News, Culture & Society

The Rolling Stones pay tribute to late drummer Charlie Watts

The Rolling Stones pay tribute to late drummer Charlie Watts as legendary band perform an impromptu jam at his favourite London jazz club

  • The band were joined by Charlie’s oldest friend and collaborator Dave Green, plus Ben Waters, and Axel Zwingenberger on stage at Ronnie Scott’s
  • Saxophonist Tim Ries had prepared a special piece for the late drummer titled Blues For Charlie, while Lisa Fischer sang Trouble On My Mind
  • The Stones wrapped the evening with R&B standards Shame Shame Shame and Down the Road Apiece
  • Former band-mate Bill Wyman was also in attendance for the one-off performance after arriving with his wife Suzanne   


The Rolling Stones honoured their late drummer Charlie Watts with an intimate gig at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London’s Soho this week.

Rock veterans Sir Mick Jagger, 78, Keith Richards, 77, and Ronnie Wood, 74, reunited with former bassist Bill Wyman, 85, to salute the musician – who passed away in August aged 80 – at a special concert hosted by Jools Holland.

The band were joined by Charlie’s oldest friend and collaborator Dave Green, plus Ben Waters, and Axel Zwingenberger on stage at the venue, a personal favourite of Charlie’s. 

Tribute: The Rolling Stones honoured their late drummer Charlie Watts with an intimate gig at Ronnie Scott’s in Soho this week (pictured: Sir Mick Jagger)

Saxophonist Tim Ries had prepared a special piece for the late drummer titled Blues For Charlie, while Lisa Fischer sang Trouble On My Mind and a duet of gospel track Up Above My Head with Bernard Fowler.

The Stones wrapped the evening with R&B standards Shame Shame Shame and Down the Road Apiece.

The impromptu gig comes after Mick admitted he found it “very cathartic” to get back on stage following the passing of his friend and bandmate.

Make way: Keith Richards was seen making his way into the legendary Soho venue ahead of the performance

Make way: Keith Richards was seen making his way into the legendary Soho venue ahead of the performance 

Tragic: Charlie Watts died at the age of 80 in August, but his memory lived on during the band's performance this week

Tragic: Charlie Watts died at the age of 80 in August, but his memory lived on during the band’s performance this week 

Speaking after they kicked off their North American No Filter tour, their first shows without Charlie, the singer insisted that while it was “sad” to be on stage without him, it was a “really good” way to release some of their bottled-up emotions.

He said in September: ‘We were supposed to have played last year. We couldn’t do it for obvious reasons, because of the pandemic. And I just thought, and I think everyone in the band thought that we should just carry on.

‘After doing the first couple of shows, I think I feel really good about it. But I’m glad we’re doing it. I know Charlie wanted us to do it. I think the audience wants to do it. They seem to. 

In good company: Guitarist Ronnie Wood was joined by wife Sally outside the London venue

In good company: Guitarist Ronnie Wood was joined by wife Sally outside the London venue 

Familiar face: The band reunited with former bassist Bill Wyman, who arrived with his wife Suzanne

Familiar face: The band reunited with former bassist Bill Wyman, who arrived with his wife Suzanne 

‘And of course, it’s different, and of course, in some ways it’s sad and so on. But I mean, you just go out there and rock out and you feel better, and it’s very cathartic.  So, I think it’s really good.’ 

Mick also revealed he misses joking with Charlie as he reflected on the recent time they spent together in the studio before his passing.

He added: ‘It seems like only yesterday that I was in the studio with Charlie, joshing around. It’s just so weird and then very sad. 

The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died at the age of 80 in August

The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died at the age of 80 in August 

Iconic: The London-born drummer (left) joined the then-fledgling band in 1963 after meeting Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones while playing in rhythm and blues clubs

Iconic: The London-born drummer (left) joined the then-fledgling band in 1963 after meeting Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones while playing in rhythm and blues clubs

‘And I mean, it’s such a long time that you work with someone like that, and you get to know someone so well and their quirks and their idiosyncrasies and they know yours.

‘And there’s a language in communication with musicians, obviously, or anything else. So, you talk about it. It’s difficult talking about music. 

‘But so, after all this length of time, you have this ease of communication, so to speak with another musician. That’s very rare. I miss that so much.’ 

The iconic band opened their No Filter tour with a special tribute to Charlie in St. Louis.

The gig started with an empty stage, a drum beat and photos of the late star appearing on a video board.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk