Watts will be replace by Steve Jordan, who has appeared on several Keith Richards solo recordings and as part of his X-Pensive Winos band. Jordan was also a member of the house bands for Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman, and has worked with the John Mayer Trio.
Watts has been with the Stones since the band’s 1962 inception.
A statement from the Rolling Stones confirmed the switch.
“Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful, but I gather his doctors this week concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation. With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it’s very disappointing to say the least, but it’s also fair to say no one saw this coming.”
Watts said in a statement: “For once my timing has been a little off. I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while. After all the fans’ suffering caused by Covid I really do not want the many RS fans who have been holding tickets for this Tour to be disappointed by another postponement or cancellation. I have therefore asked my great friend Steve Jordan to stand in for me.”
The Stones will appear at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles this October 17 and at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2022. The group’s plans for its 15-city “No Filter” 2020 tour were derailed by the pandemic.