The Branding Stones Roll On

Charlie Watts died, and the articles about him were pro forma: great drummer, great bloke, much miss, wow. I briefly considered that this would be the end of them. Charlie was a founding member: how can you have the Rolling Stones without him?

How silly I was.

On August 4th, the band announced that Watts, their beloved drummer of 58 years, would be unable to join them on the road. Longtime Stones associate Steve Jordan is taking his place behind the drum kit. “It is an absolute honor and a privilege to be Charlie’s understudy,” Jordan said at the time.

Watts joined the Stones in 1963 and was one of only three members to appear on each of their albums, along with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. His last public performance with the band took place in August 2019 at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.

Rolling Stones’ U.S. Tour to Proceed as Planned After Charlie Watts’ Death“, RollingStone.com

So they had already planned this. They knew Charlie was sick and like to die, so they elevated a new drummer. They’ve been without an official bass player since Bill Wyman quit in the 90’s. They replaced Brian Jones without missing a tour beat. Nothing is over, mates. It’s not even inconcievable that Jagger or Richards couldn’t be replaced. After all, Ronnie Wood’s been in since the 70’s, he’s for all intents and purposes equal to the others.

So in all honesty, what would stop the Stones from proceeding into a 2nd or 3rd generation, in which none of the original members remain, but they keep playing the same songs, occasionally adding new ones? Why not? Why deprive our grandchildren of Rolling Stones concerts. Blues rock is eternal.

Doubt me? Here’s the original demo of “Riders on the STorm” by the Doors. It’s being added to a re-issue of the L.A. Woman album. There’s a market for this. If television and the movies are forever trapped in the 80’s and 90’s, music remains stuck in the 60’s and 70’s.

So whatever, Rolling Stones forever. Star Wars forever. Product forever.