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CHARLIE WATTS IN A CROWD “Subdued” 1969 @  Ethan Russell Photographs  “Something about this photo always appealed to me.  Being on the road – at least in 1969 on this road – was way more appealing from the outside looking in. After the show, the extraordinary Charlie Watts would retire to his room and do meticulous line drawings of his amazingly conventional hotel suite. I begged him to publish them. I’m sure I was not alone. but to my knowledge he never did.”  — EAR

My favorite Charlie Watts moment comes in a book I helped Stones photographer Ethan Russel write Let It Bleed: The Rolling Stones, Altamont, and the End of the Sixties: Russell, Ethan A

At some point long after Altamont, some clueless git of a reporter asked Charlie if he thought Altamont was really “the end of the Sixties.” Charlie thought a moment and replied, “Well, since Altamont happened in December of 1969, it really was the end of the Sixties.”

Were we at AD talking about Gimme Shelter just a day before Charlie ascended to sit in on that great skittle band in the sky? Well, yes we were: Boomer Anthems: Gimme Shelter

Here’s what Charlie was doing to make   Gimme Shelter snap, crackle, and pop long, long ago.

So long Charlie. See you a little further down the Road.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dirk August 25, 2021, 6:53 PM

    Let it bleed; “monkey man” is cryptic, 65/76 were my golden years. Got cheesy after around those periods. Blues and Jazz!.

    GV, you’ve been on a roll. It’s like you sense stuff.

    Music IS the language of the world. Everybody, every culture speaks music, one way or another.


  • Nori August 25, 2021, 9:09 PM

    It must be asked-did he get the jab?

    Whatever the answer,RIP Charlie Watts,the amazing and most polite of an era of amazing blazing rock drummers.

  • Gagdad Bob August 25, 2021, 9:34 PM

    Keith Richards said something to the effect that Charlie was like a metronome, only steadier. I was able to test that thesis yesterday while working out on the elliptical. It shows RPM, so if you pedal along to the beat, you can tell how steady the drummer is.

    Sure enough, Charlie didn’t vary more than one RPM, whether it’s the intro, verse, chorus, bridge, solo, turnaround, outro, etc. But it wouldn’t mean a thing if he didn’t have that ineffable swing.

  • gwbnyc August 26, 2021, 2:25 AM

    When your day gig is Rolling Stones drummer awe disappeared in the rearview long, long ago.

  • Dave Jenkins August 26, 2021, 9:19 AM

    Thanks for your time Mr. Watts!

  • Anonymous August 26, 2021, 11:31 AM

    One by one, all your sacred Boomer icons are dropping like flies. Samuel Becket said “Welcome to earth. No one gets out alive.” You better get religion before it’s too late, Vanderleuen.

  • Cato August 28, 2021, 9:11 PM

    My mother, a diminutive Holocaust survivor, was in her favorite playground, Las Vegas, going up the elevator to her casino room in the middle of the night around 3 AM after a night at the tables. A quiet, unassuming man in a nice evening robe and slippers entered the elevator holding a glass of milk. He had gone down to the kitchen to get his evening milk because room service was taking too long. Someone else on the elevator recognized him as Charlie Watts, which he acknowledged politely.

    • Chris August 29, 2021, 1:06 PM

      Hey Cato, your mother must have benefited from those 6 gazzilion gold teeth from the Holocaust to be able to play in Vegas, right?
      I would imagine you still have the lampshades they made of your grandparents as well? The lies we were told will just never end it seems.