Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones’ reliable backbeat; his drums go silent

At some point, it really did seem like The Rolling Stones would live forever.

Sure, we all made jokes about Keith Richards being seemingly immortal, likely due to heavy drug use. And Mick Jagger typically appeared ageless on stage, dancing, prancing, and gyrating around like a man half his age.

I often thought about Jagger being the same age as my father and tried to imagine Dad strutting and preening across stadium-sized stages to “Brown Sugar.” The visual was absurdly amusing. My father passed away in 2005, far too young at the age of 61. Mick is still going.

The Stones were planning to tour later this year, showing once again that they can’t be stopped. (Or that they’re a money-making machine that no one wants to stop.) They were scheduled for 13 dates from late September to late November, basically making up the shows that had to be postponed last year due to COVID-19.

But when Watts announced that he wouldn’t be joining the band on tour after a medical procedure, it was a reminder of how old these guys. No matter how fit, or abnormally resilient, they might be, the touring life of a rock star probably isn’t meant for people that would be considered elderly in virtually any other circumstance.

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