The show must go on. The Rolling Stones are continuing their U.S. tour next month with multiple tour dates, even in the wake of the death of the band’s longtime drummer, Charlie Watts.
The No Filter Tour will resume on Sept. 26 with a show in St. Louis, Missouri.
But the Stones will include a heartfelt tribute to their friend in their setlist next month. The band wants to convert their tour into a celebration of Watts’ life, a source told The Sun. The source said the surviving band members – Mick Jagger, 78, Keith Richards, 77, and Ronnie Wood, 74 – know Watts hated the thought of them cancelling shows. He told them as much when he had to pull out of the tour this month due to a medical procedure.
“Charlie had given them his blessing to tour without him following his operation, so they will honor his wishes,” the source said.
Rolling Stones Release a Statement on Watts’ Death
Watts died early yesterday in a London hospital surrounded by family. The band released a statement following his passing.
“It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts,” the band said in the statement, per the New York Post. “He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.”
“Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also a member of the Rolling Stones,” the statement went on. “[He was] one of the greatest drummers of his generation. We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.”
Watts Once Said He Hated Going on Tour
Watts did not like going on the road, he once said, according to USA Today. In fact, he said he was constantly leaving the band so as not to have to go on tour again, only to realize that if he wanted to drum he had to join the band on the road.
“I don’t actually like touring, and I don’t like living out of suitcases,” Watts said. Moreover, “I hate being away from home. I always do tours thinking they’re the last one and at the end of them, I always leave the band. Because of what I do I can’t play the drums at home, so to play the drums I have to go on the road, and to go on the road I have to leave home and it’s like a terribly vicious circle. And it’s always been my life.”
“In one way stadiums are great because you can do that many people in one go and go home instead of a weeklong engagement at a conference center,” he added. “Which would be fine if you’re not doing it for a year. When you’re doing it for a year, night after night, it drives you up the bloody wall – it does me, anyway.”
Still, while Watts may have hated the touring experience, many fans of his work will miss the chance to see him perform live on this tour – among them Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Brad Paisley, Mike Wolfe, Keith Urban and Josh Lucas.