Rolling Stones miss drummer bandmate Charlie Watts' funeral due to Covid restrictions

THE funeral of Rolling Stone ­Charlie Watts took place last week — without his bandmates present.

Sadly, Sir Mick Jagger, 78 Keith Richards, 77, and Ronnie Wood, 74, were not able to attend the small private ceremony in Devon.

Because of Covid restrictions, they were forced to stay in Boston where they have been rehearsing for the Stones’ rescheduled US tour.

It starts on September 26 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Respecting the wishes of his family, Watts’ secret funeral took place with the minimum fuss, in keeping with the 80-year-old drummer’s character.

An insider said the Stones would pay tribute to their fallen bandmate at the upcoming shows and were also planning a celebration of his life later this year in the UK.

It was announced on August 5 that the drummer, who joined the rock legends in 1963, would be absent from the tour.

Over the past couple of weeks, the rest of the band have been rehearsing in the States with stand-in Steve Jordan, 64, who received the blessing of Watts.

In a statement, Watts had said: “After all the disappointment with delays to the tour caused by Covid, I really don’t want the many Stones fans in the States to have another postponement or cancellation.

“I have therefore asked my great friend Steve Jordan to stand in for me.”

Watts, who died on August 24, was married to his beloved wife Shirley for 57 years right up until his death in a London hospital. The couple had one daughter, Seraphina, 53, and one granddaughter, Charlotte, 24.

Tributes poured in from around the world. Jagger shared a photograph on social media of a laughing Watts behind his drum kit.

And Richards, who called him “the coolest guy I know,” put up a picture of a set of drums bearing a “closed” sign.

Sir Paul McCartney, 79, a member of the Stones’ chief rivals in the Sixties, The Beatles, remembered a “fantastic drummer” who was “as steady as a rock.”

Born in London as World War II raged, Watts trained as a graphic designer and eschewed the jet set lifestyle of his fellow Stones when not on tour.

He lived in Devon for many years where he owned a stud farm and was known as a natty dresser, a jazz lover . . . and, of course, an ace drummer.

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