30 September 2021
Sir Mick Jagger finds it “strange” performing without Charlie Watts.
The Rolling Stones kicked off their North American tour earlier this week, but the ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ hitmaker admitted he and his bandmates are still not used to being on stage without the late drummer, who passed away last month.
He told SiriusXM DJ Howard Stern: “Every time we get together now and rehearse, we say, ‘Oh, Charlie would say this, then he would do that.’
“We did so many shows with him and so many tours and so many recording sessions, it’s strange being without him. And he said, when he was sick, he said, ‘You’ve gotta just carry on and do this tour. Don’t stop because of me.’ So we did.”
The 78-year-old singer described Charlie as the “heartbeat” of the group.
He said: “Charlie was the heartbeat for the band, and also a very steady personality. “He was not to be perturbed. He was a very reliable person, wasn’t a diva — that’s the last thing you want in a drummer.”
And it’s not only on stage that Mick misses Charlie because they had a lot of other shared passions.
He said: “I miss Charlie because he had a great sense of humour and we also were, outside of the band, we used to hang out quite a lot and have interesting times. We liked sports, we’d go to football, we’d go to cricket games, and we had other interests apart from music.”
The group opened their ‘No Filter’ tour with a special tribute to Charlie in St. Louis on Sunday (26.09.21).
The show – which was previously delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic – was the iconic band’s first public concert since Charlie’s death.
The gig opened with an empty stage, a drum beat and a photos of the late star appearing on a video board.
The band – who have been joined by session drummer Steve Jordan – then thanked their fans for their support over recent weeks.
Mick said: “This is our first-ever tour we’ve ever done without him. We’ll miss Charlie so much, on and off the stage.”
The legendary group then dedicated a rendition of ‘Tumbling Dice’ to their former bandmate.