Please watch the video for the full tribute
Charlie Watts was that steady metronome that kept everything together no matter what was going on in front of the stage with the Rolling Stones.
Many rock fans have grown up watching extravagant drum solos with drum kits that rotate upside down, synchronised with Flash bombs and other tricks that drummers do. In fact, if you are not a big fan of The Rolling Stones you might wonder why Charlie Watts was such a special musician and irreplaceable.
If you think back to many of our guitar heroes from the late 1960s and 1970s, whether it’s Richie Blackmore David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page etc, what links them all together is they were all influenced by Blues Music. For drummers it was Jazz Music, all the great drummers from that period were influenced by jazz, whether it was Ginger Bake, Ian Paice, Bill Ward etc they all have that swing.
Charlie Watts loved jazz, but he was not into drum solos or being flash, he also did not want a drum kit the size of a house! I would say the the rock drummer most similar in style would be Simon Kirke from Free and Bad Company.Charlie Watts.
Chris Wright one of our contributors summed up Charlie Watts perfectly when he said
A quiet storm of a drummer who, like Ringo, didn’t go for flash, but kept time meticulously and provided a solid backdrop throughout the Stones’ amazing musical evolution. By definition, one of the greatest drummers we’ve ever seen and, I would argue, a subtle but powerful presence that will be totally irreplaceable.
He also had a wonderfully dry sense of humour too, once joking that his first 25 years of life in the Stones was five years of playing and 20 years of hanging around doing nothing. His presence will be hugely missed and we will all, of course, be reaching into our Stones libraries in the coming days to appreciate his amazing contribution to our lives. RIP and thank you Charlie. You were, and will remain, awesome. Chris Wright
Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine