THE ROLLING STONES drummer Charlie Watts won't be able to join his bandmates on their fall USA tour.
The 80-year-old musician was planning to take part in the "No Filter" trek, which is scheduled to kick off on September 26 in St. Louis. Filling in for him will be his "great friend" Steve Jordan.
"Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful," a spokesperson the group said in a statement, "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."
"For once my timing has been a little off," Watts added. "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 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."
Jordan, who has previously played with THE ROLLING STONES guitarist Keith Richards, said: "It is an absolute honor and a privilege to be Charlie's understudy and I am looking forward to rehearsing with Mick [Jagger], Keith and Ronnie [Wood]. No one will be happier than me to give up my seat on the drum riser as soon as Charlie tells me he is good to go."
Wood said: "I will miss Charlie on our upcoming tour, but he told me the show must go on! I'm really looking forward to Charlie getting back on stage with us as soon as he's fully recovered. A huge thank you to the band's old friend Steve Jordan for rockin' on in Charlie's place, and on his drum seat for the Autumn tour."
Although Watts isn't a founding member of THE STONES, he has been with the band since January 1963.
He battled throat cancer in 2004 but got the all clear after undergoing two operations.
The "No Filter" tour, which was originally supposed to happen last year, will hit 15 cities from September through November.