Steve Jordan agreed to fill in for legendary drummer Charlie Watts before this Rolling Stones tour, and the New Yorker recently opened up about the experience.
The 64-year-old is the youngest of the group to perform on stage, and he got Watts’ seal of approval. Watts, who died on Aug. 24, could not play on tour but advised his bandmates to go with Jordan.
Rolling Stone magazine caught up with Jordan a week after the band’s final show in Florida recently. Jordan said they ran off stage, jumped into a car, and then took a plane right after that last show. The frantic touring pace means he’ll be “decompressing” for a while.
Jordan Talks About Being A ‘Stones’ Fan
Jordan, who had gigs in the Saturday Night Live band and the John Mayer Trio, said he was eight years old when he became a fan of the band. Before that, he was a Beatles fan.
Jordan joked that he had to choose between both bands because “it was forbidden” to be a fan of both.
But after the band’s “Satisfaction” hit, that mold broke, and Jordan said fans could pick both sides. But it was the band’s track, “Honky Tonk Women,” that sold him on the Rolling Stones.
Jordan, Watts Had A Long Friendship
The drummer’s chance meeting and fun came after a Saturday Night Live show in 1978.
In the show’s fourth season, Jordan played in the house band. But that night, he focused more on the American League championship series than the band.
Jordan watched the game with Watts in the band’s dressing room. The two talked about the similarities between baseball and cricket while forming a fast friendship.
“Sitting next to Charlie Watts, watching the Yankees. It doesn’t get much better than that,” Jordan told the magazine.
Over the years, Watts pulled Jordan into recording sessions. In 1985, he performed with a Duran Duran offshoot band called Arcadia, thanks to Watts. Jordan didn’t want to take the job over Watts, but he did at the famous drummer’s insistence.
Watts had a few drummers play on Rolling Stone tracks over time. Kenney Jones, Jimmy Miller, and Sly Dunbar played drums on a few tracks. The group also had percussionists like Rocky Dijon from Rock and Roll Circus.
Jordan also performed with Keith Richards for 30 years off and on. According to the magazine, the drummer got the call from Richards for a new version of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” with Aretha Franklin. Jordan remembered Richards’s memoir “Life” and an excerpt where Watts plugged the drummer for any project outside the Rolling Stones.
But, ultimately, it was Jordan who toured with the group when Watts died.
Rolling Stones Tour Announcement A Shock To Jordan
When Jordan learned he would take over for Watts on the recent tour, he said he was “surprised” and “almost the last person to know.”
Jordan said he filled in on some rehearsals and thought he might play a part of a show, but that Watts would still be there to bang away at the drums to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” or “Gimme Shelter.”