The Rolling Stones have kicked off their 2021 tour at a private party for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The show was the first the band has played since the passing of long time drummer and friend, Charlie Watts. Watts had been the drummer of the Rolling Stones since 1963. Watts passed away peacefully in a London hospital, on August 24, surrounded by his family.
We have a clip of Mick Jagger talking about Charlie. With bandmates Keith Richards and bassist Ronnie Wood flanking him on stage, Jagger said this,
“This is the first show of our 2021 tour, so this is it, this is the tryout. 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,” he continued. “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.”
As the band got ready to play, Mick said “What am I gonna do now? I’m all emotional.”
Witnesses say Mick had tears in his eyes and spoke with a shaky voice. The Stones played a 15 song set for the invite only crowd of 300.
The Rolling Stones begin their U.S. tour in St. Louis on September 26. Watts’ dear friend Steve Jordan will be behind the drum kit for the tour.
— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) September 21, 2021