Does The Death Of Charlie Watts Mean The End of The Rolling Stones -
Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones photo by Ros O'Gorman

Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones photo by Ros O'Gorman

Does The Death Of Charlie Watts Mean The End of The Rolling Stones

by Paul Cashmere on August 25, 2021

in News

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is on record saying “There couldn’t be Rolling Stones without Charlie Watts.” Does the passing of Charlie now mean the end of the Rolling Stones?

The Rolling Stones announced the passing of Charlie today just weeks after he dropped off the upcoming Stones North American tour.

Various factors will play into the future of The Rolling Stones. For starters, age. Mick Jagger is 78, Keith Richards is 77. Ronnie Wood is the kid in the band at 74. Bass player Bill Wyman, who left the band in 1990 (it was announced in 1993) is now 84.

The Covid pandemic will limit plans for the upcoming North American tour, if indeed, it still goes ahead following today’s news.

However, the bigger response is about Charlie himself. The drummer is generally the least noticed member of a band. The frontman is nearly always the pop star, the lead guitarist is always the rock star but generally a drummer goes unnoticed, tapping away at the back of the stage with the audience glory going to the frontmen.

In a construction of a band, the opposite is the truth. In all great rock and roll bands the band follows the timing of the drummer. “It ain’t a thing if it ain’t got no swing” and that is fuelled by the guy on the seat near the back of the wall.

Charlie Watts was an exceptional drummer. His talent was a contrast to his profile, the mild-mannered band member behind the group.

Ronnie Wood once said, “Charlie’s the engine. We don’t go anywhere without the engine.”

Charlie was an assumed musician. He said, “I was brought up on the theory that the drummer is an accompanist. I don’t like drum solos. I admire some people that do them, but generally I prefer drummers playing with the band. The challenge with rock and roll is the regularity of it. My thing is to make it a dance sound; it should swing and bounce.”

Charlie Watts did it all as a minimalist. Listen to the simplicity of the drums on ‘Get Off My Cloud’ and ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’. While the band is rocking on ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ Charlie is laid back. Charlie’s jazz background restrains him for ‘Start Me Up’ and ‘Brown Sugar’. Another drummer may have overshot the runway on those songs, affecting their impact. “Charlie’s probably got the smallest drum kit in rock and roll,” Bill Wyman said once St. Louis radio station KSHE 95. “Drummers today have about 50 or 60 items. He’s got about seven. He’s an economist.”

One of Charlie’s greatest lines may have been this one once for 60 Minutes Australia when asked what Charlie Watts was really like. “I’ve got no idea. Miserable most of the time. Sittin’ in the back, moaning about things.”

The Rolling Stones may or may not get these final North American dates out of the way with Steve Jordan filling in for Charlie. I doubt we will see them tour after these upcoming obligations end.

Follow Noise11 on Social Media

NEW: Noise11 on YouTube SUBSCRIBE

Noise11 on Instagram

You’ll discover music news first following Noise11 on Twitter

Comment on the news of the day, join Noise11 on Facebook

Related Posts

John Mayall photo by Ros O'Gorman
Blues Legend John Mayall Turns 90

Happy 90th birthday to blues legend John Mayall.

2 days ago
The Rolling Stones 2023 photo supplied Universal Music
The Rolling Stones Announce 2024 North American Hackney Diamonds Tour Dates

The Rolling Stones have announced 15 dates for a North America Hackney Diamonds tour of 2024.

November 22, 2023
Eric Clapton live at Rod Laver Arena Melbourne photo by Ros O'Gorman
Eric Clapton Guitar Sells for $1.27 million

Eric Clapton's 'The Fool' guitar has sold at auction for a whopping $1.27 million (£1.03 million).

November 22, 2023
The Rolling Stones 2023 photo supplied Universal Music
The Rolling Stones To Announce 2024 Touring Plans

The Rolling Stones have teased a huge 2024 world tour.

November 21, 2023
The Rolling Stones 2023 photo supplied Universal Music
Rolling Stones 2024 Rumoured Dates Published On IORR

Rumoured dates for a 2024 Rolling Stones North American tour have been published by Stones fan forum

November 18, 2023
Neil Young Before and After
Neil Young Previews Another Chunk of ‘Before And After’ Album

Neil Young has premiered another cluster of songs from the upcoming ‘Before and After’ album made up of newly recorded versions of songs performed on his recent ‘Coastal’ tour of the west coast USA.

November 18, 2023
Ray Davies - Photo By Ros O'Gorman
Ray Davies Teases Possible New Kinks Music

The Kinks have around “20 songs” waiting to be worked on.

November 16, 2023