Music, and especially rock, are in mourning. This Tuesday he passed away, at age 80, Charlie watts, the famous drummer of the Rolling Stones and the most measured member of the celebrated British band.
"With great sadness we announce the death of our dear Charlie Watts"his agent announced Bernard doherty in a statement, adding that the musician "He passed away peacefully in a London hospital today, surrounded by his family."
A spokesman for the artist had already announced in early August that he would not participate in the band's North American tour, scheduled for the fall, for medical reasons. "Charlie has had a successful operation, but his doctors think he needs to rest," he explained then, without further details.
Watts, who turned 80 in June, had been with the Stones since 1963. Along with the singer Mick Jagger and the guitarist Keith Richards, was one of the oldest members of the famous rock band, in which they have also participated Mick taylor, Ronnie Wood y Bill wyman.
In 2004, he had been treated at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London for throat cancer, from which he recovered after four months of treatment; including six weeks of intensive radiation therapy.
"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"Doherty stated. "We ask that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends be respected at this difficult time", Anadio.
Watts, who always stayed away from the crazy life that his peers lived, remained for more than half a century the unflappable metronome of the band while fueling their passion for jazz.
With his impassive face and unanimously recognized talent for binary rhythm, he offered the perfect onstage counterpoint to the frantic swaggering of Jagger and the electric antics of guitarists Richards and Wood.
And as his friends passed by "Divorces, addictions, arrests and crazy fights", according to an inventory compiled by the British newspaper Mirror, quiet Watts lived a serene life with Shirley shepherd, his wife of 50 years, and his daughter Seraphina, at his Arabian thoroughbred breeding farm in Devon, England.
"During fifty years of chaos, drummer Charlie Watts represented calm amidst the storm for the Rolling Stones, both on and off stage"wrote the Mirror in 2012.
However, the musician was not totally impervious to the band's addictions: In the 1980s, he underwent rehab for heroin and alcohol. “It was a very short time for me. I just gave it up, it wasn't something for me ”, the taciturn musician confessed at the time.
Born on June 2, 1941 in London, Charlies Watts came to music through animated jazz at age 13 by his neighbor Dave green with whom he would later form the quartet The A, B, C & D of Boogie-Woogie. Fully self-taught, he learned to play by ear, watching the musicians in London jazz clubs.
“I never went to school to learn to play jazz. That is not what I like. What I like about jazz is the emotion ”, explained the musician that during his career with the Rolling Stones, he continued to play jazz in parallel and recorded several albums with the Charlie watts quintet and with the group Charlie and the Tentet Watts.
Something that few know about Watts, considered the twelfth greatest drummer of all time by the Rolling Stones magazine, is that I had a singular love for cars. In fact, he had a collection with several copies.
When he was just starting with the Stones, he was asked in an interview what he would do if he were a millionaire and his response was surprising: "I would buy vintage cars just to see them because they are beautiful."
And he did it. In 1983 he acquired a Lagonda Rapide of 1937 and paid a fortune for being one of the 25 manufactured units of this model. As he had anticipated in his youth, he never drove it and only stood next to him to admire it.