Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts plays ‘air drums’ during coronavirus-relief gig

No drums? No problem.

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts didn’t let the lack of a drum kit stop him from joining his bandmates in a live performance from their respective homes on Saturday.

The legendary rock band was among the performers participating in the “One World: Together At Home” event that raised money for coronavirus relief efforts.

The Stones – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Watts – performed their 1969 song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

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The video clip shows a frame divided in four, with Jagger in the upper left, Richards in the upper right, Wood in the lower left and a black box in the lower right – until the part of the song where the drums are supposed to kick in.

Suddenly Watts appears, wearing headphones and with drumsticks in hands – playing along with the song but with no drums in sight.

Someone, somewhere seems to be providing percussion – but it’s not Watts. At least not live, anyway.

The performance also includes the background choir sound familiar from the original recording – suggesting that the drumming, too, was likely mixed in from a past performance rather than from some other drummer playing out of camera range.

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Last month the Stones postpones a scheduled U.S. tour because of the coronavirus outbreak. The band had been scheduled to perform in 15 cities, beginning in San Diego on May 8.

Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones perform at Soldier Field in Chicago, June 21, 2019 in Chicago. 

Other performers in Saturday’s online event included Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Lizzo, Shawn Mendes, Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Paul McCartney.

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The event was hosted by late-night hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel.

After the event, co-organizer Global Citizen said on Twitter that the show had raised $127.9 million for COVID-19 relief.

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