Steve Jordan, the late-Charlie Watts‘ replacement, broke his silence to Vanity Fair about taking over the drum chair for the Rolling Stones.
Jordan, Keith Richards‘ collaborator and drummer in his X-Pensive Winos solo band — is also known for his work on the original Saturday Night Live, the Blues Brothers, the Late Night with David Letterman Band, along with sessions with the Stones, and co-writing their 1989 Steel Wheels track, “Almost Hear You Sigh.”
He explained that filling in for Watts — a close friend for decades — is both difficult and easy in many ways: “It’s very natural. But, y’know, I’ve been listening to these records since I was eight years old. Some of those ‘fills’ or whatever are embedded in my DNA. I can’t listen to the song without playing the exact fill that Charlie played, because that’s part of how you breathe, y’know? People equate hooks to guitar lines or vocal melodies. But there are hooks in drums, too. And Charlie played a lot of hooks. And if you don’t play the hooks, then you’re not playing the song. So it’s imperative that I quote and play these hooks.”
Jordan shed light on how he’s been approaching the material onstage: “I’m not trying to do an impersonation. It’s just part of the song. And that’s not going to go away. I’m always going to do that as long as I’m playing with these guys. But it’s got to feel great. It’s got to swing. And they all know how to swing.”
He added, “My approach is I go back to the original stuff on the records and then work my way back, as opposed to trying to pick up where the band left off in 2019. Because I would say a good portion of the original recordings have been abandoned over time, which is a natural evolution. They don’t want to play it the same way for 50 years. But I can’t come in and start playing it like that. I have to come from the beginning and work my way through it.”
Steve Jordan explained that the job requires him to connect with the music while still remaining true to both the Stones’ history and current groove: “I’m going to play it how it is on the record I loved and bought when I was a kid. So we’ve been able to implement some of the original flavor (on tracks such as ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Paint It, Black’) and make it work. And where it doesn’t work, we don’t make it work. We do something different. So that’s part of the discovery and rediscovery of this music, and basically a way to honor Charlie.”
- The Rolling Stones tour dates (subject to change):
October 14, 17 – Los Angeles, CA – SoFi Stadium
October 24 – Minneapolis, MN – U.S. Bank Stadium
October 29 – Tampa, FL – Raymond James Stadium
November 2 – Dallas, TX – Cotton Bowl Stadium
November 6 – Las Vegas, NV – Allegiant Stadium
November 11 – Atlanta, GA – Mercedes-Benz Stadium
November 15 – Detroit, MI – Ford Field
November 20 – Austin, TX – Circuit of The Americas
- Out now is the Rolling Stones‘ latest multimedia set, The Rolling Stones — A Bigger Bang: Live On Copacabana Beach.
- The double-DVD, two-CD collection was captured in Brazil on February 8th, 2006 at Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach in front of a reported 1.5 million people — both on land and at sea.
- The set, which is an expanded version of the 2007 release, is packaged in a 12-by-12, 40-page book, along with an exclusive bonus DVD including a November 2005 concert in Salt Lake City — also from the band’s tour behind A Bigger Bang.
- The package has also been issued as a triple-LP — pressed on blue, yellow, and green vinyl, along with a clear vinyl version.
CHECK IT OUT: The Stones on October 9th, 2021 performing “Street Fighting Man” live in Nashville: