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The Rolling Stones were under the impression that Charlie Watts would return to the band following his illness that sadly resulted in his death at age 80.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, drummer Steve Jordan, who filled in for Watts, said, “You have to understand, the week before Charlie passed, I had gotten information that he was doing better. That week, the rehearsals took on a different energy because we were upbeat about him recovering. The week before, we were like, ‘Charlie is going to be cool! This is great!’ The whole energy of the rehearsals were even more upbeat because he was feeling better. We were playing this stuff with less of a burden. ‘We’re going to do this, and play that, and Charlie is going to come back and everything will be great.'”

Jordan continued, “That made the death even more shocking and tragic since the week before, there was a whole other mindset. And then it became this whole other thing. I don’t read social media and so I’m not bogged down with chatter. It doesn’t affect me since I won’t let it. I didn’t want to think of an extraordinary burden since it was already enough before his passing.”

News of Watts sitting out the latest leg of the Stones’ “No Filter” tour came about three weeks before his untimely passing. Around that time, Jordan was tapped to fill in on drums saying, “I was almost the last person to know. I don’t want to get into the details. But I was surprised because, first of all, I didn’t know that Charlie was in the hospital. That was news to me, and troublesome news to me.”

He added, “But it was still the thing where Charlie was recovering, and so I was just going to fill in for maybe some rehearsals. Maybe I would play part of the show, and if they did the B-stage thing where it’s kind of acoustic, maybe Charlie would do that part. That’s kind of what it was. It was not anything more than that. It was kind of like, ‘Maybe I’ll just do the rehearsals, and when he’s recovered, then he will come in and do the shows.'”

Watts’ official cause of death has yet to be confirmed publicly.


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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.