house band, they took dibs on playing the Bass, so Valentine played the guitar.

“I loved joining them … on a Stones song no less,” she gushed. “Everyone was so supportive and mutually fanning on each other; it was just incredible. … It was a great way to end the night before the induction ceremony.”

Valentine admitted that she felt like an imposter while standing on stage with so many music greats. But by the end, she had a new sense of confidence. And the experience made her go on a “mini-rant.”

The 2021 Rock Hall of Fame class included Valentine’s band and a long list of genre-spanning artists, such as Carole King and Jay-Z. According to the bassist, people have been complaining that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn’t so Rock and Roll anymore. And she has an opinion on the matter.

“I’ve always understood the [Rock Hall] had two jobs: to honor rock and roll and the myriad musical offshoots in a central place providing context for popular music in our culture and to be a destination that would bring tourists and their dollars into Cleveland,” she wrote.

“Totally get it, and so bored with all the ‘what about ____’  and ‘they aren’t rock’ complaints from people on social media,” Valentine continued. “Our induction took years, and many others have been overlooked. But there’s only one event a year and a limited amount each time. And the people who run the hall are not the decision-makers.”

You can watch the entire Rock Hall of Fame ceremony on HBO Max on Saturday, November 21st.