NewsRolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died at 80

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died at 80

Drummer Charlie Watts was for many the soul of the Rolling Stones, he managed to balance the band’s hotheads Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Now he has died at the age of 80.

London – The drummer of the legendary rock band The Rolling Stones, Charlie Watts, is dead. Watts died peacefully on Tuesday with his family at the age of 80 in a London hospital, as his agent Bernard Doherty announced to the British news agency PA.

“Charlie was a valued husband, father and grandfather, and as a member of the Rolling Stones, he was also one of the greatest drummers of his generation,” said the evening’s statement.

A few weeks ago it was announced that Watts should not take part in his band’s upcoming US tour. He is recovering from unspecified medical treatment, according to a PA spokesman. According to the BBC broadcaster, Watts had already been treated for throat cancer in 2004.

First drum kit from an old banjo

Born on June 2, 1941 in North London, the musician discovered his love for jazz and blues at an early age. He made his first drum kit from an old banjo – it was the beginning of a decade-long career with various jazz formations and the Rolling Stones.

Watts joined them six months after the band’s first appearance at the legendary London Marquee Club on July 12, 1962. The decision paid off, musically and financially. Half a century later, he told the British Telegraph that the Stones had the luck and the money to be able to spend a lot of time in the studio – and so they could have tried out a lot.

Watts avoided the limelight

The drummer was considered one of the best-dressed rock stars. But unlike singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, he avoided the limelight. As a jazz musician, he appreciated musical collaborations and welded the Stones together – not only when he set the rhythm on the stage, but especially when Jagger and Richards fell out over the years.

Watts drank heavily and took drugs in the 1980s. In 2004, the once heavy smoker survived cancer of the larynx.

Since 1964 Watts was married to the same woman, the artist Shirley Watts, with whom he had a grown daughter. They lived on a stud farm in the county of Devon and professionally bred Arabian horses.

But the rock life did not let him go: After every tour he tries to withdraw, he confessed to the “Times” at 75. Keith Richards asked him what he would do then. “I don’t know, mowing the lawn? So I’m not retiring. ”Dpa

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