‘If everything hadn’t closed, we could have finished the damn thing’

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The late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts still has a few licks on him.

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In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the surviving members of the band, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood, revealed that Watts, who passed away in August at age 80 from an unspecified illness, had participated in new recordings before his death.

“We have a lot of tracks done, so when the tour is over we will assess where we are with that and move on,” said Jagger, 78.

The rockers were in the middle of recording new songs for a continuation of the one from 2016. Blue and lonely when the pandemic hit in early 2020. One of those songs – Living in a ghost town – got an official release.

“If everything hadn’t been closed, we could have finished the damn thing,” said Richards, 77.

Richards added: “Let me put it this way. You haven’t heard the last of Charlie Watts. “

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Guitarist Ronnie Wood, 74, was the last to see Watts alive in the same room at the London hospital where he was treated for cancer in 2020.

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“We call it the Rolling Stones suite,” Wood told the Times. “We watched horse racing on television and we just blew up the breeze. I realized that I was quite tired and fed up with the whole thing. He said, ‘I was really hoping to be out of here by now,’ then there was a complication or two and I wasn’t allowed to go back. Nobody was. “

A tribute video to drummer Charlie Watts plays before the Rolling Stones took the stage in St. Louis last month.
A tribute video to drummer Charlie Watts plays before the Rolling Stones took the stage in St. Louis last month. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski /fake images

Elsewhere in the interview, Jagger discussed the Stones’ decision to continue their No Filter tour, which has been on the road since 2017 and is currently in the midst of a 13-date run in the US.

“No band is the same when you lose someone. But the Stones are a very tough band, “he said. “We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs over the years, and we’ve had staff changes, as have a lot of bands.”

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Photos of Watts appear on giant screens during live shows.

“When you’re a band for so long, it’s unlikely you won’t have any changes,” added Jagger. “Of course, this is probably the biggest we’ve ever had. But we felt, and Charlie felt, that we should do this tour. We had already put it off for a year and Charlie said, ‘You have to go out. The whole team that has been out of work is not going to put them out of work again. ‘ So I think it was the right decision to go ahead. The band still sounds great on stage, and everyone has been very receptive to the two great shows we’ve done so far. “

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards perform during the Rolling Stones No Filter tour in St. Louis.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards perform during the Rolling Stones No Filter tour in St. Louis. Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI /fake images

Jagger and Richards would shed no further light on the new songs, which will serve as the band’s first batch of original material since 2005. A bigger bangApart from saying that Watts will appear on multiple tracks.

But in an interview last month with Apple Music 1 host Zane Lowe, Jagger admitted that it will be a challenge to record new material without the drummer when the band reunites.

“It’s going to be very difficult,” said the singer. “You’ve been working with someone like that for so long, and you get to know someone so well and their quirks and idiosyncrasies, and they know yours. And there is a language in communication with musicians … After so long, you have this ease of communication, so to speak … I miss it a lot “.

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