Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood believes Charlie Watts' spirit is with the band on stage

21 December 2021, 18:00

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood has spoken about the loss of drummer Charlie Watts. Picture: Press
Radio X

By Radio X

The Rolling Stones rocker has talked about the loss of their late drummer and why he believes he's still with them on stage.

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The Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood believes the late Charlie Watts is still with the band "in spirit".

The iconic drummer passed away on 24th August 2021, aged 80, and though his bandmates still find it strange being on stage without him, they can still feel his presence.

Asked if it feels strange performing without his bandmate, guitarist Wood told Ireland's Late Late Show: "It is, yeah, but his spirit is there. He loved his girls and his wife. Everyone’s handled it really well and I’m sure he’s with us all the time when we’re playing."

Ronnie Wood and Andrea Corr | The Late Late Show | RTÉ One

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The 74-year-old guitarist recalled visiting Charlie just four days before he passed away and admitted the musician was "doing fine" at the time, but later reacted badly to treatment.

He revealed: "We were two days into rehearsal with Steve Jordan [session drummer] with Charlie’s blessing and we knew he was in hospital, so we said we’ll play for you and pray for you, so we carried on.

"I saw him a couple of days before he passed. He was in my bed," added the Wild Horses rocker. "He was in the Royal Marsden Hospital in London in the Ronnie Wood Suite and he said, 'I can’t wait to get out of here’ and I said, `'Well come out, Charlie, in your own good time.'

"At that time, he was doing fine and then he had some extra treatments he didn’t handle well, and he went down from there."

The Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts
The Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts passed away, aged 80, on 24th August 2021. Picture: Victoria Will/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

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Ronnie Wood himself has battled cancer in recent years and he's thankful he's recently received the all-clear again at his annual check-up, so urged other sufferers to keep a "positive attitude" and be ready to "fight".

He said: "I had lung cancer in 2017 and I said, 'When can you get it out?’ and they said 'What are you doing next Wednesday?’, and I said, 'Too late for me’, so we did it on the Monday, so we got that out.

"Throughout it all I maintained a real positive attitude and I thought if I can help anyone who is suffering from the same thing.

"Because sure enough when I had recovered from the lung cancer, I was invaded by the worst kind of cancer. It’s called small-cell and it’s all across the chest and it hides in the brain, so I had to have really heavy chemo and radiation and they said they’d given me a year’s worth of medication in three weeks and my body just jumped to defence.

"I have had my fourth all-clear the day before yesterday so anybody who knows anybody who has cancer, tell them to be positive and fight it. You have to go up another gear and fight it."


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