Charlie Watts' passing was the biggest story in rock. Locally, Kalamazoo's Outback Steakhouse closed forever and Battle Creek lost a 44-year old business.

As we begin a hopeful new year in 2022, we take a look back at the biggest stories of 2021 here in Kalamazoo, around Michigan, and across the rock and roll world. These were the big stories in August that everyone was talking about.

The End of an Era in Rock. The Beginning of Another?

  • Charlie Watts, who sat behind the Rolling Stones' drum kit for more than five decades died at 80 years old. Earlier in the year, he had bowed out of the No Filter tour, but nobody knew it was anything serious. His passing was felt in the far corners of the rock world, with tributes pouring in from everywhere. Watts was honored by the band he joined in 1963 at the Stones' first show of 2021, and throughout the No Filter tour.
  • Nandi Bushell represents the next generation of rock. The 10-year-old who challenged Dave Grohl to a drum-off in February got to take the stage with his band Foo Fighters at the Forum in Los Angeles. If you haven't seen any of her videos yet, stop what you are doing right now and watch.

More Business Closings

  • Crikey! What the bloomin' onion is happening? Outback Steakhouse in Kalamazoo on South Westnedge suddenly closed.
  • Battle Creek's original Discount Tire store shut down after 44 years of rubber retailing. In November of 1977, the company held its Grand Opening Sale in Battle Creek, offering 4-ply Blackwalls for $14.95, regular or snow tires.
  • Theo & Stacy's downtown closed. Thankfully, it was only temporary and was for all the right reasons: to give employees a paid vacation after working so hard to keep the restaurant afloat.

Will People Return to Work in Southwest Michigan?

Battle Creek Ready for Show Biz

The Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts Year by Year: Photos 1962-2020

We collected dozens of pictures of the drummer below for Charlie Watts Year by Year: Photos 1963-2020.
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10 Things That Didn't Suck About 2021

It wasn't so bad.