Ronnie Wood says Charlie Watts would have wanted Rolling Stones to keep touring

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Ronnie Wood says Charlie Watts wanted the Rolling Stones to keep rocking after his death. (Getty/The Roundhouse)
Ronnie Wood says Charlie Watts wanted the Rolling Stones to keep rocking after his death. (Getty/The Roundhouse)

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood says the band's late drummer Charlie Watts would have wanted them to go on touring for as long as possible.

The 74-year-old rocker told the Mirror that Watts had given the band their blessing to continue with new drummer Steve Jordan before he passed away in August 2021.

Read more: Mick Jagger explains how he's still rocking at the age of 78

Wood said the band members had "a very strange feeling" as they began rehearsing with Jordan, even though they had been given the green light by Watts.

He added: "But despite the uncertainty and sadness we keep going. It is what he would have wanted. The Rolling Stones do not stop.

Watch: Rolling Stones to play Hyde Park on anniversary tour

"And oddly enough, even if it’s almost magic, I can tell you the band now has an extra boost. It’s Charlie’s energy. Charlie lives."

The Stones are currently in Madrid, where they will play the first shows of their European tour.

Read more: Ronnie Wood's family tree too complex for Who Do You Think You Are?

Over the next few months, the 60th anniversary concerts will take in a number of huge venues, with UK gigs planned at Hyde Park and Liverpool football stadium Anfield.

Wood said: "This world sucks sometimes, with all this going on. I’d like to think that we started this tour to make people forget for a couple of hours about the problems that overwhelm us so much."

The Rolling Stones are currently in Europe as part of their 60th anniversary tour. (Europa Press/Getty)
The Rolling Stones are currently in Europe as part of their 60th anniversary tour. (Europa Press/Getty)

The return to the stage is particularly emotional for Wood, who was diagnosed with cancer for a second time during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Wood previously battled lung cancer in 2017 and was given the all-clear again after his small-cell cancer diagnosis in 2020.

Read more: Roger Daltrey calls Rolling Stones "a mediocre pub band"

Speaking in 2021, he said: "I’m going through a lot of problems now, but throughout my recovery, you have to let it go. And when you hand the outcome over to your higher power, that is a magic thing."

Wood joined the Rolling Stones in 1975, replacing departing guitarist Mick Taylor.

Watch: Mick Jagger dismisses Harry Styles comparisons

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