Prior to his death earlier this summer, iconic drummer Charlie Watts played with the Rolling Stones for more than 50 years. His early jazz influences could be heard in his epic sound – and he has since been hailed as one of the greatest drummers of all time. But his former bandmates were shocked when they learned of his passing. That’s because they all believed he would return to the band.
The drummer was diagnosed with throat cancer after discovering a lump in his throat. He received medical treatment and was recovering when his health declined. He then took some time off during the Rolling Stones most recent tour.
In a recent interview, the band claims they really believed the star musician would pull through.
“You have to understand, the week before Charlie passed, I had gotten information that he was doing better,” drummer Steve Jordan told Rolling Stone, via UCR. “That week, the rehearsals took on a different energy because we were upbeat about him recovering. The week before, we were like, ‘Charlie is going to be cool! This is great!’
Jordan has been playing with Keith Richards for decades. He was filling in for Watts before the drummer passed away. But he never imagined his position would become permanent.
Rolling Stones Shocked By Charlie Watts Passing
“The whole energy of the rehearsals were even more upbeat because he was feeling better,” Jordan added. “We were playing this stuff with less of a burden. ‘We’re going to do this, and play that, and Charlie is going to come back and everything will be great.'”
He went on to say:
“I was surprised because, first of all, I didn’t know that Charlie was in the hospital,” Jordan said. “That was news to me, and troublesome news to me. But it was still the thing where Charlie was recovering, and so I was just going to fill in for maybe some rehearsals. Maybe I would play part of the show, and if they did the B-stage thing where it’s kind of acoustic, maybe Charlie would do that part.”
However, on August 24, the band got the news that their esteemed drummer and friend had died.
“The morning that I got the news that he had passed was one of the worst days of my life,” he said. “It still is.”
Charlie Watts joined the Rolling Stones in 1962. He was made a permanent member in February 1963. The drummer toured with the Stones for more than 50 years and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. As a child, Watts fell in love with jazz and played in several jazz and blues club in England. His early influences contributed to the way he picked up music.