Jazz is flowing in his veins. even though he does not have a driver’s license he has a respectable collection of cars and he came to “Rock” by mistake after giving up a career as a graphic designer.
(Photo: Ursula Duren)
Here are some interesting facts about Charlie Watts, the "quiet power" behind the biggest rock band in the world:
1. He was born in London and raised in Kingsbury, England on June 2, 1941. His name at birth was Charles Robert Watts.
2. At school Charlie was a good student who also demonstrated talent in music, art, football, and cricket.
3. Charlie grew up in jazz music and admired jazz artists like Charlie Parker. His childhood friend Dave Green (who became a jazz bassist himself) testified that he had a very respectable jazz record collection.
(Photo: Hulton Archive)
4. His interest in music led him to acquire Banjo as a child. He soon realized that this was not the instrument for him. He cut its neck and strings and turned it into a drum. When his parents saw what he had made of the banjo they decided to buy him a drum set.
5. After graduating from high school he studied and was trained as a graphic designer. He later began working as a graphic designer for an advertising company called "Charlie Daniels Studios".
6. In parallel with his work as a designer, Charlie continued to develop his music hobby while playing with his childhood friend Dave Green in local cafes and clubs. Their first band that started in 1958 was called "Jo Jones All-Stars".
7. In 1961 Charlie moved to Denmark following a job offer as a graphic designer. At the same time, Alexis Korner approached him and offered to join his band "Blues Incorporated", which hosted artists such as Mick Jagger, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, and Brian Jones.
8. Watts accepted the offer and in February 1962 returned to London and began playing with Alexis Korner's band while at the same time continuing to work in advertising agencies as a graphic designer.
(Photo: Michael Ward)
10. From that point onwards Watts served as the band's regular drummer. He released with "the Stones" 30 studio albums, 3 mini-albums, 33 live albums, and a similar number of collections.
12. In addition to his musical contribution to the band, Watts also brought his training as a graphic designer and, among other things, designed the back cover of the album "Between the Buttons".
13. Watts also maintains his great love for Jazz, in several projects of which he was a part of.
14. In the late 90's he and keyboardist Ian Stewart who played on the Rolling Stones albums, formed the band "Rocket 88" - which hosted the best jazz and R&B artists in England.
15. In 1986 he released the album "The Charlie Watts Orchestra Live at Fulham Town Hall" under the band "The Charlie Watts Orchestra".
(Photo: Mark Seliger)
16. From 1991 to 1996 he released 4 albums under the band "The Charlie Watts Quintet".
17. In 2000 he and drummer Jim Keltner released the album "The Charlie Watts-Jim Keltner Project".
18. In 2004 he formed a new band called "The Charlie Watts Tentet" with which he released the album "Watts at Scott's".
19. In 2010 he was a part of another band Named "The ABC & D of Boogie Woogie" with which he released two albums in 2010 and 2012. The ensemble included pianists Axel Zwingenberger, Ben Waters, and his childhood friend Dave Green on bass.
20. In 2017 he released the album "Charlie Watts meets the Danish Radio Big Band (Live At Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen" which was recorded in 2010.
21. In 1989, Watts was inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" as a member of the Rolling Stones.
22. In 2014 he performed with the Rolling Stones in Israel. He visited the Western Wall and noted that the visit was very exciting for him.
(Photo: Amit Shabi)
23. He is married to the same woman - Shirley Ann Shepherd, since 1964. Watts and his wife have an Arabian horse farm.
24. Watts has a habit of sketching every new hotel he has stayed in during the band's tour.
25. When bassist Bill Wyman decided to leave the band, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger left Watts with the decision of who would be the bassist to replace him. After many auditions, Watts chose Darryl Jones.
26. In June 2004 It was reported that Watts had been diagnosed with throat cancer, even though he had stopped smoking 15 years earlier. In October of that year, he successfully underwent surgery to remove the tumor.
27. Despite his quiet appearance Watts once punched Mick Jagger in the face after he referred to him as "my drummer".
28. Watts is known as a food dresser. The "Daily Telegraph" put him on the list of the most beautifully dressed men in the world, and in 2006, "Vanity Fair" magazine put him on the international list of the best-dressed men.
29 .. Although Watts does not have a driver's license, he holds a large collection of classic cars.
31. Watts passed away on August 24, 2021, about two months after his 80th birthday.