Mick Jagger and Ron Wood revealed their final conversations with the Rolling Stones‘ late-drummer Charlie Watts. Watts died of cancer on August 24th, 2021 at the age of 80. London’s Daily Mirror quoted some of Jagger and Wood’s recollections as featured in Paul Sexton‘s Charlie’s Good Tonight: The Authorized Biography Of Charlie Watts, coming on October 11th.
Mick Jagger looked back to 2021 and Charlie Watts falling ill: “It was all so quick. That was the shocking part of it. One minute I was speaking to him about the tour and what the logo was going to be and the next minute he was gone.”
Jagger recalled that despite his health issues, Watts had originally planned to play on the band’s last tour, telling Jagger, “‘You’re the cheerleader of the group and if you say I should do it, I’ll do it. Of course I will. I’m happy to.'”
Jagger went on to remember, “I was speaking to him in hospital and, because he was so untechnical, I sent him a big iPad to watch the cricket on. I set it all up with the apps and he watched some of it on that. But Ronnie (Wood) had had a similar illness and got better and that’s why I guess I was so confident Charlie was going to do the same thing.”
Ron Wood spoke candidly about the point in which Watts realized he had taken a turn for the worse: “The last few days of his hospitalization, he was like, ‘I don’t like this,’ because he went to a certain level of treatment, then they decided to do some extra work on him. We were already well into rehearsals when we got the news. We had a day off and thought, well, Charlie doesn’t want us to sit around and mope. We’ll just get on with it.”
- Charlie Watts is the third of the original Rolling Stones to die, with co-founding guitarist Brian Jones drowning on July 3rd, 1969 at age 27, and co-founding pianist-turned-roadie Ian Stewart dying of a heart attack on December 12th, 1985 at 47.
- Charlie Watts, who turned 80 the prior June 2nd, was the second-oldest Stone; co-founding bassist Bill Wyman is 85, Mick Jagger is 79, Keith Richards is 78, and Ron Wood is 75.
CHECK IT OUT: The Stones’ 1981 video for “Hang Fire”: