Guitarist Ronnie Wood has revealed that he was the last Rolling Stones member to see Charlie Watts before the drummer passed away on August 24.
Last Friday, Wood was a guest on Ireland’s The Late Late Show, where he chatted with host Ryan Tubridy and performed a duet version of the Elvis Presley hit “Blue Christmas” with Corrs singer Andrea Corr. A studio version of the tune was released as a digital charity single earlier this month.
During the interview portion, Wood revealed that he saw Watts “a couple of weeks” before he died, explaining that he visited Charlie at the Royal Marsden cancer hospital in London, where the drummer was in the same room where Ronnie stayed when he was being treated for cancer.
Wood recalled that Watts quipped, “This is the Ronnie Wood Suite. I can’t wait to get out of here,” to which Ronnie responded, “Well…come out, Charlie, in your own good time.”
Wood said Watts had been doing well at the time, but was given some additional treatments that he “didn’t handle well,” and went downhill after that.
Ronnie also mentioned that drummer Steve Jordan, who stepped in for Watts on The Rolling Stones’ recent U.S. tour, “with Charlie’s blessing,” “put a new boot in the band…and each concert got better and better.”
Reflecting on Watt’s passing, Wood added, “Everyone’s handled it well, and I’m sure he’s with us all the time when we’re playing.”
Regarding the “Blue Christmas” single, Corr explained that she approached Wood with the idea to do the track, and he happily agreed.
The song is available now, with proceeds to benefit Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services in Dublin.
You can watch the full Late Late Show episode at RTE.ie; Ronnie’s appearance begins at the 1:07:15 mark.
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