Charlie Watts died aged 80 in a London hospital on Tuesday, the band’s publicist said. Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood have paid tribute to their bandmate Charlie Watts, following the death of the Rolling Stones drummer. Charlie Watts – Rolling Stones Drummer Dies at 80.
Charlie Watts – Rolling Stones Drummer Dies at 80:
Drummer Watts, who became part of the Stones’ longtime foursome alongside Jagger, Richards and Wood, played for the band for more than 50 years.
The news comes just weeks after it was announced that he would be skipping the Rolling Stones North American leg of its “No Filter” tour, which will begin next month, to recover from an unidentified medical procedure. Watts was previously treated for throat cancer in 2004.
On Tuesday, Watts’ spokesperson told that Watts had “passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family,” adding that he was “one of the greatest drummers of his generation.”
Who was Charlie Watts – The Drummer:
Charles Robert Watts (2 June 1941 – 24 August 2021). Charlie Watts was never the most flashy drummer. He wasn’t known for the frenzied solos of Cream’s Ginger Baker, or for placing explosives in his kick drum like The Who’s Keith Moon. Instead, he was the subtle, stoic heartbeat of The Rolling Stones for almost 60 years.
A jazz aficionado, he fell in love with the drums after listening to Chico Hamilton play brushes on Walking Shoes; and was only introduced to the dark arts of rock ‘n’ roll by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in the early 1960s.
“I’ve actually never been interested in all that stuff and still am not,” he told the San Diego Tribune in 1991. “I don’t know what showbiz is and I’ve never watched MTV. Some people just play instruments, and I’m pleased to know that I’m one of them.”
Watts is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Shirley, his daughter Seraphina, and his granddaughter Charlotte.
He joined the Stones in 1963 after the band had discarded several other drummers and they never looked back.
His jazz-inflected swing gave the Stones’ songs their swagger, pushing and pulling at the groove, creating room for Jagger’s lascivious drawl.
He was at his best on the cowbell-driven Honky Tonk Women or the locked-down groove Gimme Shelter.
On and off the stage, he was quiet and reserved – sticking to the shadows and letting the rest of the band suck up the limelight.
“Charlie Watts gives me the freedom to fly on stage,” Richards later observed.
His death was announced in a statement from the Rolling Stone’s publicist, which described him as,
“a cherished husband, father and grandfather” and “one of the greatest drummers of his generation”.
“He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today (Tuesday) surrounded by his family.”
The Rolling Stone – British Rock Group:
In 1962, Jones formed the Rolling Stones with singer Jagger, pianist Ian Stewart and guitarists Richards and Dick Taylor. Watts initially turned down the group’s first offer to join.
Watts had been a member of the Stones since January 1963, when he joined Sir Mick, Keith Richards and Brian Jones in their fledgling group.
The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts performs on stage during their No Filter tour at NRG Stadium on July 27, 2019, in Houston, Texas.
With the Beatles, Watts helped them become one of the bands that brought rock and roll to the masses in the 1960s with classics such as (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Jumpin ‘Jack Flash, Get Off My Cloud and Sympathy. for the devil.
In 2016, Watts was ranked 12th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest drummers of all time.
Fellow drummer and former member of the Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart, said Watts was “a colossus in the world of rock ‘n’ roll drumming. His hands and feet danced like Nureyev, so elegant, so graceful.”
The photograph chosen by Sir Mick in his social media posts does not carry a caption. It shows Watts performing with his own jazz band, The ABC and D of Boogie Woogie, at the Casino in Herisau, Switzerland in January 2010.
Tribute to Charlie Watts from his Bandmates and Followers:
His bandmates led the tributes on social media, with Jagger posting a picture on Twitter and Instagram of Watts drumming.
Guitarist Richards also took to social media to share a picture of a set of drums with a “closed” sign on them.
— Keith Richards (@officialKeef) August 24, 2021
In posts on Twitter and Instagram, singer Sir Mick shared a photograph of Watts smiling while seated behind a drum kit.
— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) August 24, 2021
Wood posted a picture of himself with Watts, adding: “I love you my fellow Gemini, I will dearly miss you. You are the best.”
I love you my fellow Gemini ~ I will dearly miss you ~ you are the best🙏❤️☀️ pic.twitter.com/aMYTGWikxB
— Ronnie Wood (@ronniewood) August 25, 2021
Several other musicians also shared their memories and tributes for Watts on social media, with many saying they had been personally inspired by the drummer.
“He’s unique, he’s irreplaceable,” The Police’s Stewart Copeland said. “There’s only one guy with that sound.
Other fellow drummers paid homage and telling that Watts had a “unique rhythmic personality” that set him apart.
“You can try and figure it out on paper, what made that sound. You could say his kick drum was leading the charge but his backbeat snare was just a little hair behind the beat, and that combination… You can describe that, but there’s only one guy who can do it.”
— Stewart Copeland (@copelandmusic) August 24, 2021
Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr were among the other stars from the world of rock to remember Watts.
Sir Paul described Watts as,
“Love you, Charlie, I’ve always loved you. Beautiful man and great condolences and sympathies to his family”.
while Fab Four drummer Sir Ringo said on Twitter: “God bless Charlie Watts we’re going to miss you, man”. adding that Watts’ death was a “huge blow” to the Rolling Stones.
The Doors’ John Densmore remembered him on Twitter as “an early mentor, a fellow jazz fan”.
Mike McCready, lead guitarist for Pearl Jam said:
“Any of us in a rock band wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for Charlie.”
Meanwhile, rock band Aerosmith posted on Twitter:
“We are extremely saddened to hear the passing of the legendary Charlie Watts. Our deepest condolences to Charlie’s family and The Rolling Stones.” Aerosmith added that Watts had “given us all so much.”
London Underground workers paid tribute to Watts with a touching poem. “Charlie Watts, you are a legend and we will never forget you. Love is strong for you and may it give you shelter, as you get on your cloud and bring rock ‘n’ roll to paradise.”
Meanwhile, On Tuesday night, the Caesars Superdome in Louisiana, formerly known as the Louisiana Superdome, displayed the Rolling Stones’ signature logo of a tongue and lips in honour of Watts.
US drummer and singer Sheila E said,
Watts had “done so much for us musically and as a drummer” and was “one of the best”.
Sir Elton John wrote on Twitter:
“A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company.” My deepest condolences to Shirley, Seraphina and Charlotte. And of course, The Rolling Stones.”
And folk singer Joan Baez remembered him as “a prince among thieves” and “a gentleman through and through”
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