As they gear up to celebrate 60 years of rocking stages this summer, the Rolling Stones plan to soldier on in the studio following last year’s death of original drummer Charlie Watts. In an interview with Rolling Stones‘ Music Now podcast, guitarist Keith Richards revealed that touring drummer Steve Jordan will be behind the kit during sessions for the band’s as-yet-untitled follow-up their most recent album of originals, 2005’s A Bigger Bang.
“We do have a lot of stuff of Charlie Watts still in the can,” Richards said of the dapper timekeeper who died on August 24, 2021 at age 80. “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.” Longtime friend of the band and collaborator Jordan began filling in for an ailing Watts on last year’s No Filter tour and will be behind the kit for the group’s summer European tour as well.
Though veteran session and live player Jordan is more than up to the task, Richards, 78, told RS that he was initially unsure about carrying on without their beloved bandmate. “I was in, ‘Oh, I cannot do this without Charlie,’” Richards said. “But Charlie said to me, ‘You can do it with Steve. He can take my seat anytime. And he talked me into it.’…God damn, I loved that man.” At press time the Stones had not yet revealed the name or a scheduled release date for their next album.
The Stones announced a run of 14 European summer shows this week to celebrate their 60th anniversary.
Richards also revealed that the Stones got a personal note from Paul McCartney after their old pal made headlines last year when he referred to them as a “blues cover band” in a New Yorker profile. “I got a note from Paul about that, saying ‘I was taken totally out of context,’” Richards explained. “He said, ‘That’s what I thought when I first heard them.’ Paul and I know each other pretty well, and when I first read it. I said, there’s been a lot of deleting and editing going on here. And the next day I got a message from Paul saying, ‘If you’ve read this s–t, it’s all out of context, believe me, boys’… Paul’s a great guy, man. I mean, Jesus Christ, look at the songs he’s written.”