Charlie Watts Wouldn’t Be Bothered If The Rolling Stones Called It Quits

After a 55 year-run, the Rolling StonesCharlie Watts wouldn’t be heartbroken if the band finally called it quits. During a new interview with The Guardian, the 76-year-old drummer spoke frankly about life after the Stones, admitting, “I love playing the drums and I love playing with Mick (Jagger), and Keith (Richards), and Ronnie (Wood), I don’t know about the rest of it. It wouldn’t bother me if the Rolling Stones said that’s it. . . enough. I don’t know what I would do if I stopped. Keith is a great one for saying once you’re going, keep going. The big worry for me is being well enough. We don’t work like we used to fortunately. There are huge gaps between each show.”

Watts, who survived a brief dalliance with heroin in the mid-1980’s, explained that the Stones’ infamous days of being a hard partying band on tour is a long way away from the doting grandfathers on the road today: “We are getting to that elderly period, so it’s a good thing not to. When you’re 40 and you’ve got a hangover you get up and have another drink and you’re off again. I don’t think we could do it nowadays. . . at this age. Smoking and drinking are not like they were in the ’50s. In the ’40s and ’50s every film star smoked. You’d never see a film star now drinking or smoking, it’s not fashionable, I’m glad to say. In another way it has ruined jazz clubs. . . they are totally unlike what I would consider a club. They have become very clinical.”

  • Watts said above all else, he would want the Stones to end as close friends: “I would hate it to dissolve not amicably. I would like Mick to say, or me or Keith or whoever. . . I don’t want to do it any more, for whatever reason, and we just say that’s it. I wouldn’t want it to be an argument or whatever.”
  • Watts explained that his personal interests have always rested far away from the circus of the rock world: [“Y’know, I’ve never fallen into (the) celebrity rock star thing. I’ve always looked to other people who aren’t in that world with much more awe than rock n’ roll.”] SOUNDCUE (:11 OC: . . . rock n’ roll)
  • Charlie Watts says that had it never been for the Stones, he would’ve remained safe and sound in his jazz-based world: [“Keith Richards taught me rock n’ roll. We had nothing to do all day, but we’d just play these records over and over again, and I learned to love people like Muddy Waters and people like that, through an intensive three-year crash course, you might say. And Keith turned me on to how good Elvis Presley was. I use to hate him until then. Elvis was like the least sort of person I’d ever want. . . I mean, Miles Davis was more what I would — that’s what I consider someone. Not Elvis, y’know?”] SOUNDCUE (:29 OC: . . . not Elvis y’know)
  • The Rolling Stones will next perform on May 17th in Dublin, Ireland.