Dead: What Happened to Charlie Watts, and Who Was He?

Charlie Watts died on Tuesday. He was the drummer for the Rolling Stones during their time as the World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band. He was 80.

A group representative said, “It is with great sadness that we tell you that our beloved Charlie Watts has died.” He died peacefully this morning in a London hospital, where his family was with him.

The reason for death was not known. Watts had health problems in the past few years, and in 2004, he was told he had throat cancer.

Watts said earlier this month that he would not be able to go on the next leg of the Stones’ No Filter tour because of his health. Since he joined the Rolling Stones in 1963, he had never missed a show.

“Charlie was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather. He was also one of the best drummers during his time spent in the Rolling Stones.”

Keith Richards, the guitarist for the Stones, wrote in his 2010 book “Life” that “The secret essence of the whole thing” was Charlie Watts. Paul McCartney put up a short tribute video on Twitter. In it, he called Watts “a nice guy” and “a great drummer.” Elton John said Watts was “the ultimate drummer” on Twitter. The best-dressed men and such great company.” The drummer for the band The Roots, Questlove, wrote on Instagram that Watts was “Rock and Roll’s heartbeat.”

Watts was always a little different from the other Rolling Stones members. He was the calm, well-dressed center around which all the bad boys moved. Watts brought swing to the Stones. And brought out the role in rock ‘n’ roll, which many of their imitators didn’t do. Watts was drawn to swing because he loved jazz before he knew about the blues, and he often went back to it when he wasn’t playing with the Rolling Stones.

Watts was born in 1941 on June 2, in the Bloomsbury neighborhood of London. His father was a truck driver. Watts was born in Wembley. As a child, he became a big jazz fan and started collecting 78 rpm records by artists like Charlie Parker. Watts decided to learn to play the drums when he was a teen going to Kingsbury’s Tylers Croft Secondary Modern School. He bought a banjo, cut off the banjo’s neck, and used the head as a snare drum.

At the same time, teaching himself with a pair of wire brushes. Soon, his father bought a full drum set from a friend. Watts didn’t take lessons. He tried to play along with his records, which he didn’t like, but it helped him get better. He would later say, “I wanted to be Max Roach or Kenny Clarke and play in New York with Charlie Parker at the front. Not bad. Goal to have. It meant a lot of blood work and a lot of playing.”

Watts spent a lot of time playing drums with the Jo Jones All-Stars, but he also went to Harrow Art School until he left to work as a graphic designer at an ad agency. Watts kept going in two different directions—designing during the day and playing jazz at night—even when he was in Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated. After a short stint as a designer in Copenhagen, he settled in Blues Incorporated in 1962. By then, Richards and guitarist Brian Jones were trying to get him to join the blues band they were putting together with Mick Jagger, bassist Bill Wyman, and pianist Ian Stewart.

Watts said yes in January 1963 and played his first show at the Ealing Blues Club on the 12th of that month. In that year’s summer, the band had hired Andrew Loog Oldham as their manager. Oldham decided to make the Rolling Stones the “anti-Beatles”—the London bad boys to the Liverpool mop-tops. Oldham talked the Stones into kicking Stewart out of the band. The big pianist didn’t fit with the Stones’ thin image, but he stayed with the group as a road manager and studio pianist. This happened right before “Come On,” by Chuck Berry, was the Stones’ first single,” came out in June, just six months after Watts joined the band.

The Rolling Stones quickly became popular. They gave them “I Want to Be Your Man” by the Beatles.” as their second single. In February 1964, they covered Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away.” In June 1964, they covered Bobby & Shirley Womack’s “It’s All Over Now,” which became their first British No. 1. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” went to on both sides of the Atlantic. It was at the top of the charts a year later.

The fuzz-toned riff that Richards played on “Satisfaction” helped make it the group’s signature song, but Watts’ steady roll gave the single its signature swing.

After “Satisfaction,” the Stones had a lot of hits and went on international tours quickly. As the Swinging 1960s came to a close, the Stones’ reputation for being wild grew. Watts didn’t do much partying, at least not in the 1960s and early 1970s. In 1964, he married Shirley Shepherd, and they stayed together for the rest of Watts’ life. In 1964, “Ode to a High Flying Bird,” an illustrated tribute to his wife, was one of the books he wrote. hero Charlie Parker. He also began to help design Rolling Stones album covers, and their 1967 album “Between the Buttons” is full of his cartoons.

Watts is the only Stone “Get Yer Kicks” was written “Get Yer Kicks” was written on the band’s live album “Get Yer” from 1970. Ya-Out!” Ya’s holding two guitars and a top hat. Jagger gives Watts a shout-out on the record, saying, “Charlie’s doing well tonight, isn’t he?” But he seemed to be happiest when he was holding the band together. He didn’t let his pride get in the way. When he heard the group’s 1974 album “It’s Only Rock’n’Roll (But I Like It),” “It’s Only Rock’n’Roll (But I Like It),” he thought the rhythm was cool. Kenny Jones playing on the demo was good enough for the album. Watts worked with Jagger to design the stage for the band’s concerts, starting with their 1975 tour. This was a role He kept throughout his life.

Watts did have a time when he abused drugs. This started in the late 1970s when he started using heroin. He was still able to play convincingly on records. The disco-influenced Beats from “Miss You” from 1978 and “Emotional Rescue” from 1980 demonstrated his ability. Change with the times. However, his drug use got so bad that Richards, known for being a heroin addict, convinced him to stop. In 1986, the drummer finally stopped drinking.

His decision to stop drinking happened simultaneously with his side project, the Charlie Watts Orchestra. This was a jazz group whose first album, “Live at Fulham Town Hall,” came out in 1986. Watts left the Stones and played jazz for the next 20 years. He often did this with the Charlie Watts Quintet, a smaller ensemble that performed and recorded much in the early 1990s. In 2000, he worked with drummer Jim Keltner on an album called “The Charlie Watts-Jim Keltner Project,” which was a good name.

In 1987, the Rolling Stones won their first Grammy. It is for “lifetime achievement,” which is given by the Grammys. After that, they won three more awards, including a rock album award in 1995 for “Voodoo Lounge” and a traditional blues album award in 2018 for “Blue & Lonesome.” In 1989, the Stones Was honored with The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

“Watts at Scott’s,” a live album by the Charlie Watts Tentet, came out in 2004. By the time it came out in August, Watts told he had throat cancer. He got better quickly and joined the Rolling Stones again for “A Bigger Bang,” an album from 2005 that would be their last original album with Watts. “Shine a Light,” a film by Martin Scorsese from 2008, shows the tour to promote the album. The Rolling Stones kept touring all through the 2010s.

In 2016, they were the main act at the Desert Trip festival, featuring Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young, three other rock ‘n’ roll veterans. The Rolling Stones released “Blue & Lonesome” that year. It is a collection of blues songs covered by other artists. The last album Watts played on.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stones had to move. The North American leg of their No Filter tour from 2020 to the fall of 2021. Watts said on August 5 that he would not be going on the tour because of a health problem. He agreed that Steve Jordan, who has played drums with Richards since the 1980s, could take his place.

Watts’s wife, Shirley, his daughter, Serafina, and his granddaughter, Charlotte, are all still alive.

Dhivya Easwarasamy

Dhivya Easwarasamy is an experienced content writer with a passion for creating engaging and informative content. With over 2 years of experience in the field, she has honed her skills in writing for a variety of industries including entertainment, finance, and education. When she's not writing, Dhivya enjoys reading books, exploring new places, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

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