The late English musician Charlie Watts is one of the biggest names in the music world. And it is not surprising at all because he was the drummer of the legendary rock band the Rolling Stones. According to an American music journalist Rob Sheffield, Watts was rock’s ultimate drum god. This means that he was a really important member of the band as he made the Rolling Stones’ music more alive than it already was and clearly he also had a big hand in making the Rolling Stones one of the most popular and iconic bands of all time.
And band members knew how valuable Watts was to them which is why Keith Richards said that Watts gives him the liberty to fly on stage. We have already mentioned that Watts is one of the greatest and even if you’re the greatest there is someone’s skill that you really admire, so does Watts have any drummers who he liked or said his favorite?
Well, there is not one but Charlie has mentioned several drummers as his favorite, and certainly, we will be discussing it further in the article.
Who are Charlie Watts’ favorite drummers?
As mentioned Watts has mentioned some of his favorite drummers of all time including Max Roach, Jerry Allison, Joe Morello, Elvin Jones, Buddy Rich, and more. So what did he say about these drummers? we will also discuss this in this piece.
If you don’t who Jerry Allison is then how about The Crickets? they were the American rock band from the late 1950s and your guess is correct, Allison was the drummer of the band. His name may not come in the list of greatest drummers however, he is one of Charlie’s favorite drummers.
Furthermore, while talking to Modern Drummer Watts said that Allison’s brilliant. He said, “Another drummer who’s quite brilliant is Jerry Allison, He doesn’t really play the drums—he plays the songs, and that is really more important within the context of that music.”
Some of you might not know who Max is well, he was a Jazz drummer from the 50s. However, if you are a drum guy yourself then you must know who he is because Roach is one of the important figures in the drumming community. Moreover, he has worked with many musicians including Duke Ellington. And he also played with McCoy Tyner’s band, where Watts happened to see him.
Watts said that he saw him with Tyner’s band when they were at Carnegie Hall and he said that his drumming skills were lovely. Furthermore, Watts said, “He’s [Max Roach] incredible. He just starts off playing ‘boom dit, boom dit.’ And he builds that up. Quite brilliant.”
Rich is one of the most legendary as well as inspirational drummers of all time. Although we are talking about drummers, he was also a great songwriter. Well, there is not much to say about Rich because he is the greatest, what more could we say?
Well, let’s hear what Watts had to say, he said, “He’s an incredible man, isn’t he? The history of that guy is amazing, some of the introductions he plays are sort of ridiculous, really, and he’s only using two drums! That’s not all he’s got, but he just uses two. I just listen to Buddy’s music. I can’t copy that. I think you get to a point where you watch something just to enjoy it.”
He further said, “Oh, he’s the most wonderful drummer.’ I think the whole lot is what’s more enjoyable.”
Jones is another greatest drummers who started his career in 1949. And an interesting thing is that Charlie was often compared to Jones. And sometime after Jones’ death, Watts even paid a tribute by recording a song with American drummer Jim Keltner. The song is called The Elvin Suite and it was released back in 2000.
Morello is also another Jazz drummer who was popular for his involvement in the music of Dave Brubeck as a drummer. He is considered unique as well as one of the greatest drum players of all time. Watts also talked about Morello and said, “Joe Morello is the first guy I saw that was the prettiest player I’d ever seen in my life, Joe Morello as a drummer—apart from being quite brilliant—his style was something else to look at. I used to sit and watch him just to see his hands.”
Waller was a great English drummer who used to play with many popular artists including Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney. However, Watts himself never said that he loved Waller or was one of his favorites but it was Pete Sears who said that Waller was one of Watts’ favorite drummers.
Sears said, “Micky Waller was one of Charlie Watts’ favorite drummers. They were really close.” Well, it might be very true because Sears was also a close friend of Watts.
Furthermore, according to Charlie Watts and Chet Falzerano’s book “Charlie Watts’ Favorite Drummers,” there are several more drummers who are said to be Watts’ favorites including Art Taylor, Tony Williams, Chico Hamilton, Art Blakey, Big Sid Catlett, Papa Jo Jones, Ginger Baker, and more.