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Now Keeping Time With the Legends: A Tribute To Charlie Watts (1941-2021)

Another music legend has left us. Clearly, we are in an age where this will become all too commonplace. Each person’s passing will affect us as uniquely as did their music. One can read about Charlie in any number of places, but I would like to share a few personal thoughts.

I was born the same year “Satisfaction” changed the world forever. That song and many Stones’ classics will endure well after we are all gone. Songs that stand the test of time do so because of unwavering support. Charlie Watts was the pillar of The Rolling Stones.

I discovered The Stones in the mid-70s when songs like “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Heartbreaker” permeated the airwaves. This is still my favorite period for their music. As a kid, I didn’t understand Charlie’s gift for understated flair or ultra-precision. And I surely didn’t understand the more than a liberal dose of Jazz he brought to the overall sound. As I matured, my appreciation for music and for his art grew. I don’t play drums, but I can hear how his playing stood head and shoulders above so many. I can only imagine what a drummer’s ear might hear.

I remember, even back in the 70s and 80s, he appeared to be a bit more dignified than his counterparts. He personified the image of the English gentleman. With his being in the rock band, I am sure certain indulgences took place, yet he seemed to be on a more refined level. He brought an air a class to the world of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Respectable and respected.

Charlie was an accomplished Jazz musician as well. Highly regarded in Jazz circles, he recorded with many of the best. I learned this several years ago and being a lover of Jazz, I was intrigued. I sought out his Jazz works and that of course lead to many other discoveries. I know many others have discovered the beauty of Jazz solely because of his name recognition. I am sure the Jazz world is reeling as well.

The Rolling Stones, his multiple Jazz outfits, all flow because of a perfect assembly of individuals. But just like in life, without the proper support, it all comes crashing down. Charlie was the pillar for them all.

Rest in peace, sir. We know you are keeping time with other legends…and probably showing them a thing or two.

Come on in!

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