Rolling Stones Honor Charlie Watts at Secret London Club
The Rolling Stones No Filter 2021 tour technically ended Nov. 23 at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida, but Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, and the several members of their touring band quietly came together Dec. 7 at the tiny London club Ronnie Scott’s to honor Charlie Watts with a special tribute show.
Jagger, Richards, and Wood were joined by former Stones bassist Bill Wyman, drummer Steve Jordan, background singers Bernard Flowers and Lisa Fischer, saxophonist Tim Ries, bassist Dave Green, pianists Ben Waters, Axel Zwingenberger, and Jools Holland, who led the house band for the evening.
The set featured Ries’ original tune “Blues dor Charlie,” and Fischer singing lead on “Trouble in Mind” before she was joined by Fowler for the gospel classic “Up Above My Head.” It ended with Jagger, Richards, and Wood joining many of the performers from the evening for the R&B classics “Shame, Shame, Shame” and “Down the Road Apiece.” Both songs were in the Stones’ repertoire during their early days on the U.K. club circuit and hadn’t been played in many years. (According to reports, Wyman didn’t play with his former bandmates.)
The event was limited to about 200 people and attendees were strongly discouraged from taking photos or video, although a private photographer was reportedly present.
It was hosted by Charlie’s granddaughter Charlotte and others members of the Watts family. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Steve Jordan said they sent him a private message shortly before his first gig with the Stones. “It said they were sending their support,” Jordan said. “Not only did I have support from my wife Meegan Voss, but to get the message from the family saying they were behind me and to go and get it … this was basically an hour or less before the show. That meant the world to me at that time. That’s when I felt, ‘OK, let’s go.’”
There are widespread rumors about the Stones touring Europe next year to celebrate their 60th anniversary, but nothing is confirmed. “As a Stones fan, I would say you have to do a 60th-anniversary tour,” Jordan said. “But they have to really see how they feel about it knowing that their mate of 59 years is not going to be with them. It’s not that easy a decision, in my view.”
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