In their first show since his death, The Rolling Stones paid tribute to their late drummer Charlie Watts

Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, and Keith Richards played the first unofficial gig of their ‘No Filter’ tour on Monday, September 20th, at a private event organised by Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots. It was their first time playing without Watts since he passed away on August 24th and it also marked the debut of touring drummer Steve Jordan in the lineup.

There had been some debate as to whether the Stones should have continued the tour after Watt’s passing but, as their former tour manager Sam Cutler said, “he would have wanted his band mates to continue. I feel certain that they will, and that every show will become a tribute to a remarkable and well-loved man, for there is no way that they will not continue being the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world. ”

And the remaining band members took time during Monday’s gig to pay tribute to Watts, dedicating the show to him. In a video Jagger posted on Twitter the following day, the frontman gives a loving speech in honour of Watts.

“This is the first show of our 2021 tour, so this is it, this is the tryout,” Jagger can be heard saying. “I must say though, at this point it’s a bit of a poignant night for us because it’s our first tour in 59 years that we’ve done without our lovely Charlie Watts. We all miss Charlie so much. We miss him as a band, we miss him as friends, on and off the stage.”

Jagger then ended his speech with a toast: “We’ve got so many memories of Charlie, and I’m sure some of you that have seen us before have got memories of Charlie as well. And I hope you will remember him like we do. So we’d like to dedicate this show to Charlie. Let’s have a drink to Charlie!”

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Check out Mick Jagger’s speech about Charlie Watts below:

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