“I used to go down and see the Rolling Stones at Eel Pie Island [in South London] when I didn’t know them at all,” Fleetwood recalled to Classic Rock, remembering his early years in the band the Cheynes. “We went on tour with them in 1964. And to this day Keith Richards is one of the three people who call me Michael; John McVie and Eric Clapton are the others.
“The Stones really are my favorite band,” the drummer continued. “My dream was always that Charlie Watts got the flu, and I get to save the day and play with the Stones for a week. But the call never came.”
Watts died on Aug. 24, 2021, at the age of 80. In a tribute at the time, Fleetwood wrote, “Dear Charlie, I, like so many, am sad today. … However, knowing there are no words, still I’m driven to say to you … ‘You, in life, had style!’ You as a player were above and beyond! You are my dream come true! No one could drive a band like you!”
Since Watts’ death, Steve Jordan – a close friend of the late drummer who also has a long history with the Stones – has manned the kit.
Though Fleetwood has never drummed for the Stones, he has collaborated with many of the band’s members. In 1983, Fleetwood and Richards played with Jerry Lee Lewis on the short-lived variety show Salute! Fleetwood was also the drummer on Ronnie Wood’s 1979 solo album Gimme Some Neck, and in 2020, former Stones bassist Bill Wyman participated in Fleetwood’s all-star tribute to Peter Green.
Fleetwood Mac Albums Ranked
It’s easy to focus on Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks when considering a list of Fleetwood Mac albums, but the band’s legacy extends well beyond that.