Arts & Culture Music

The Death of Charlie Watts

Sawyer Ramsay 24 

Contributor  

The Rolling Stones are one of the most influential rock and blues bands of all time. They have produced over thirty studio albums in a period of almost sixty years. Fans from around the world were shocked on August 24, 2021, when it was announced that Charlie Watts, the original drummer for The Stones, had lost a battle with throat cancer at the age of 80.   

Charlie Watts has contributed significantly to The Rolling Stones and is one of the few members who has remained in the band from the very beginning. He joined The Stones in 1963 as their first permanent drummer, previously playing in a band called Blues Incorporated. He provided the rhythm for The Stones for 58 years. Watts, along with his bandmates, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, were the only members who played in every studio album the band made.   

Watts loved jazz music, bringing a jazzy backbeat that mixed well with the band’s style of rock and blues. Rolling Stone Magazine (not affiliated with The Rolling Stones band) ranks Watts as the twelfth best drummer of all time. Despite this high praise and his fame, Watts was very humble, and liked to focus quietly on his craft. He thought of drumming as his job, not as his vessel to fame. In an interview with The Guardian, Watts stated that he “didn’t like playing large festivals.”  According to him, “those sorts of things are unrelated to playing.”   

Even though the band’s iconic drummer is now gone, the band is continuing to tour and play music. Members like Ronnie Wood and Darryl Jones are replacements for other former members. To replace Charlie Watts, the band has brought in Steve Jordan, a drummer who has played with Keith Richards numerous times before.  

The Stones opened their first tour without Watts on September 26, 2021. The “No Filter” tour was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of COVID-19. The first show was an emotional performance, starting with a tribute to Charlie Watts and displaying pictures of the drummer on the screen. Watts was not scheduled to play in this tour due to his illness with the band had already planning for Steve Jordan to perform.   

It is certainly strange to think of The Rolling Stones without Charlie Watts, but Steve Jordan carries the torch well, continuing to give exceptional performances. However, now that Charlie is gone, the band must be finally nearing its inevitable end. This could be The Stones’ last tour. Hopefully, they can continue making music, but if this is the end, they will never be forgotten.   

Charlie Watts - Wikipedia
Photo Credits: Wikipedia