In the wake of Charlie Watts’s death, and the surge in COVID-19 infections because of the Delta variant, it seems possible that the Rolling Stones will postpone their US tour, which is scheduled to kick off next month.
But for now the shows are still on, and we’re told that singer Mick Jagger and guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood had been holed up in Boston for more than 10 days, perhaps rehearsing in advance of the tour’s first stop at the 67,000-seat Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis Sept. 26.
Why Boston? One reason might be that the band is scheduled to play a private party hosted by Patriots owner Robert Kraft at Gillette Stadium Sept 20. And since all but two of the 14 shows on the Stones’ “No Filter” tour are at football stadiums, it makes sense for the band to spend a few weeks rehearsing at the Patriots’ home field in Foxborough, a 66,000-seat stadium whose dimensions are similar to other venues on the tour.
What’s not clear is what effect Watts’s death — the legendary drummer died Tuesday at the age of 80 — will have on the tour or the band’s preparations. The Stones had previously announced that Watts would not be playing on this tour — he was recovering from a surgical procedure — but it’s unlikely that Jagger, Richards, and Wood would have decamped to Boston if they had an idea that Watts’s condition was dire.
Historically, the Rolling Stones have stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel while in Boston. If that’s where they were before Watts’s death, they may have encountered a few old friends. This week, we’re told, fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Eagles are at the Four Seasons while in town for shows Friday and Saturday at TD Garden.