Rolling Stones – "Time Waits for No One" (1974)

Time waits for no man

And it won’t wait for me

Time stopped waiting for Charlie Watts, the deservedly legendary Rolling Stones drummer, on August 24. 

Given his age, Watts’s death shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me.  But somehow it did.

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Earlier this year, the Stones announced that they would be touring the United States later this year.  I didn’t think much about it at the time – after all, the Stones are always touring.  If my math is right, the Stones have toured the United States 18 times previously, so the announcement of tour number 19 didn’t strike me as being anything remarkable.

It should have.  After all, Keith Richards is 77 years old, while Mick Jagger is 78.  And Charlie Watts turned 80 on June 2.

Think about that.  Watts was born before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  Yet he was about to embark on a demanding series of two-hour-plus concerts in 75,000-seat football stadiums.

The Stones on their first American tour in 1964

Does that sound like something you’ll be up for when you’re 80 years old?

Me neither.

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“Time Waits for No One” was released in 1974, when Watts was a sprightly 33 years old.  

“Time waits for no man” is a proverb that dates to at least 1225, but is probably much older than that.   

Just because the song’s message isn’t particularly original doesn’t mean it’s not true.  It’s most assuredly true – in fact, I can’t think of a statement that’s truer.      

The Stones have never performed the song live.  I wonder if they will add it to the setlist for their upcoming tour as a tribute to Charlie Watts.

Click here to listen to “Time Waits for No One.”

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