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Remembering Charles Robert Watts (2 June 1941 – 24 August 2021)


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  • kipper changed the title to Remembering Charles Robert Watts (2 June 1941 – 24 August 2021)


Corey Irwin 8/25/21


In 2003, Neil Peart came face-to-face with one of his idols, the Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts. At first, the Rush drummer didn't realize who was approaching him.

"A short, older man stepped up to me, sticking out his hand and saying something I couldn't hear," Peart recalled in his book Traveling Music : The Soundtrack to My Life and Times. "Thinking 'Now who's this?' I took out one of my ear monitors and said 'Sorry, I couldn't hear you.' He spoke again, smiling, 'Hello, I'm Charlie Watts."

On July 30, 2003, the Rolling Stones were headlining Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, a benefit concert aimed at helping the city's economy recover following a SARS outbreak earlier that year. More than 400,000 people turned out to see the Stones, as well as the Guess Who, Rush and AC/DC.

Though they were on the same lineup, Peart was still caught off guard when Watts surprised him backstage.

"'Oh!' I said, taken aback, 'Hello.' And I shook his hand, the Rush drummer recalled. "He asked if we were going on soon, and I said yes, any minute, and he said, with a twinkle, 'I'm going to watch you!'"

Peart went on to admit that such a comment could have messed with his head, had he not already been restless prior to the performance.

"I suppose if I could have felt more pressured, that might have done it, but I was already at maximum intensity," he explained. "There was no time to think of Charlie Watts and the Rolling Stones, watching them on The T.A.M.I. Show or Ed Sullivan when I was twelve-and-a-half, hearing 'Satisfaction' snarling down the midway at Lakeside Park, 'Gimme Shelter' at the cinema in London, listening to Charlie's beautiful solo album, Warm and Tender, so many times late at night in Quebec, or any of the other million times Charlie Watts and his band had been part of my life."

As Rush took the stage and began their set, Peart did his best to ignore the "gray-haired Englishman at stage left." Later, when his band played a brief instrumental version of "Paint it Black," Peart again thought of Watts, but deduced that the Stones drummer "seemed to have left by then - having seen and heard enough, no doubt, whatever his impression was."

Several technical difficulties would mar Rush's performance during the benefit event. Later, Geddy Lee would recount the most memorable part of the night in an email to Peart.

"BTW, I will never forget that moment before we went onstage when Charlie Watts came over to shake your hand (at the worst possible moment!)," Lee wrote, "and watching your face go through all the motions of... a. who is this old guy? b. what does he want? c. of for god's sake it's Charlie Watts!"


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Allison Rapp 8/25/21


Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts wasn't typically known for his ego. But on one occasion, the typically introverted drummer let it clearly be known how he felt.

In 1984, singer Mick Jagger, returning from a night out in Amsterdam with guitarist Keith Richards, decided to phone Watts around five in the morning. "I said, Don't call him, not at this hour," Richards remembered in his 2010 memoir, Life. "But he did and said, 'Where's my drummer?'"

There was no reply on the other end of the line. Roughly 20 minutes had passed when a knock came at the hotel room door. Richards answered. "There was Charlie Watts," he said. "Savile Row suit, tie, shaved, the whole fucking bit. I could smell the cologne! I opened the door, and he didn't even look at me, he walked straight past me, got hold of Mick and said, 'Never call me your drummer again.'"

Watts promptly landed a right hook on Jagger, "a punch I've seen a couple of times and it's lethal," Richards wrote. "It carries a lot of balance of timing. He has to be badly provoked."

The impact caused Jagger to stumble back, nearly falling out the hotel window into the canal below before Richards grabbed him. The guitarist suddenly remembered the jacket he had loaned Jagger to wear that night was the one Richards has gotten married in.

"It took me 24 hours after that to talk Charlie down," Richards said. "I thought I'd done it when I took him up to his room, but 12 hours later, he was saying, 'Fuck it, I'm gonna go down and do it again.' It takes a lot to wind that man up. 'Why did you stop him?' My jacket, Charlie, that's why!"

It was an impromptu moment of intensity rarely displayed by Watts, whose robust yet unassuming style of drumming helped shape the course of the Stones' career. Since the band's inception, Jagger had oozed confidence, occasionally to a fault, but Watts was well aware that without the bedrock of the rhythm section behind the frontman, the Stones' performances would suffer.

"Mick is the show, really," Watts said to The Guardian in 2013. "We back him. But Mick wouldn't dance well if the sound was bad. It doesn't come into it with a lot of bands because the lead singer just stands there. We've always been about playing it properly."



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8 hours ago, SteveAJones said:


Thanks for contributing Steve! You can always be counted on for providing great content.

Charlie was always my favorite Stone, he was too me just the cool one in the background, steady, always to be relied on. For me he was a lot like John Entwistle of The Who, never a need to be upfront in the spotlight, often looked past by many, but once you understood the contribution of their music, then it dawns on you how much their specific signature to the sound means.

When I as younger I always gravitated to the drum playing styles of Keith Moon, John Bonham, and Ginger Baker. But as I got older and really had a different ear for the drums,  and I realized that what many used to say was just a boring "rock steady" style like Charlie Watts or even Ringo, is actually very brilliant playing. Less can be more, it can be so much more.






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Dave Lifton - August 24, 2021


Charlie Watts' steady but propulsive drumming was the backbone of the Rolling Stones from 1963 through his 2021 death at age 80.

Unlike many of the first wave of British rock stars, including his longtime bandmates, Watts didn't start off as a fan of the music. Instead, jazz first caught his ear as a schoolboy. After an attempt at playing the banjo proved unsuccessful, Watts removed the neck and strings from the instrument and started using the body as a snare drum.

Born on June 2, 1941 in London, the future drummer originally trained to be a graphic designer at art school, but was also making a name for himself behind the kit at the same time, That put him in the orbit of Alexis Korner, who asked Watts to join Blues Incorporated right when the London blues scene was starting to pick up steam.

Blues Incorporated was less of a band than a loose aggregation of like-minded musicians that also included singer and harmonica player Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Brian Jones and pianist Ian Stewart. By July 1962, Jagger, Richards, Jones and Stewart split off to form their own band, the Rolling Stones.

Bassist Bill Wyman then joined, and Watts signed on in January 1963. Stewart soon dropped out to be the band's road manager - though he'd continue to play on their records - and their first single, a cover of Chuck Berry's "Come On," arrived that June. The Rolling Stones would never look back.

As his bandmates became headline-grabbing stars thanks to their personal lives, Watts chose a more reserved lifestyle, staying out of the spotlight in favor of a quiet life with his wife Shirley, whom he married in 1964. He's often express his disdain for touring, but Watts was never far from music, spending his downtime assembling projects to explore his love of big-band jazz and bebop.

Follow this amazing journey as we present dozens of pictures of the late drummer below for Charlie Watts Year by Year: Photos 1963-2020.

Click link for photos:


Edited by luvlz2
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