DEATH CHARLIE WATTS. A legend is gone. This Tuesday, August 24, the famous drummer of the Rolling Stones, Charlie Watts, died “peacefully” in a hospital in London according to his agent causing a shower of tributes.
The world of rock, and all of music, is in mourning, the drummer of Rolling Stones, Charlie Watts, died at age 80. The information was communicated by his agent, Bernard Doherty, and taken up by AFP at the end of the day on August 24. In his statement, the agent clarified that the drummer had died “peacefully in a London hospital”. He lamented the disappearance of “one of the greatest drummers of his generation”. Charlie Watts died surrounded by his family, “earlier in the day”.
The drummer, who joined the Rolling Stones in 1963, had recently made it known that he would not be able to participate in the group’s next tour, scheduled to begin in September. Charlie Watts had indeed revealed that he needed rest after a medical operation. The nature of the latter had not been revealed. “Charlie has undergone a successful operation,” but his doctors believe he needs rest, his spokesperson said, without further clarification. In 2004, Charlie Watts was treated for throat cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, from which he recovered after four months of struggle, including six weeks of intensive radiotherapy.
In a video, Beatles bassist Paul McCartney also honored a “fantastic drummer” and a “rock solid” man in the way he played and set the pace for his companions.
Charlie Watts had been a member of the Rolling Stones since 1963. He then replaced drummer Mick Avory. With the leader Mick jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, the drummer was among the oldest members of the famous rock band. Other big names in music had paraded there, such as Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood or Bill Wyman. Described as a quiet man, Charlie Watts will stay very far from the hustle and bustle of the group. Before joining the Rolling Stones, the drummer had played in an amateur group, Blues Incorporated by Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies, in 1961. The group included many visiting musicians, including Mick Jagger on vocals. When asked one day to sum up his career, Le Parisien recalls that Charlie Watts had joked: “I watched Mick’s hindquarters move in front of me for forty years. That’s all I could see. from the back of the stage, but I’m not complaining. “
Charlie Watts grew up in Islington. His father was employed there with British Railways. Young Charlie studied graphic art at Tyler’s Croft Secondary Modern School, and became a typographer at Harrow School Of Art. At the start of his career, he was also a designer in an advertising agency, in order to earn a living. Beyond rock, he is very drawn to jazz, and will record albums under his name. In 2004, he had conquered throat cancer, a few months after discovering it.
Charlie Watts’ wife
Since his beginnings, Charlie Watts has shared his life with his wife Shirley. Together they had a daughter, Seraphina. They also went through many hardships, at the height of the rock band’s fame. The drummer had admitted, a few years later, having missed losing his wife because of her excessive behavior, as Femme Actuelle recalls. “I think it was a midlife crisis. All I know is that I became a totally different person around 1983 and came out around 1986.” The couple subsequently settled in the south of France. On their estate, Shirley has run a stable of racehorses for several years.
Since the announcement of the death of Charlie Watts, many celebrities have paid tribute to the legendary drummer.
Charlie Watts was the most elegant and dignified drummer in rock and roll. He played exactly what was needed – no more – no less. He is one of a kind. pic.twitter.com/aasPZ2fMYX
– Joan Jett (@joanjett) August 24, 2021
Im just shocked to hear about Charlie Watts. I dont know what to say, I feel terrible for Charlies family. Charlie was a great drummer and I loved the Stones music, they made great records. Love & Mercy. pic.twitter.com/C4q2zXvVKo
– Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) August 24, 2021
“Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer,” said Elton John in particular. Ringo Starr, his fellow drummer, posted a tweet accompanied by a photo of the two holding a wand, a beaming smile on their faces. Lenny Kravitz, for his part, evokes with emotion the “rhythm of the Stones”, preferring to add nothing other than “each stroke of the wand will have spoken for itself”. Brian Wilson, also paid tribute to the deceased, whom he describes as “an immense” musician. “I am shocked to hear the news of his death. I have no words and I am devastated for his family,” he wrote again. Canadian rocker Bryan Adams remembers “one of the greatest drummers in rock history and a true gentleman”. For Bruno Juffin, author of a book on the Rolling Stones, it’s “a bit like the end of the world as he explains on France Info.” It’s a bit like the end of a world and one of the most beautiful jewels of the 1960s, 1970s, years during which rock was the art to the sound of which the world felt its heart beat, the world was indignant, the world revolted, the world envisaged a different future. It is all going away. And Charlie was, in a way, the symbol, the discreet symbol. Because it was the least exuberant and perhaps the most elegant of the Rolling Stones.