A rare interview with Charlie Watts finds him ruminating on what makes the Rolling Stones work, five decades in — and his own good fortune to have been there with them for so long.
“Very lucky,” Watts admits in this clip.
Watts, who came to the band as a budding jazz player, has always cut one of the more intriguing figures in the Rolling Stones. He’s as natty and erudite as Keith Richards is scraggly and dangerous. But Richards has long pegged the band’s beginning not with his meeting of Mick Jagger, but with the day Watts walked in the door in 1963.
The drummer, for his part, says that audition presented like another part time gig, at the time.
“When I was asked to turn up the road to rehearse, the Rolling Stones were just another band to me — and it was going to last as long as the others, three months or a year,” Watts tells 60 Minutes Australia, where the “Stones on Fire” tour will stop in 2014.
50 years later, nobody has a better perspective on the Rolling Stones’ towering legacy: “Mick Jagger, apart from being a really good lyricist, is the best frontman in the world,” Watts says. Richards, meanwhile “is the best rhythm guitar player, he’s a one off.” Second guitarist Ronnie Wood “can do, and play, anything.”
As for the typically deterential Watts’ assessment of his own place in all of this?: “I’ve got no idea what he’s like. Miserable, most of the time. (Laughs.) Sitting in the back, moaning about things.”
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