The Rolling Stone’s Charlie Watts Leaves Us at Age 80
“So sad to hear about Charlie Watts, the Stones drummer, dying. He’s a lovely guy and I knew he was ill but I didn’t know he was this ill. Lots of love to his family, his wife and kids and his extended family, and condolences to the Stones. A huge blow to them because Charlie was a rock, a fantastic drummer. Steady as a rock.” – Paul McCartney, The Beatles
“God bless Charlie Watts. We’re going to miss you, man. Peace and love to the family.” – Ringo Starr, drummer, The Beatles
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Posted August 24th, 2021
There was word, just a few weeks ago, that The Rolling Stones’ drummer, Charlie Watts, would not be heading out with the band as it tries to get back to touring during these pandemic times.
If The Rolling Stones can even resume touring, as the Delta variant now drives COVID-19 cases up, remains a question anyway, since so many other groups of musicians are already deciding to cancel their touring plans.
But news that Charlie Watts was apparently not feeling well enough to tour was a big deal for hard-core music fans because Watts has been a fixture with that legendary group since it first made it big on the world stage some 55 years ago.
Now we get the “breaking news” this August 24th that he has died at age 80, underscoring the possibility that The Rolling Stones – even with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards still in charge – will never quite be the same again.
As far as drummers go, Charlie Watts sure wasn’t as flashy as the late Keith Moon from The Who, or Dino Danelli from The Rascals, or even Dave Clark from the 1960s hit-makers, The Dave Clark Five. As well as being understated in the flash drummer department, he did not sing or write any of the groups songs.
But if you listened, he sure could play and he had more than a little to do in creating The Rolling Stones’ world-winning sound. Just listen to him playing on early hits like Get Off My Cloud, 19th Nervous Breakdown or Honky Tonk Woman. The list could go on and on.
By the way, Charlie Watts loved jazz and when the Stones weren’t touring he played and recorded with his own Charlie Watts jazz group. Yes, he had another artistic life outside of The Rolling Stones
If you are a lover of all great music recorded and performed over the last half century or more, how sad to learn of the passing of Charlie Watts, just days after news of the death of Don Everly at age 84, the last remaining half of The Everly Brothers, including his late brother Phil, who had so much to do, with late 1950s hits like Bye, Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie and Cathy’s Clown, in inspiring the vocal harmonies of The Beatles, The Byrds and Simon and Garfunkel.
The deaths of Charlie Watts and Don Everly are another reminder that we are now rapidly losing so many of the great artists from a golden age of music in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
To watch and listen to The Rolling Stones , with Charlie Watts on drums performing one of their early big hits, 19 Nervous Breakdown, click on the screen immediately below –
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