The quiet Stone and one of Rock’s most influential drummers dies at age 80
Farewell to the quiet Stone Charlie Watts
One of the headlines that millions of Rolling Stones and music fans dreaded to read, the legendary drummer and one of the band’s founding members, Charlie Watts is dead. Earlier this month, it was announced that Watts had decided to sit out the Rolling Stones’ current tour while recovering from heart surgery, today, the shocking news came through a statement issued by his publicist: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts, he passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.”
Charles Robert Watts was born in London on June 2, 1941. He met Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in 1962 while playing drums in London’s rhythm and blues clubs. He joined the Rolling Stones soon after, in 1963 as the drummer. Trained as a graphic artist, he doubled the drumming with the design of their early record sleeves and also tour stages, even in recent years. Watts’ personal life has outwardly appeared to be substantially quieter than those of his bandmates and many of his rock-and-roll colleagues; onstage, he seems to furnish a calm and amused counterpoint to his flamboyant bandmates. Ever faithful to his wife Shirley, Watts consistently refused sexual favors from groupies on the road. Watts has played on every Rolling Stones record and it was one of the three original members remaining in the band. Over the years he formed several other bands and side projects, mainly in the Jazz area. Watts was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 as a member of the Rolling Stones. In 2016, he was ranked 12th on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time” list. Charlie Watts “starred” in one of Rock’s most famous episodes when he punched Mick Jagger in the face after Jagger reportedly called Watts “his drummer”. Watts stated that he “was drunk” when that episode happened.
Charlie Watts is the second official Rolling Stones member to die, after Brian Jones in 1969 at age 27, a few weeks after he left the band. RIP.
Watch a recent interview of Charlie Watts to NME in 2018
Also watch Charlie Watts in action playing the Rolling Stones 1969 song “Monkey Man”
Watch more Rolling Stones related videos
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