"Papa was a rolling stone..."
This is of course a lyric to the hit song by the same name from The Temptations. But this lyric actually rang true in a very literal sense for a music icon who just passed away on Tuesday.
Charlie Watts, the iconic drummer for the world-famous Rolling Stones passed away at the ripe old age of 80-years-old.
The man lived a good long life. 80 seems short, but at the same time, it is longer than most people live.
Watts was one of the greatest drummers of all time and I'm sure the best 80-year-old drummer in the world at the time.
Born in London in 1941, Watts began drumming as a teenager, and after a brief stint working in Copenhagen, joined Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’s then-fledgling band the Rolling Stones in 1963. From then on, Watts remained the group’s drummer for over half a century of recordings and touring, complementing Jagger’s vocals, Richards’s guitar work, and Bill Wyman’s bass with his Charlie Parker–inspired drumming to give the band its distinctive, blues-inflected sound. In addition to drumming, Watts applied his graphic-design training to design the Rolling Stones’ touring sets and record-sleeve artwork. Watts married his wife, Shirley, in 1964 and the couple remained together throughout his life. Earlier this August, Watts announced that he would not participate in the band’s No Filter tour, due to an unexpected medical procedure from which he was recuperating. “For once my timing has been a little off,” he said in a statement at the time. He had previously undergone treatment for throat cancer in 2004. Watts is survived by his wife and daughter
His passing comes just weeks after dropping out of the U.S. tour due to some sort of medical procedure, likely related to his passing. He'll definitely be missed and the Rolling Stones will never be the same.
Photo Credit: Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory