Without Charlie being here it will be very difficult. We have recorded songs that Charlie plays on, but if we do new things he won’t be there anymore, so yeah, it’s very sad. ” So has answered Mick Jagger to the first question about Charlie Watts released in an interview, following the publication of a new song by the Rolling Stones, ‘Troubles a’ coming ‘. “I worked with Charlie recently, in fact, I did some things with him in the studio relatively recently. It seems like yesterday when I was in the studio with him, joking … it’s so strange, and very sad too.
The singer has also responded to criticism from fans who believe that after the death of Watts, it is time to end the matter. “There are people who think: ‘Oh, Charlie is dead, they shouldn’t tour, they should stop’ but also other people think, ‘well … what has always characterized the Rolling Stones throughout their career has been your resilience in the face of adversity. ‘ We’ve had ups and downs, a lot of ups and downs to be honest, we’ve had a lot of adversity and this is probably one of the most difficult. So we will do the tour that we were supposed to have done last year, and that we couldn’t do for obvious reasons, due to the pandemic. I thought, and I think everyone in the band thought too, that we should move on. After doing the first couple of shows, I think I feel good about it. I’m glad we’re doing it, I know Charlie would want us to do it, I think the public wants it, it seems so. Of course it is different and in a way it is sad, and it will be for a while. I mean, you just go out there and rock and you feel better, it’s very cathartic. So I think it’s the right thing to do.
As he himself points out, there are those who think that the correct thing would be precisely the opposite. That it is time to hang up the boots. But that’s perhaps the biggest ‘unpopular opinion’ in rock. It cost Leiva very dear to say that the Rolling Stones were about to retire, back in 2012. “Undoubtedly many years ago I think that the Rolling Stones should separate. I will have a lot of naysayers saying this, but hey, that Mick Jagger looks like a fitness teacher and that he’s very young on stage, that’s fine. But years ago they should have stopped touring, “said the Madrilenian in an interview. “Burning discs seems interesting to me, that they say ‘I’m going to continue investigating.’ And I think that with 60 and 70 tacos you can tell interesting things. But the Stones should have stopped touring years ago. On the ‘Voodoo Lounge’ tour with Black Crowes as the opening act I saw them, and then I thought ‘damn, that’s enough, you have to stop this, you have done everything most incredible that could be done, what more do you want?’. I think they’re there because Keith can’t be home anymore and he gets nervous, but a Rolling Stones concert has more to do with a theme park than a show by the band that we all want it to be. “
Almost a decade after those statements (which earned him harsh criticism and even insults to the former Sloth), to answer the question of whether the Rolling Stones should separate now more than ever because of the death of Charlie Watts, the first thing that should be had into account are the wishes of the deceased. And apparently, he wanted the show to go on. Which is plausible given its ultra-pragmatic nature. Why should they stop then? If they are a theme park, what is the problem? Why close it? Without Mick Jagger it would be more complicated, but even if Keith Richards died, the cash register could still work perfectly. It is the plain truth. Does anyone seriously believe that the hundreds of thousands of tickets from the current ‘No Filter’ tour would have been returned if he had died and not Charlie?
Other groups like Led Zeppelin had it clear when their drummer slapped it, and they broke up ipso facto. And there comes another issue: the relationship between the members of the group. John Bonham was an essential uncle for the good vibes to be maintained within the Zep, for the good karma to remain a beacon to guide the group’s path. But it is that in the Rolling Stones there are no good vibes, or friendship, or anything like that, no matter how much Richards and Jagger appeared hand in hand in the first tribute to Watts of the ‘No Filter’ tour. The members of the group maintain only a minimum dose of camaraderie, they have no relationship off stage and that is exactly what they convey when they are on it (I suppose I am not the only one noticing it, although it does not cease to amaze me how much they have enjoyed other viewers of his last tours) so there is nothing to be disrespected. The Stones have been much more of a business than a rock band for decades, a brand that perfectly fits the reflection that Robert Plant launched a few days ago, clearly throwing a poisoned dart at Jagger and company: “The classic bands that still active they are sad and decrepit. It’s like seeing people clinging to a lifeboat, staying in their comfort zone forever.
It is not necessary that the Golden God of Led Zeppelin comes to bring out the colors of the authors of ‘Waiting on a friend’. They know that he has spoken a truth like a temple. Your ‘resilience’ is more of a financial asset than a sentiment. And that has nothing to do with rock’n’roll. So for me, keep it up for as long as you want. As a Stones fan, that’s not my business anymore.