Rolling Stones Deny Departure of Charlie Watts; Keith Richards Reveals Collaboration with Jack White, Confirms New Stones Record

Rolling Stones Deny Departure of Charlie Watts; Keith Richards Reveals Collaboration with Jack White, Confirms New Stones Record

After news broke early today that Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts had quit the band, the rumours have been quashed good and proper.

"Contrary to a fabricated story that ran this morning on a small music website in Australia, drummer Charlie Watts has not left the Rolling Stones," the group's spokeswoman explained in a statement.

As we reported, Australian media outlet Undercover quoted a source "within the Stones inner-circle" who allegedly said the 68-year-old drummer had left the Stones, leading many publications to follow suit.

And while Stones fans will obviously be pleased that Watts is still with the group, there's some other good news to report as well. According to a Rolling Stone interview with guitarist Keith Richards, the band will start working on a new record next year.

"I'm trying to gather the boys together," Richards said. "One way or another, I'll get them back in line."

Though no further details of new record were confirmed, Richards went on to reveal he has been recording songs with none other than the White Stripes' Jack White. "I enjoy working with Jack," he said. "We've done a couple of tracks."

Obviously, this leads one to wonder whether White will be producing that new Stones record. "I couldn't fuel that rumour any more than to say Jack and I are in touch," said Richards.

On top of all this, Mick Jagger and Richards are also busy going through outtakes from 1972's Exile on Main Street, with the plan being to release a forthcoming deluxe edition of the record with bonus tracks.

"There's new songs on there, stuff we've forgotten about," Richards said about the reissue. "Mick and I were looking at each other like, 'Ah, did we do that?'"