Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just Lovely Charles

I cheated myself, or my abilities rather, by not picking up on Charlie Watts' no nonsense, top-groove swing earlier in my days than I did. It wasn't until the early 80's when drummers began paring down their kits to 3 or 4 pieces-a reaction to seventies style monolithic trapeze sets-that I scratched my head and realized Charlie has been using that same 4 piece (most likely Gretsch) set-up for close to 2 decades. I'm sure during some Spinal Tapian moment, I looked at his style, kit and dress and thought: "By God, Where's The Thunder?" Not until Tumblin' Dice did I realize, maybe this guy, this...jazzer, doesn't rock as much as he swings. Aren't AHA moments just embarrassing sometimes?
One of my favorite stories, this recollection taken from Wikipedi, recounts an intoxicated Jagger calling Charlie Watts' hotel room late one night asking where "His Drummer" was. To which, Charlie got up from bed, shaved, donned suit/tie and shoes then descended the hotel stairs to find Jagger, punch him and shout:"Don't ever call me your drummer again. You're My Fucking Singer!"
Charlie Watts sartorial style was addressed by the British newspaper The Telegraph who named him one of the World's Best Dressed Men. In 2006, Vanity Fair elected Watts into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame, joining his style icon, Fred Astaire.

Recount of Jagger/Watts episode and Watts' Stylin' accomplishments from Wikipedia
Photo from efeeme.com

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