Charlie Watts was undoubtedly one of the greatest drummers of this generation. The whole approach to song and the way of drums was all shared from the love of classic Blues and Rock n’ Roll. Not only he but also the former drummer of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham shared the same passion until his death in 1980.
Charlie Watts has influenced many generations of musicians all over the world. While talking about the Rock and Roll musicians and the Blues influences. He shared, “A lot of white bands to me are vastly overrated. I say white bands because most of the music I love to play on record is by black American musicians, 40s and 50s stuff.”
“When white musicians did get hold of the blues, they seemed compelled to expand it in all directions: Led Zeppelin, Cream, 15-minute versions of Crossroads. The Stones never did. Zeppelin was amazing. Just the sound of Bonham and Jimmy Page was an amazing sound in itself, without anything else. And then you had the fact that they were bloody good players.” This was in an interview with Classic Rock magazine back in 2012.
Bonham was one of the very last members to join Led Zeppelin. When The Yard birds went on its way, Jimmy was looking for a new set of musicians. He soon found a singer named Robert Plant and offered him the space. But still, there was a place for a drummer, and that was when Robert suggested his old drummer John Bonham. Plant remembered in Led Zeppelin in Their Own Words, “I got so enthusiastic that I hitched back to Oxford and chased after John, got him to one side at a gig and said, ‘Look mate, you’ve got to join.'”
Also in an interview with Rolling Stone back in 2005, Charlie was asked about John Bonham and others. He answered, “I think they would if they wanted to (..). There’s no reason why they shouldn’t if people turn up to see them. There are guys in our road crew who can do what I do. They see me play every night. It’s like Buddy Rich — his roadie used to do all the rehearsals with the band. The greatest thing, I suppose, is the combination of the four of us.”
“The Stones is that. Technical ability is another thing. It’s like the Who. They’ve had some fine drummers. They’ve got one now — Ringo Starr’s son Zak. He’s great. He’s not Keith Moon. That was a personality. Pete Townshend and Keith — they were fantastically mad, the pair of them, onstage. John Bonham was the same as Led Zeppelin — it was a sound, thunderous. And you couldn’t have Cream without Ginger Baker.”
Legendary drummer Charlie Watts died at the age of 80, a year ago in August. The news was heart-shattering. The official statement about his death stated, “It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts. He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.”
“Charlie was a cherished husband, father, and grandfather and also a member of The Rolling Stones one of the greatest drummers of his generation. We kindly request the privacy of his family, band members, and close friends be respected at this difficult time.”