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Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, 80, pulls out of band’s US tour

Rolling Stones star Charlie Watts has been forced to withdraw from the band’s tour of the US after having an emergency operation.

The legendary drummer, 80, underwent a ‘successful procedure’ in London after a routine check-up highlighted a problem, according to reports.

Clearly still in good spirits, he told the Sun: ‘For once, my timing has been a little off.’

Rolling Stones star Charlie Watts has been forced to withdraw from the band’s tour of the US after having an emergency operation. Pictured: Watts performs with the Stones in New Jersey 

The Rolling Stones US tour was postponed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic

The Rolling Stones US tour was postponed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic

Watts now faces several weeks of recovery, meaning he will have to sit out the Stones’ 13-date No Filter tour of the states, which is due to kick off in September.

Hot session drummer and friend of the band Steve Jordan will stand in for him for the gigs, before Charlie plans to rejoin his bandmates later in the year. 

According to the Sun, the band hope to have him back for their 60th anniversary celebrations in 2022, when they will release their first album of ­original songs in 17 years.

Watts added: ‘I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while. 

‘After all the disappointment with delays to the tour caused by Covid, I really don’t want the many Stones fans in the States who have been holding tickets to have another postponement or cancellation.

‘I have therefore asked my great friend Steve Jordan to stand in for me.’

Watts says he hopes to be back with the band soon and especially for 60th anniversary celebrations next year which will see them release original music for the first time in 17 years

Watts says he hopes to be back with the band soon and especially for 60th anniversary celebrations next year which will see them release original music for the first time in 17 years

The band had only announced the relaunch of the tour, derailed by the pandemic, last month, with the first performance coming in St. Louis on September 26.  

‘I’m so excited to get back on the stage again and want to thank everyone for their patience,’ frontman Mick Jagger, 77, said in a statement. ‘See you soon!’ 

Keith Richards, also 77, added: ‘We’re back on the road! See you there!’ 

The opening night at The Dome at America’s Centre is followed by rescheduled stops in Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Minneapolis, Tampa, Dallas, Atlanta, Detroit and Austin. 

The band has also added three new dates, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival – their first time playing there – on October 13, Los Angeles on October 17 at SoFi Stadium, and Las Vegas on November 6 at Allegiant Stadium. 

Watts added last night: ‘I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while.

The first night of the Stones tour at The Dome at America's Centre is followed by rescheduled stops in Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Minneapolis, Tampa, Dallas, Atlanta, Detroit and Austin. Pictured: Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards perform at the Rose Bowl

The first night of the Stones tour at The Dome at America’s Centre is followed by rescheduled stops in Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Minneapolis, Tampa, Dallas, Atlanta, Detroit and Austin. Pictured: Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards perform at the Rose Bowl

Pictured: Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones performs between band members Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood during their No Filter U.S. Tour at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California

Pictured: Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones performs between band members Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood during their No Filter U.S. Tour at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California

‘After all the disappointment with delays to the tour caused by Covid, I really don’t want the many Stones fans in the States who have been holding tickets to have another postponement or cancellation.’

The Rolling Stones formed in London in 1962 and have had the same four-piece lineup since 1993 when Ronnie Wood replaced bassist Bill Wyman.

The band were at the forefront of the British Invasion in the 1960s, rivalled only by the Beatles, with eight consecutive number 1 albums in the US from 1971. 

The Stones have sold more than 200 million records, with hits including (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Street Fighting Man and You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

But in recent years much of their income has come from touring. Their global tour, A Bigger Bang, earned more than $500 million between 2005 and 2007.


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