Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Charlie Watts

There are a few different versions of the world’s greatest Charlie Watts anecdote, but here’s my favourite.

The legendarily gentlemanly and urbane member of the Rolling Stones is quietly sleeping in his hotel room when he’s suddenly woken up by a phone call in the middle of the night.  Watts picks it up and it’s a drunken Mick Jagger on the other end, yelling “Where’s my drummer?!” like an utter boor, and imploring Watts to come join the party in his room.  Watts hangs up the phone, gets up, showers, shaves, shines his shoes, puts on a suit (Watts is always nattily-dressed) and heads down the hall or up the floor to Jagger’s suite.

He knocks on the door, and when Mick answers, Watts straight-up punches him in the face.  According to the version of the story in Keith Richards’ book, Jagger was so rocked by the punch that he stumbled backwards and almost fell clean out the room window, only saved when Richards grabbed him at the last second.  Watts takes a moment for a dramatic pause and says…”I’m not your f***ing drummer.  You’re my f***ing singer.”  He then proceeds to turn around, go back to his room, get undressed and go back to sleep.

Happy 74th birthday, Charlie Watts.  You are awesome.

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