Celebrating 60 years together is a big deal to The Rolling Stones. Releasing a new album to celebrate that milestone without original drummer Charlie Watts is an even bigger one. Watts, who passed away last year at 80-years-old, will be replaced in the studio by touring drummer Steve Jordan.
Speaking on the Music Now podcast, guitarist Keith Richards said, “We do have a lot of stuff of Charlie Watts still in the can. We were halfway through making an album when he died… Of course, if we want to carry on recording, we’re gonna need drums, and it’s gonna be Steve Jordan.”
Jordan was a longtime collaborator and friend of the Stones when he started filling in for Watts on tour last year. Now it looks like he will join the band permanently as they work to finish their next album – their first since 2005’s A Bigger Bang.
When it became clear that Watts wouldn’t be able to continue with The Rolling Stones as his health began to fail, Richards admits he wasn’t sure if it meant the end of the road for the iconic band. It was then Watts who told Richards to carry on:
“I was in, ‘Oh, I cannot do this without Charlie. But Charlie said to me, ‘You can do it with Steve. He can take my seat anytime.’ And he talked me into it… I loved that man.”
Along with working on a brand new album, The Rolling Stones are hitting the road with a 14 date European tour this summer to celebrate 60 years together.
Richards went on later in the interview to reveal that Paul McCartney apologized for remarks taken out of context in a New Yorker interview referring to The Rolling Stones as a blues cover band.