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Charlie Watts

Charlie WattsAKA Charles Robert Watts

Born: 2-Jun-1941
Birthplace: Islington, England

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Drummer

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Drummer for the Rolling Stones

As a child, Watts's earliest memories were of German bombs exploding in the neighborhood, as he ran with his family to the air-raid shelter. After the war, young Watts pounded loudly on things until his parents got him a drum set. A sensible young man, he attended art college and later worked as a commercial artist for an ad agency. In his evening hours, he drummed with a jazz band called Blues By Five, and later with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated Watts and his Korner bandmate Brian Jones would occasionally jam with a couple of smart-aleck kids who were trying to put together a rock'n'roll band, and soon Jones joined their group.

The lead singer was Mick Jagger, with Jones and Keith Richards on guitar. They had called themselves Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys, but soon changed it to the Rolling Stones, and recruited bassist Bill Wyman. When Watts joined, he sensibly held on to his day job for several months, until the Stones secured an eight-month gig at the Crawdaddy Club near London.

Watts hasn't succumbed to the insanity of high-profile rock'n'roll. Watts briefly dabbled with heroin and was occasionally seen drunk in the 1980s, but he kicked both habits without intervention. There have been no drug busts, no rehab sessions, no embarrassing sex scandals, no arrests, and very little drama. He met and married Shirley, his eventual wife, before the band had its first big hit, and they remain married today. Through four decades of precisely drummed rhythm, Watts has remained a workmanlike, unflamboyant journeyman musician. "I don't like leaving home", he says, "never have ... but you can't be in a band and not play."

Watts has always thought of himself as a jazzman, and between Stones tours he played in the 1980s with a travelling jazz festival. His solo albums have all been jazz. In the 1990s, he formed the Charlie Watts Quintet, which has gradually expanded to a tentet, specializing in standards like "I've Got a Crush on You", "Stairway to the Stars", and "In the Still of the Night".

In June of 2004, Watts was diagnosed with throat cancer. At last report he was receiving radiation therapy as an outpatient at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea, near his southwest London home. Doctors say his prognosis is good.

Father: Charles Watts (truck driver)
Mother: Lily Watts
Sister: Linda Watts
Wife: Shirley (m. 14-Oct-1964, one daughter)
Daughter: Seraphina Watts (b. 1968)

    University: Tylers Croft Secondary Modern School
    University: Harrow Art College

    The Rolling Stones Drummer
    Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated Drummer until 1962
    Risk Factors: Throat Cancer, Smoking, Heroin

    The Quiet One (2-May-2019) · Himself
    12-12-12 (1-Nov-2013) · Himself
    Crossfire Hurricane (18-Oct-2012) · Himself
    Beware of Mr. Baker (10-Mar-2012)
    Shine a Light (7-Feb-2008) · Himself
    The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (12-Oct-1996) · Himself
    Let's Spend the Night Together (11-Feb-1983) · Himself
    Cocksucker Blues (1972) · Himself
    Gimme Shelter (6-Dec-1970) · Himself
    Sympathy for the Devil (30-Nov-1968) · Himself
    The T.A.M.I. Show (29-Dec-1964) · Himself

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