Fact Check: Did Charlie Watts Say To Mick Jagger ‘You’re My Fucking Singer’? - Noise11.com
The Rolling Stones, Ros O'Gorman photographer, Rod Laver Arena

The Rolling Stones, Ros O'Gorman photographer, Rod Laver Arena

Fact Check: Did Charlie Watts Say To Mick Jagger ‘You’re My Fucking Singer’?

by Paul Cashmere on August 28, 2021

in News

Since the death of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts this week there have been lots of stories, lots of anecdotes and lots of folklore and sometimes it’s a bit hard to sort the truth from the fiction.

The best story this week was one were Charlie Watts blew his top at Mick Jagger after Mick called him his drummer. Legend has it Charlie lost it with Mick and yelled “You’re my fucking singer”.

So … did that REALLY happen. The answer is kind of. Charlie never used the word “fucking” and he never told Mick “he was his singer” but the legend is based on a true story.

Keith Richards is the source of the original story and tells this anecdote in his 2010 autobiography ‘Life’.

‘There was a rare moment, in late 1984, of Charlie throwing his drummer’s punch – a punch I’ve seen a couple of times and it’s lethal; it carries a lot of balance and timing. He has to be badly provoked. He threw one at Mick.

‘We were in Amsterdam for a meeting, Mick and I weren’t on great terms at the time but I said c’mon, let’s go out. And I lent him the jacket I got married in. We got back to the hotel about five in the morning and Mick called up Charlie. I said “don’t call him not at this hour.” But he did, and said, “Where’s my drummer?” No answer. He puts the phone down. Mick and I were still sitting there pretty pissed – give Mick a couple of glasses, he’s gone – when about 20 minutes later there was a knock at the door.

‘There was Charlie Watts, Savile Row suit, perfectly dressed…I could smell the cologne! I opened the door and he didn’t even look at me, he walked straight past me, got hold of Mick and said “Never call me your drummer again.”

‘Then he hauled him up by the lapels of my jacket and gave him a right hook. Mick fell back onto a silver platter of smoked salmon and began to slide towards the open window and the canal below.’

‘And I was thinking, this is a good one, and then I realized it was my wedding jackey. And I grabbed hold of it and caught Mick just before he slid into the Amerstdam canal. It took me twenty-four hours after that to talk Charlie down. I thought I’d done it when I took him up to his room, but twelves hours later he was saying “Fuck it, I’m going to go down and do it again”.

‘It takes a lot to wind that man up’. Why did you stop him? My jacket, that’s why!”

For the story get Keith’s book and skip to pages 460 and 461.

FACT CHECK: TRUE – The story of the Mick and Charlie altercation is true but the wording has been exaggerated over the past 10 years.

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