The legends of rock and roll tell what Charlie Watts meant to them

When Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts, died on Wednesday, it took only minutes before his friends and colleagues in the music world let us know how much Watts influenced them. Some of the words that were used frequently included elegant, dignified and class. Here are a few of the tributes:

Paul McCartney: “So sad to hear about Charlie Watts, the Stones drummer dying, He was a lovely guy, and I knew he was ill, but I didn’t know he was this ill. So lots of love to his family, his wife and kids, his extended family. And condolences to the Stones, it will be a huge blow to them because Charlie was a rock. A fantastic drummer, steady as a rock. Love you, Charlie. I’ve always loved you, beautiful man. Great condolences and sympathies to his family.”

Peter Gabriel: “Charlie was an elegant, generous and modest musician and brilliantly provided the living, rhythmic foundation on which so much of this soundtrack to our lives was built.”

Joan Jett: “Charlie Watts was the most elegant and dignified drummer in rock and roll. He played exactly what was needed – no more – no less. He is one of a kind.

Robbie Robertson: “Charlie’s drumming is powerful and unique. His approach is entirely his own and helped shape the sound of rock and roll.

Tom Morello: “Rock n roll would not be rock n roll without the rhythm, the style, the VIBE of this incredible musician.

Steven Van Zandt: “Oh no! This is terribly shocking. Not just one of the greatest drummers in one of the greatest bands of all time, but a gentleman’s gentleman. He singlehandedly brought the Rock world some real class. Rock and Roll will miss him profoundly. We are significantly less without him.

Elton John: “A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company.

When you’re shown respect and love from the people who play the same instrument, it means that much more. Here’s what some drummers had to say about Charlie:

Mickey Hart, from the Grateful Dead: “A colossus in the world of rock ‘n’ roll drumming. His hands and feet danced like Nureyev, so elegant, so graceful.”

Questlove: The heartbeat of Rock & Roll. The Great Charlie Watts. 

Lol Tolhurst from The Cure: All of my hi-hat technique I owe to Charlie. Thank you and RIP Charlie Watts.

Stuart Copeland from The Police: He was a quiet giant.

Max Weinberg from the E-Street Band: But there was only one Charlie Watts. I can’t express what Charlie Watts meant to me as an individual and certainly as an icon of music, and not just in rock.

Finally, saying what we all feel is another drummer from a band called The Beatles. Ringo Starr, whose photo with Watts sharing a drum stick is at the top:  “God bless Charlie Watts. We’re going to miss you, man. Peace and love to the family.”

Related Post: Will the Rolling Stones go on without Charlie Watts?

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