LOS ANGELES — Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts will likely miss the band’s upcoming U.S. tour to allow him to recover from an unspecified medical procedure.
A spokesperson for the musician said the procedure was “completely successful” but that Watts needs time to recuperate. The Stones are set to resume their No Filter tour with a stadium show on Sept. 26 in St. Louis.
“With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it’s very disappointing to say the least, but it’s also fair to say no one saw this coming,” a spokesperson for Watts said in a statement.
Watts, 80, said in a statement he did not want his recovery to further delay the tour, which is set to visit several U.S. cities including Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He will be replaced by understudy Steve Jordan, who has played with Keith Richards for years.
“For once my timing has been a little off. 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,” Watts said. “After all the fans’ suffering caused by Covid I really do not want the many RS fans who have been holding tickets for this Tour to be disappointed by another postponement or cancellation. I have therefore asked my great friend Steve Jordan to stand in for me.”
Watts successfully underwent treatment for throat cancer in 2004.
He’s been the drummer for the Stones since the band formed in 1962.