Charlie Watts joined the Rolling Stones in 1963 after being begged by the other members to join for months. Over the next 57 years, Watts was the only man to sit behind the drum at Stones concerts. For thousands of shows, in front of millions and millions of fans, Watts was the “engine” of the band, as guitarist Keith Richards once called him.
On Sunday, September 26th, the “Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World” will kick off yet another world tour, but this time without Watts, after the drummer died late last month at age 80. Steve Jordan is the man set to take Watts’ role. So who is Steve Jordan and why is he the drummer Mick Jagger and Richards have called on to keep the beat?
Steve Jordan Was Already Named Before Watts Died
In August, as the Stones were preparing to head to Boston to get rehearsals underway for the 2021 installment of their “No Filter Tour”, Watts announced he would be sitting out the U.S. run of dates due to health concerns. Steve Jordan was named as his stand-in. The announcement that Watts would be taking the tour off surprised fans, but many in the know were not surprised to hear Jordan would be the drummer.
Steve Jordan has a long history with the band. He first connected with the band, specifically Keith Richards, in the mid-1980s. 1985 found the Stones in the studio recording what would be the 1986 release, Dirty Work. The sessions were fraught with tensions within the band, and substance abuse problems by band members. Watts, he admitted later, was in a very bad place with heroin and alcohol use and missed a lot of the recording sessions. While he goes uncredited on the album, it’s generally accepted by Stones fans and historians that Jordan likely played some of the drums on the album.
History With Keith Richards
After Dirty Work was released, and partially due to Watts substance issues at the time, Mick Jagger pushed the band to nix a tour in support of the record. Instead, Jagger began work on what would become his first solo album, She’s The Boss (1987). That left Keith Richards with some time to put together his own solo project, which he eventually named The X-Pensive Winos.
Jordan was an integral piece of the Winos. Not only did he play all the drums in the band, but he also co-wrote and co-produced, along with Richards, all three of the guitar legend’s solo albums, all recorded with the X-Pensive Winos. Jordan has been the drummer for Richards (rare) solo gigs as well. It’s safe to say if anyone is ready to pick up the sticks for Charlie Watts, it’s Steve Jordan
Jordan Is A Seasoned Studio Drummer
The Rolling Stones are hardly the only megastars Steve Jordan has worked with over his nearly five-decade career. He was in the Saturday Night Live band in the 70s, where he was also the original drummer in The Blues Brothers, though he didn’t appear in the film. In the 80s, he worked with Paul Schaffer as part of the “World’s Most Dangerous Band” for the original Late Night With David Letterman on NBC.
From there, Jordan became one of the most in-demand session drummers in the industry. Naming everyone he’s worked with over the years would be too much for this site, but some of the biggest names include Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Beyonce, Rod Stewart, Bruno Mars, and many, many others.
Steve Jordan is no rookie and his long history with The Rolling Stones means they shouldn’t miss a beat, even after losing one of the original members in Watts. It’s safe to say he won’t be intimidated working with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and will almost certainly spark some excitement from the old road dogs.