ROSES ON HIS GRAVE
Charlie Watts, legendary drummer of The Rolling Stones, has died after a short hospital stay aged 80. Widely respected as one of the greatest drummers in rock history, Watts joined The Stones in 1963 and was a mainstay and cornerstone of their success for nearly the next 60 years. An early lover of jazz music, he was a drummer by the age of 14, and fused his own love of jazz with blues and rock stylings. Watts played in Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated (while still holding a full time job in advertising), before becoming a Rolling Stone.
Since then, he became one third of the trio who played on every Rolling Stones album alongside Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. His playing style enhanced tunes such as Paint It Black, Gimme Shelter and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. A cartoonist, he also drew several of the Rolling Stones album covers, as well as tributes to jazz artists, and even founded his own jazz quartet. While other Stones chased or married young girls (Wyman) or became infamous serial monogamists (Jagger), Charlie Watts was the white sheep of the group, remaining happily married to the same woman for 57 years.
Watts did not enjoy touring, or the fame side of being a musician, and no showed his own Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction. Vanity Fair inducted him into their own Best Dressed Hall of Fame, an honour most of us are less likely to achieve than to become Prime Minister or President! He was picked by three teams: Let there be rock, The Caulkhead Coffin Kickers, and Death to all but metal and Dame Shirley Bassey.
Charlie Watts also once punched Mick Jagger after a drunken Jagger woke up him at 2am. As I think, would most of us who aren’t Charlie Watts, because Mick Jagger breaking into your house would be fucking creepy…
2 June 1941 – 24 August 2021