Keith Richards says Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts wanted band to continue without him
Keith Richards has said the late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts told his bandmates he wanted the group to keep performing without him.
Watts passed away in August at the age of 80 after more than five decades behind the drum kit for the legendary rockers.
Read more: Rolling Stones pay tribute to Charlie Watts
Steve Jordan has served as the drummer for the Stones on their recent US tour, which marked their first concerts since Watts' death.
Richards told media personality Strombo on his Apple Music show that it was a "leap in the dark" for the band to perform with somebody else at the drums.
Watch: Mick Jagger says it's strange to perform without Charlie Watts
He added: "The last thing I wanted to do was a Rolling Stones tour without Charlie, but you know, Charlie said: 'Look, go on with Steve'."
Richards said that Jordan "loved Charlie to death and they were good friends" and he confessed that "everything fell apart" when Watts became ill.
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The 77-year-old added: "It's almost like a transitional thing that we all have to deal with when we get up there every night. But so far, so good. Great energy, great fun."
The Rolling Stones are currently on their No Filter tour, which will run for six more US dates in November.
Jordan has joined them as drummer, having worked with Richards on his solo recordings and as part of his side project the X-Pensive Winos.
Mick Jagger recently confessed to Howard Stern on Sirius XM that he is struggling with performing without Watts, after so long with him as a crucial part of the band.
Jagger said: "We did so many shows with him and so many tours and so many recording sessions, it’s strange being without him."
Read more: Piers Morgan criticises decision to axe Brown Sugar
The Stones' new tour has been in the news in recent weeks following the decision to remove 1971 hit Brown Sugar from the setlist.
It has long been considered a controversial song, with lyrics referencing slavery and sexual violence.
Watch: Rolling Stones remove Brown Sugar from setlist