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The Rolling Stones have played their first gig without Charlie Watts [Now with an update and correction]

After Charlie Watts joined the Rolling Stones in January 1963, he was there for every single gig the band played until he died. Every. Single. One.

That streak came to an end over the weekend when The Stones played a private show for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family. This was a warm-up gig for the previously postponed shows on their No Filter tour. Steve Jordan, a longtime friend of Keith Richards, held down Charlie’s spot.

I wonder how much Kraft paid for this? I’ve heard in the past that such a gig costs a minimum of US$5 million. Here’s the setlist.

  1. Let’s Spend the Night Together
  2. Tumbling Dice
  3. Under My Thumb
  4. Trouble’s a Coming
  5. Living in a Ghost Town
  6. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
  7. Midnight Rambler
  8. Miss You
  9. 19th Nervous Breakdown
  10. Start Me Up
  11. Gimme Shelter
  12. ympathy for the Devil
  13. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
  14. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

UPDATE: After this post appeared, I got this email from Marilou Regan, the editor/publisher of Since I strive to be 100% accurate, here is a correction to the headline of this story.

As a fan archivist/historian for the Rolling Stones, I know that your story lede is incorrect where you claim Charlie never missed a gig with the Rolling Stones. He missed a show at the Invicta Ballroom on March 15, 1965 because he and Shirley did not make their post-honeymoon flight because of weather. He didn’t turn up and Mickey Waller played the drums at that show.

In fact, Charlie missed several gigs when he first joined the Stones, but these were before they were “official” and signed their record deal in May 1963.  Rolling Stones historian, James Karnbach, is a specialist on the ’60s Stones and he wrote a detailed reference book about the Rolling Stones gigs where you will find this information documented.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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One thought on “The Rolling Stones have played their first gig without Charlie Watts [Now with an update and correction]

  • The lede of this story is incorrect. Charlie Watts did, indeed, miss a Rolling Stones gig on March 15, 1964 at the Invicta Ballroom.
    Mickey Waller played instead. Charlie got delayed coming back from his honeymoon with Shirley because of bad flying weather.


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