The Rolling Stones have reflected on the “huge loss” of Charlie Watts in their first interview since the drummer’s death.
Watts died at the age of 80 last month (August 24), prompting a huge outpouring of tributes from the music world and beyond.
- READ MORE: Charlie Watts, 1941 – 2021: the ballast that kept The Rolling Stones tempered and on-track
Earlier this week, the Stones dedicated their first show of 2021 to the late drummer. “We all miss Charlie so much,” Mick Jagger told the crowd. “We miss him as a band, we miss him as friends on and off the stage.”
In a new interview with Rolling Stone (published today, September 23), Jagger looked back on Watts’ time with the group – saying that he was the one who “held the band together for so long”.
“The thing about Charlie was that he was always there, always played beautifully and was always willing to discuss what to do about it – how he could make it better,” the frontman told the outlet.
“He held the band together for so long, musically, because he was the rock the rest of it was built around… The thing he brought was this beautiful sense of swing and swerve that most bands wish they could have.”
He continued: “We had some really nice conversations in the last couple of years about how all this happened with the band. It’s a huge loss to us all. It’s very, very hard.”
Elsewhere, Keith Richards recalled Watts’ “incredible sense of humour”. “And my joy was I loved to crack him up,” he added. “If you could hit that spot, he wouldn’t stop, and it was the funniest thing in the world.”
The Stones also said that Steve Jordan, who initially stepped in so Watts could recover from surgery, was “very respectful of Charlie”. “He did homework, listening to the tunes,” Jagger explained.
“When we talk about what Charlie did on this [song], we listen to the original record, and then we listen to the live versions.”
The Rolling Stones’ 13-date run of US shows kicks off this Sunday (September 26) in St Louis.