Back in the day in the ’60s when they were five -once Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts joined the band- this after trying a few bass players before (like Colin Golding or Ricky Fenson) or drummers (Tony Chapman or Carlo Little)- Brian Jones missed a few shows here and there due to health conditions, or because of not making it on time for the gig. But then nobody noticed it that much or made a fuss about. Sound-like, Keith Richard (s) was good enough to cover his bandmate’s place. So welcome to the show. With Brian gone in 1969, the remaining four members of the Stones got a replacement, making Mick Taylor an official Rolling Stone. Five again. Five years later it was the new boy who quit, with Ronnie Wood covering his place forever and ever. Five Rolling Stones again. Nobody had ever expected they would still experience a new change until in 1992 former bass player Bill Wyman called it quits too, not even considering Keith’s classic remark “Nobody leaves this band except in a coffin”. The news of Charlie Watts pulling out of the new rescheduled shows starting in September (whatever his reasons were and whatever’s good for Charlie’s heath, which comes first and is still more important than any shows) surprised even the more skeptical. Fans worldwide went from referring to it as “good for them” to “heresy”. That said, the remaining four members of the (formerly five) Rolling Stones touring without one of the (formerly five, and then four) Rolling Stones isn’t only stunning, when not plain unthinkable. As announced, drummer Steve Jordan will take Charlie’s seat during the tour, and it’s alright.
Steve’s not only a terrific musician, we had proof enough watching him drum for Keith’s X-Pensive Winos (both onstage and on record), when not doing a great job co-writing songs with Keith, or as a producer. This thing is beyond Steve’s skills then, or anybody taking Charlie’s place, but actually a new door that may lead to new highways never explored by the band before: the fact any official member could step aside of the band for whatever reason and still get a replacement, God forbid. Say it’s Keith who wasn’t able to do the shows, would there be a replacement for him? Same goes for Ronnie. Mick? You gotta be kidding. This isn’t a one-off show with something unexpected taking place and then the band calling this or that guitar player, or bass player, to give them a hand. This is, as widely announced, a Rolling Stones tour. Eventually, a Rolling Stones tour not featuring the whole of the Rolling Stones. Then how weird is that? A change of the band’s name in the meantime would be appreciated, I guess. Besides Charlie’s thing, the pandemic situation (which is NOT over yet, eventually) is still something to consider before going to any crowded place but then, whatever you do, before telling your friends “I’m seeing the Stones tonight”, stop yourself, sit back, start again and instead say “Mick, Keith and Ronnie”. You may also try No Charlie instead of No Filter. That will suit the band, and our shared love for them, way more properly. Let it bleed.