Charlie Watts

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  • JasonJason Frets: 822
    tFB Trader
    SRich said:
    Charlie's passing is a huge loss to all..........he's another of ' the Good Guys' of which there are fewer and fewer in the natural cadence of life. Sadly, I'm not sure that the characters, such as he, are easy to replace.

    Steve Jordan is a bloody remarkable drummer with an amazing CV (inc the X-Pensive Winos with Keef of course) but if you were he, would you take that drumstool?  
    I understand that the USA tour has to go ahead, far too many people employed etc for it not to, but I hope that they knock it on the head then, maybe a farewell Twickenham gig to complete the circle. But it's time to say goodbye

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  • BlueingreenBlueingreen Frets: 1804
    edited August 31
    Jason said:
    Jason said:
    Jason said:
    Can't add anything to what has all ready been mentioned - Certainly a legend and has left plenty of great recordings and memories for so many - RIP Charlie

    Just a thought - Did he play the most famous cow bell intro/groove in the history of pop/rock/blues
    No that was Jimmy Miller. Apparently Charlie couldn’t get it, so he played it. Charlie has been quite upfront about it. He didn’t play on it’s only Rock n Roll either or some of Dirty Work. 

    I am genuinely gutted, he made them swing, he was the Roll

    Jimmy Miller played the cowbell, but it was nothing to do with Charlie not being able to "get it" (it's a very straightforward part).  It was a hand-held cowbell and it needed someone else to to play it while Charlie played the kit - since Jimmy was in the studio and also a drummer he would have been the obvious choice. 

    Yes, but the point was Mark said "did he play the most famous cow bell intro?"

    Charlie said this (from the BBC today) I've read loads of interviews about it and in some Charlie said he couldn't get it

    Interestingly, the cowbell itself isn't played by Watts but by the Stones' producer Jimmy Miller - and the band could never replicate his slightly stumbled intro in concert.

    "We've never played an intro to Honky Tonk Women live the way it is on the record," Watts said in the book According to the Rolling Stones.

    "That's Jimmy playing the cowbell and either he comes in wrong or I come in wrong - but Keith comes in right which makes the whole thing right. It's one of those things that musicologists could sit around analysing for years. It's actually a mistake but from my point of view it works."



    No, that's not the point.  Mark asked the question, it was answered.  No-one disputes that Miller played the cowbell.

    The argument is about the idea that Charlie "couldn't get it".  This is a myth that doesn't survive 3 seconds of examining the known facts.

    The cowbell part is easy.  I've seen cover bands getting girls up from the audience to play it.  The idea that an experienced drummer couldn't play it is nonsense.  As I said before, there is nothing to get.

    What happened is that a lot of guys in cover bands stuck a cowbell on their kit and tried to reproduce the intro, ie play both parts.  They tended to assume, wrongly, that's what happened on the original, ie one drummer playing a kit with a cowbell.  And because there's a mistake on the original, which The Stones decided sounded good and they should leave it in, reproducing the original exactly is very difficult.

    So the intro got a reputation for being tricky to nail exactly.  And when people found out that Miller played the cowbell, they add up 2 and 2 and got 5:  it's a tricky part, Miller played it, it must have been because Charlie couldn't do it.

    But it's not a tricky part.  It's two incredibly simple parts with a mistake.  There was absolutely no point at which Watts could have thought "this is tricky, I'm not sure I can do it".


    hey, I'm not arguing about this, but I've read many interviews where Charlie states that he couldn't get it, below is an example. This is in no way a criticism of Charlie, he is by far my favourite drummer



    Yes, but it's what people infer from this that I object to.  There's a difference between being unable to play a part and not having learned it yet.  I write songs but don't sing live because I'm not a great singer.  The singer I normally work with is far better than me but when I'm showing him a new tune, there's a period where I can sing it and he can't. I've spent hours showing him what I want him to sing, and yes there's a learning period when he often doesn't get it.

    But it would obviously be wrong to infer that he struggles with the material.   As soon as he's properly familiar with it he will sing it far better than I can.

    That's equivalent to what's happened here.  If Miller has an idea for a drum part there's a point when he knows it and Charlie doesn't yet.  But what many people have read into this is that Watt struggled with the part or wasn't quite up to it.

    The first time I ever rehearsed with a drummer we played HTW, very much a cover band staple at the time.  He was more or less a beginner (as was I), and he wasn't very good.  He had been replaced by the time we played our first gig.  But he could play a perfectly acceptable intro to HTW, cowbell and all.  These are not difficult parts.




    “To a man with a hammer every problem looks like a nail.”
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  • rockmonsterrockmonster Frets: 604
    Loved his quote on the Stones 25th anniversary, “ work five years, 20 years of hanging around” greatly missed!
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 12694
    One thing I’ve learned from all this is that Delia Smith made the cake for the cover of Let it Bleed. 
    I’ll handle this Violet, you take your three hour break. 
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 11596
    Jason said:
    SRich said:
    Charlie's passing is a huge loss to all..........he's another of ' the Good Guys' of which there are fewer and fewer in the natural cadence of life. Sadly, I'm not sure that the characters, such as he, are easy to replace.

    Steve Jordan is a bloody remarkable drummer with an amazing CV (inc the X-Pensive Winos with Keef of course) but if you were he, would you take that drumstool?  
    I understand that the USA tour has to go ahead, far too many people employed etc for it not to, but I hope that they knock it on the head then, maybe a farewell Twickenham gig to complete the circle. But it's time to say goodbye

    I suspect they won't.
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  • McSwaggertyMcSwaggerty Frets: 569
    Philly_Q said:
    Jason said:
    SRich said:
    Charlie's passing is a huge loss to all..........he's another of ' the Good Guys' of which there are fewer and fewer in the natural cadence of life. Sadly, I'm not sure that the characters, such as he, are easy to replace.

    Steve Jordan is a bloody remarkable drummer with an amazing CV (inc the X-Pensive Winos with Keef of course) but if you were he, would you take that drumstool?  
    I understand that the USA tour has to go ahead, far too many people employed etc for it not to, but I hope that they knock it on the head then, maybe a farewell Twickenham gig to complete the circle. But it's time to say goodbye

    I suspect they won't.
    No they won't. They will continue to play a half dozen or so stadium gigs a year for the next two or three years.
    I was a big Stones Fan, some brilliant albums and they really were the best Rock 'n' Roll Band in the World in the 70's.....but time moves on, l have never liked Stadium gigs either. I feel if they still want to keep performing, l reckon they should be playing small European Blues Joints akin to Ronnie Scott's and the like.... Back to the clubs where it all started...and for a Fiver entry too.
    I reckon Jagger would be up for that...
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  • DrumBobDrumBob Frets: 58
    This rock 'n roll death has been very hard for me to take, as Charlie was one of my drumming heroes. I had the opportunity to meet him years ago and he was extremely gracious, a total class act. I know Steve Jordan is a worthy fill-in, but it's hard for me to fathom The Rolling Stones without Charlie. 
    "I Dance To My Own Tune, F*****, I Won't Do The Corporate Waltz.," Diesel Park West
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  • I was born in 79'.... when I became conscious of music the Stones where already well past their creative peak and sort of omnipresent. My first impression was of a stale, corporate middle of the road trad rock band. 
    I was baptised by 90's britpop and went sideways into the interesting, creative and excellent dance music that was being made at the time. From there - like many music fans I guess, I worked back, finding out what had influenced the records I loved. 

    That was when I understood that for a time - 68 to 74 perhaps, the stones really where a truly incredible band. They looked and sounded amazing and lived like outlaws. Charlie's drumming was at the core of Stones sound. His influence is under-appreciated. He's often descried as a 'solid'... but I think his playing was hugely varied, always in service of the song and occasionally funky.

    Tracks like Can't you hear me knocking, Loving cup, Can't always get what you want, Wild horses, ventilator blues and sympathy for the devil are powerful demonstrations of how he held the often loose Stones together and kept them swinging. Considering he watch such a reserved chap his drumming could be paradoxically strutting and full of vim'.... 

    RIP Charlie Watts - legendary drummer 
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  • RocknRollDaveRocknRollDave Frets: 4309
    Charlie's drumming was such a huge part of the Stones' sound, it's hard to think they could carry on now with anything other than a sound-alike drummer...which is quite a tall order. 
    No doubt, plenty of top session drummers can do an approximation of Charlie's style, but to find one of them who would want to take that on full-time, as a kind of tribute act? 

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