Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts dies
The musician was 80 years old. Together with Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, he was the longest-serving member of the band, which he joined in 1963.
"It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts... he passed away peacefully in a London hospital today, surrounded by his family," said agent Bernard Doherty.
He added that "Charlie was a loving husband, father and grandfather and also, as a member of the Rolling Stones, one of the greatest drummers of his generation."
Earlier this month, it was announced that Charlie Watts would not be on The Rolling Stone's U.S. tour in September for health reasons. He underwent surgery and doctors recommended rest.
Seventeen years ago, he had been treated for throat cancer, from which he recovered in less than six months.
Watts was the complete opposite of his bandmates, living at a slower pace and a marriage of more than half a century, despite entering drug and alcohol rehabilitation in the 1980s. He admitted that he quit them when he saw his marriage was in danger.
In 2012, the British newspaper The Mirror referred to him by saying that "Watts represented calm in the midst of the Rolling Stones storm, both on and off the stage."
The same outlet said on Aug. 24 that "Charlie was loved by music fans for his style in interpreting classic Stones songs, such as' Jumpin 'Jack Flash,' 'Honky Tonk Women' and 'Brown Sugar.'"
Watts studied graphic design and worked for an advertising agency, and was already playing drums in London clubs when he met Jagger, Richards and Brian Jones, who asked him to join the group in 1962.
At first, he rejected the offer and preferred to keep his job as a designer. However, his decision soon changed her and in January 1963 he debuted with The Rolling Stones at the Flamingo Club in London's Soho.
The Mirror recalled that in 1964, he married Shirley Anne Shepherd and apparently stayed faithful on the band's intense tours.
"I have never filled the stereotype of a rock star," he commented on occasion. Watts even jokingly said that "in the 70s Bill Wyman and I decided to grow beards and the effort left us exhausted." The differences with his companions were also in the way of dressing.
Charles Robert Watts was born on June 2, 1941, and grew up in Wembley, northwest London. His father was a truck driver and his mother was a housewife.
He began dabbling with music at the age of 13, when his parents gave him a set of drums, with which he played Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington's jazz ballads. He was self-taught and began to play in groups in nightclubs. When he was very young, Watts created the quartet "The A, B, C & D of Boogie-Woogie."
"I never went to a school to learn to play jazz. That's not what I like. What I like about jazz is the emotion," he once said. Finally, he never left jazz aside and recorded several productions such as Charlie Watts Quintet and Charlie and the Tentet Watts.
In 1963, he made perhaps the best decision: to become The Rolling Stones drummer forever.