The Rolling Stones play an intimate secret show in memory of Charlie Watts

8 December 2021, 10:51 | Updated: 14 September 2023, 08:09

The Rolling Stones announce their new tour dates

By Mayer Nissim

Charlie Watts was a London-born jazz man, so Ronnie Scott's was arguably his spiritual home.

The Rolling Stones played at a special show last night (December 6) in memory of Charlie Watts.

The band's drummer since 1963, Watts died on August 21 shortly after a heart procedure. He was 80.

The Stones played the intimate set at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London, one of the most renowned jazz clubs in the world.

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood closed out the evening with performances of 'Shame Shame Shame', originally by Jimmy Reed, and 'Down the Road Apiece', originally by the Will Bradley Trio.

The evening had been compered by Jools Holland, NME reports, who led a house band featuring Watts's friend and regular collaborator Dave Green, together with Ben Waters and Axel Zwingenberger.

Charlie Watts
Charlie Watts. Picture: Alamy

Rolling Stones' touring sax player Tim Ries played his 'Blues For Charlie', while other band live associates also pitched in with performances.

Lisa Fischer sang 'Trouble On My Mind' before she and Bernard Fowler dueted on 'Up Above My Head'.

The event was attended by many of Watts's family and friends, including former Stones' bassist Bill Wyman.

Watts played Ronnie Scott's several times during his lifetime, and recorded the 2004 live album The Charlie Watts Tentet – Watts at Scott's there.

Take The 'A' Train - Charlie Watts And The Tentet

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood missed Watts's funeral as they couldn't get to Devon from Boston where they were rehearsing for the much-delayed final leg of their No Filter tour due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The tour began in Europe in 2017 and was due to end in 2020, but it was repeatedly pushed back because of the ongoing global pandemic.

Watts has been replaced in the band's touring lineup by Steve Jordan, having already given his blessing for his "great friend" to take his place in the group when he had fallen ill.

The Rolling Stones in concert with Steve Jordan
The Rolling Stones in concert with Steve Jordan. Picture: Alamy

Jagger paid special tribute to Watts on the band's live return, dedicating their first concert back to him.

"We all miss Charlie so much. We miss him as a band, we miss him as a friend on and off the stage and we've got so many memories of Charlie," said Jagger from the stage.

"And I'm sure some of you who have seen us before have got memories of Charlie as well. I hope you will remember him like we do."