Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts sketched out every hotel room he’s stayed in for 53 years



Charlie Watts once punched Mick Jagger in a dish of smoked salmon, but he was almost always a perfect gentleman. He kept the Rolling Stones’ beat and heartbeat, clocking in for 60 years. Unlike some of his peers who tended to ransack hotel rooms, he preferred to sketch them.

Charlie Watts | Getty Images

Ancillary projects and sketches

In 1996, coinciding with the release of his solo jazz album, Long ago and far awayTypically quiet, Watts broke up character and accepted an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. He explained that his side group, the Charlie Watts Quintet, was a labor of love that allowed him to expand his chops beyond the usual rock music he played in his daily job.

Watts said that the sound of the bloated strings on songs such as “In a Sentimental Mood” and “I’ve Got a Crush on You” provided “a fantastic sound to soar” and that the recording of some of the songs his mother’s favorite offered a pleasant respite from playing in a guitar-based rock band. Watts also revealed that he drew all of the hotel beds he had slept in since 1967. The Rolling Stone told Rolling Stone that his sketch journal was “a fantastic non-book,” explaining, “I used to take a lot of things that would keep you awake, and I wouldn’t have to do anything. So I registered all these hotel rooms.

If you’re wondering about the smoked salmon incident, it happened in Amsterdam in 1984 when a drunk Jagger called Watt’s hotel room at five in the morning and asked him : “Where’s my drummer?” Moments later, according to New Musical Express, Watts appeared in a perfectly ironed Savile Row suit, punched Jagger squarely in the nose and said, “Never call me your drummer again.” You are my singer.

Multifaceted Watts

There are already plenty of obituaries out there praising Watts’ superb skill and utmost professionalism behind a drum kit. The man surely deserves all the posthumous tributes and accolades, but the late drummer was more than just music. In fact, there is a lot that few people knew about the world’s classiest rock drummer. Did you know he wrote a children’s book? It’s true. In 1964 Watts wrote Ode to a Highflying Bird as a tribute to one of his bebop jazz heroes, saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker. Watts also illustrated the book.

Writing, drawing and rock’n’roll weren’t Watt’s only passions. According to Civil War Talk, fire drummer Stones was an avid collector of American Civil War relics, including guns, flags, hats, belt buckles and brass uniform buttons. A 1969 Evening Standard article by Ray Connolly agrees, adding that Watts said he existed at “a crossroads between greatness and the righteous life” and called himself “an obsessive collector” who didn ‘Would never stop buying things if he was as rich as Paul Getty.

Rare for a rock star

Another thing that set Watts apart from many of his rock’n’roll peers was his long-standing marriage. Unlike former three-time-married Stones bassist Bill Wyman or singer Mick Jagger who had eight children with five different wives, the gentleman drummer married his first and only wife, Shirley Ann Shepherd, in 1964 and he was faithful even when her group mates cheated on her. their wives and girlfriends with groupies, according to Amo Mama.

When New Musical Express asked Watts to reveal the secret to his lasting marital success, the ever-stylish drummer said, “Because I’m not exactly a rockstar.” Watt’s beloved wife was at his bedside when he passed away on August 24, 2021.

According to AV Club, a Rolling Stones spokesperson noted that Watts had recently undergone a “completely successful” procedure and that the 80-year-old drummer had been advised by his medics to rest and recuperate instead of going out with the group. on their “No Filter Tour.” Watts noted that his timing was “a little off” for once in his life and that he didn’t want to disappoint fans by postponing or canceling upcoming concerts.

Watts asked his good friend, Steve Jordan, to temporarily resume his duties as drummer. Jordan, who is known for his Emmy-winning percussion skills on Late Night with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live, agreed to the gig, saying, “No one will be happier than me to give up my place on the drum riser as soon as Charlie tells me he’s ready to go.”

Watts is dead and will never take his shot back. However, he will always be remembered as the legend that he always was.

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