Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies. He was 80 years old. Watts had made it known that he needed a rest and could not take part in the rehearsals of the band which will begin in a couple of weeks. There is no more precise information on the reasons for the surgery, in 2004 he was diagnosed with throat cancer, which he had managed to defeat.
A great fan of jazz, who continued to play alongside his activity with the Stones, Charlie Watts was the last of the members to join the band. He had cut his teeth playing clubs in London in the early 1960s performing alongside Alexis Korner. It was not until January 1963 that he joined the band of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones, only to remain there until his death. The roots Born in 1941, Watts grew up in the borough of Wembley in North West London and then moved to the suburb of Kingsbury. His first musical passion was American jazz, from swing to bebop, which he followed as a teenager playing on records with the first drum kit that had been given to him by his parents. Thanks to Korner he met Brian Jones, who would later join the Stones and who was also performing with Blues Incorporated at the time. Among their admirers were also Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who sometimes joined them.
After a few months Jagger and Richards formed the Rolling Stones, Watts joined in 1963. “It was just another band I was joining, at the time I was in three different formations” explained Charlie Watts. So it started informally, “We tried a lot, Brian and Keith never went to work, so we played accompanying each other’s records all day, and led a bohemian life. Mick was in college at the time. But he still paid for it. rent”.
On drums, the other drummers showed off kits. Not Watts who has always continued to use his four canonical drums. A minimalism that has always distinguished him, ever since the Stones’ debut record in 1964. “I never liked drum solos”, he explained, “I admire those who can do them, but I prefer the drums that play for the band. The challenge with rock’n’roll it is to be regular, my goal is to create a sound that dances, that jumps and bounces. ”With his very particular timing, the swing touch, always on time while always appearing off-center, Watts was the real crossing point between the musicians of the Stones, also free to keep time regardless of even bassist Bill Wyman. He always continued to study jazz, all his life, and loved to say “I didn’t know anything about R&B, for me the blues was Charlie Parker when he played slowly “.