Charlie Watts, the “dull” drummer who used to unite the Rolling Stones, dies

Charlie Watts, the “dull” drummer who used to unite the Rolling Stones, dies
Charlie Watts at a Stones concert in 2010. Photo: Miss-Sophie

Bland, serious and formal. Charlie Watts, one of the essential pieces of the Rolling Stones, is gone. The drummer was the essential amalgamation of the group currently filming with Mick Jagger, Keith Richard and Ronnie Wood. He was not as eccentric as his fellow travelers, but his quiet work in the group served as a base and foundation for his necessary balance. He has died at the age of 80 in a hospital in London, a city that gave birth to his musical concerns and which attended the training, in the early sixties, of one of the longest-lived groups in the history of music. Earlier this August, the Rolling Stones announced that their legendary drummer was “dropping” from his impending US tour “to recover from a medical intervention”.

“We lose one of the greatest drummers of his generation”, have pointed out his companions. “He was a man of restrained natural but capable of getting into a fist fight in a tavern fight. Watts, fond of sax and drums, was an alert and silent young man who on some weekends, free from his job in an advertising company, He played with the Joe Jones Jazz Seven and Blues Incorporated, or attended the concerts of bands that might interest him. He would also have published a story to honor Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker, the great sorcerer of the world. bebop and one of his greatest idols “, states Francisco J. Satué in More wood. A history of rock.

Watts with the rest of the Rolling Stones (Will Wayman included) in a promotional image of the album 'Tattoo You' published in 1981 and that is reissued these days.  Photo: Universal
Watts with the rest of the Rolling Stones (Will Wayman included) in a promotional image for the album ‘Tattoo You’
published in 1981 and reissued these days. Photo: Universal

From soft jazz to wild rock

Watts grew up in a working-class family. The son of a bus driver, he grew up listening to Frank Sinatra and Billy Eckstine. At the age of twelve, as he explained himself, the record fell into his hands Flamingo, by Earl Bostic, and wanted to be a saxophonist, but as soon as he heard Walking Shoesby Gerry Mulligan changed his mind and switched to drumsticks. At the age of fourteen, he began pounding on his first drums, a gift from his father, and at sixteen he began to play in jazz bands.

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Soon he would run into the Rolling Stones, a formation that he would no longer abandon. “There are several reasons that the Rolling could have been in the breach for so many years. Personally, I couldn’t have done it without my Shirley (his wife). Doing a two-hour show is not an easy matter. But This is how I earn a living and that is the main reason I continue at it. And of course also seeing so many people enjoying our music. I look at the song list and think, ‘Fuck, aside from some Motown cover, Mick and Keith have written all the songs that these people sing. It’s amazing, “he declared in the volume According To The Rolling Stones.

The Rolling Stones will never be the same again. The anchor that held them ashore is gone. It will be very interesting to see how the group overcomes this irreparable loss and its evolution in the coming months. Mourning in the old rock, so the flag of the cheeky tongue is at half mast.

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Charlie Watts, the “dull” drummer who used to unite the Rolling Stones, dies