The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts will sit out the band’s US tour as he recovers from an emergency medical procedure.

The 80-year-old was meant to hit the road for their No Filter tour, which is scheduled to kick off on September 26th in St. Louis, but was instructed by doctors to take time off to recuperate.

“Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful,” a spokesperson for The Rolling Stones said in a statement, “but I gather his doctors this week concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation. 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.”

According to Watts, his “great friend” Steve Jordan will be stepping in to replace him on tour.

“For once my timing has been a little off,” Watts said.

“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 fans’ suffering caused by COVID I really do not want the many 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.”

Love Classic Rock?

Get the latest Classic Rock news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

Jordan, who has previously played with The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, said: “It is an absolute honour and a privilege to be Charlie’s understudy and I am looking forward to rehearsing with Mick, Keith and Ronnie.

“No one will be happier than me to give up my seat on the drum riser as soon as Charlie tells me he is good to go.”

While Charlie Watts wasn’t always a part of The Rolling Stones, he has remained a part of the band since January 1963.

It’s not the first time the drummer has dealt with health issues.

Watts also battled throat cancer back in 2004 but has since got the all-clear after undergoing two operations.

For more on this topic, head over to the Classic Rock Observer.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine