Charlie Watts

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Charlie Watts Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £30.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

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Latest update: 1/9/15

Ten years of working and forty years of ‘hangin’ around’! as Charlie so aptly puts it – life with the Stones has clearly been anything but plain sailing. Nevertheless, the laconic drummer remains an essential lynchpin in a musical juggernaut that stills rolls, despite his battle with throat cancer ten years ago, and a love of life on the stud farm, raising thoroughbred stallions with his wife Shirley.

He’s been the quiet one at the back, but he’s observed it all.

The curiosity with Watts is that r’n‘b and rock are not his musical passion. On the contrary, swing and boogie woogie remain the two genres that Watts has consistently explored outside of the Stones. He has recorded and performed with his own big band, and has been part of two boogie woogie ensembles – Rocket 88 and the more recent ABC&D of Boogie Woogie, both of these outfits also featuring his childhood neighbour and best friend, bassist Dave Green. He’d be just as happy playing in a pub with them as traipsing around the globe with his day job. “It’s two pianos and my friend Dave on bass and it’s great fun,” he says. “There’s no other band like it really. And it’s piano heaven, which is kind of nice for me because there are no guitars.”

That last comment is a throwback to his youth, when he taught himself to play while listening to jazz records on which guitar wasn’t a main feature.

Recommended listening

‘The Rolling Stones Story’ (BBC Radio Series) 1973

Host Alexis Korner

First broadcast 7 April-11 May, 1973

Episode 1: The Early Days
Episode 2: The Rise To Fame
Episode 3: The Weekend Starts Here
Episode 4: At Their Britannic Majesties Behest
Episode 5: Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself
Episode 6: Up To Date And Where To Now ?

An interesting ‘timepiece,’ this series boasts the unique broadcasting voice of blues legend Alexis Korner, but manages to skim through the Stones’ story with undue haste. If “The Beatles Story” condensed an eleven year recording period 1962-73 into fourteen one hour episodes, the Stones were deserving of equal airtime. Still, there’s some insightful comments from all concerned, including that late, great general factotum Ian “Stu” Stewart.

Korner was a close friend of the band, and after describing the death of Brian Jones (he had been there to offer support and encouragement to his friend in his final days), he simply played a gospel recording of ‘This Little Light’ which he said Brian would have enjoyed.

BBC Radio 6 would rebroadcast the series in 2012, initial misgivings about the series’ brevity, now outweighed by the distinct whiff of nostalgia for afternoons spent inside my father’s car listening to the programmes in glorious stereo.

Desert Island Discs - BBC Radio 4 (2/3/01)

Reflecting his love of jazz and classical music, Charlie’s still capable of the odd surprise, including – as he did – a classic Hancock recording with Sid James – “The Reunion Party.”

Recommended reading

Rolling Stones Gear: All the Stones' Instruments from Stage to Studio - Andy Babiuk & Greg Prevost (2014)

ROLLING STONES GEAR is the first book to historically document all of the Rolling Stones’ musical equipment. Researched and written over a nine year period, it’s an exhaustive 650 page opus that recounts The Rolling Stones story from a fresh perspective : their history as told through the instruments they used.

The book covers not only the group’s personal background, but also every tour and studio session from their inception in 1962 to date, with detailed documentation illustrating what instruments and equipment were used during these periods. Every song recorded by the band, including demos and out-takes are also documented, with input from within the Stones’ ranks as well as from people who were involved with the band.

The lavishly illustrated tome contains hundreds of photographs and rare images, many of which have never been published, including The Rolling Stones’ actual guitars and equipment, which were specially photographed for this book and are seen for the first time. Naturally, I own the book. You really wouldn’t expect me to tell you anything different would you?!!

A publication I cannot recommend highly enough, for both the casual music reader and die-hard Stones fan in equal measure.