“Some people said, ‘Oh, Charlie died, and you should have not done the tour — and stopped,” the singer told Apple Music 1 host Zane Lowe. “And other people would think, ‘The thing about the Rolling Stones throughout their career has been their resilience in the face of adversity.’ And we’ve had ups and downs, mostly ups, to be honest — but we’ve had adversity. And this was probably one of the most difficult ones.”
Jagger noted that the band felt they “should just carry on,” honoring the dates that were postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the gigs naturally had a different feeling without their drummer of nearly 60 years, he feels confident they made the right decision.
“After doing the first couple of shows, I feel really good about it,” he added. “I’m glad we’re doing it. I know Charlie wanted us to do it, and I think the audience wanted us to do it. They seem to. And of course it’s different — and of course in some ways it’s kinda sad […] But you just go out there and rock out, and you feel better. And it’s very cathartic. So I think it’s really good.”
Earlier in the interview, Jagger recalled Watts’ final studio sessions with the band, saying it would be a challenge to record without him in the future.
“Without Charlie being there, it’s going to be very difficult,” the singer said, explaining how Watts laid down material for earlier unfinished pieces intended for their extended edition of Tattoo You. “And we’ve got tracks, which obviously have Charlie on them. But if we do new things, we won’t.”
Jagger continued: ”I did some stuff with him in the studio very recently, while we were doing the Tattoo You things. […] Charlie did some work on just a few fills and stuff like that. And then we started messing around, we did some other things.”
“It’s just so weird and then very sad,” he said. “It’s such a long time that you work with someone like that, and you get to know someone so well and their quirks and their idiosyncrasies, and they know yours. And there’s a language in communication with musicians. […] After all this length of time, you have this ease of communication, so to speak. […] I miss that so much.”
The Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts Year by Year: Photos 1962-2020
We collected dozens of pictures of the drummer below for Charlie Watts Year by Year: Photos 1963-2020.