Charlie Watts is one of the three original members of The Rolling Stones that has survived almost 60 years of legendary rock and roll decadence. Along with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Watts has drummed for all 2000+ gigs band has ever played. But that streak will be coming to end when the Stones hit the road this fall for the reboot of their 2020 “No Filter Tour” which was postponed from last summer due to the Covid pandemic. While Stones fans are understandably bummed by the development, the drummer taking his spot temporarily is no slouch. In fact, he’s maybe the best drummer you might not have heard of.
Emergency Surgery Sidelines Watts
Charlie Watts is the oldest member of the Rolling Stones, having turned 80-years-old in June. Variety reported yesterday that the drummer was bowing out of the upcoming tour after undergoing an “unspecified but ‘completely successful’ medical procedure.” A spokesperson for the band told the outlet. “Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful, 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.”
In a statement, Watts himself announced who would be sitting in for him. “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. 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.”
Steve Jordan Incredible Career
Steve Jordan has had one of the most successful, if understated, careers in music. He got his first big break drumming for TV bands, as a member of the Saturday Night Live band and later the World’s Most Dangerous Band with Paul Schaffer on Late Night With David Letterman. Working on SNL landed him behind the kit for The Blues Brothers albums, though he doesn’t appear in the movie. From there, Jordan has gone on to become one of the most in-demand session drummers in rock history.
The artists he’s played with are a who’s who of rock, pop, blues, and soul royalty. He’s played on albums with Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Mark Ronson, Kelly Clarkson, just to name a few. He also has a long history with Rolling Stones going back decades.
The Stones And Jordan Go Way Back
Though uncredited, it’s widely acknowledged that Jordan played on some track on the Rolling Stones 1986 album Dirty Work. He also worked with the band on 1989’s Steel Wheels, co-writing the song “Almost Hear You Sigh” with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. In fact, besides Watts, Jordan is likely the drummer Richards has work the most with over his career.
After Dirty Work, Richards was so impressed with Jordan he hired him first to play with Richards on Aretha Franklin’s cover of the Stones “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” that was used for the movie of the same name starring Whoopi Goldberg (which also features from American Idol judge Randy Jackson on bass, among other luminaries). After that session wrapped up, Jordan again joined Richards as part of the band for Chuck Berry’s 60th birthday celebration, which was turned into the documentary Hail! Hail! Rock And Roll.
Jordan’s work with Richards continued when the guitar player asked him to join his then-new side project Keith Richards And The X-Pensive Winos. Jordan co-wrote much of the band’s material and co-produced all three of the band’s releases between 1988 and 2015. He also played with the band whenever they hit the road, which was pretty rare. Still, it’s safe to say he’s a great choice for The Rolling Stones to fill the large shoes of a rock and roll legend like Charlie Watts.
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