Charlie Watts Rolling Stones autograph photograph
Black and White promo from 2008.
Charles Robert “Charlie” Watts (born 2 June 1941) is an English drummer. Best known as a member of The Rolling Stones. Originally trained as a graphic artist, he started playing drums in London’s rhythm and blues clubs. Where he met Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards. In 1963, he joined their group, the Rolling Stones, as the drummer. While doubling as a designer of their record sleeves and tour stages. He has also toured with his own group, the Charlie Watts Quintet. He appeared at London’s prestigious jazz-club Ronnie Scott’s with the Charlie Watts Tentet.
In 2006, Watts was elected into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame. In the same year, Vanity Fair elected him into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. The estimation of noted music critic Robert Christgau, Watts is “rock’s greatest drummer.” In 2016, he was ranked 12th on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time” list.
As a child, Watts lived in Wembley. Many of Wembley’s houses had been destroyed by German bombs during World War II. Watts and his family lived in a prefabricated home, as did many in the community. Watts’s neighbour Dave Green, was a childhood friend, and they remain, friends, today; Green went on to become a jazz bass player. Green recalls that as boys, “we discovered 78rpm records. Charlie had more records than I did… We used to go to Charlie’s bedroom and just get these records out.” Watts’ earliest records were jazz recordings; he remembers owning 78 RPM records of Jelly Roll Morton, and Charlie Parker. Green recalls that Watts also “had the one with Monk and the Johnny Dodge Trio. Charlie was ahead of me in listening and acquisitions.