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Charlie Watts obituary: Jazz man who became rock superstar

As well as his musical ability, his graphic design experience also proved useful. He came up with the sleeve for 1967 album Between the Buttons, and helped create the stage sets which became an increasingly important feature of the band's tours.

In the mid-1980s, during what he put down to a mid-life crisis, Watts went off the rails with drink and drugs, leading to heroin addiction. "It got so bad," he later quipped, "that even Keith Richards, bless him, told me to get it together." At the same time, his wife was battling her own alcoholism. and his daughter Seraphina had became something of a "wild child", being expelled from the prestigious Millfield public school for smoking cannabis.

Watts' relations with Jagger, too, had reached an all-time low. On one famous occasion, in an Amsterdam hotel in 1984, a drunken Jagger reportedly woke Watts up by bellowing down the phone "Where's my drummer?" Watts responded by going round to the singer's room, hitting him with a left hook, and saying: "Don't ever call me 'your drummer' again, you're my f***ing singer." The crisis lasted two years and it was Shirley, above all, who helped him get through it.


Always well turned out - he had featured in several lists of best dressed men - Watts kept his feet firmly on the ground throughout his career with one of the world's most enduring bands. "It's supposed to be sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll," he once said. "I'm not really like that. I've never really seen the Rolling Stones as anything."


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Was Charlie freinds with Ginger Baker - i know their styles were completly different but if there is thunder in the sky over England tonight .....

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I am not well versed into the Stones as I am with Springsteen, but I have this Philippe Margotin / Jean-Michel Guesdon book. Once in a while I take it from the shelf, open a page at random, read the story of the song on that page and listen simultaneously on youtube to the studio recording of the song


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So sad, still remember seeing the Stones live for the first time in the late 90s. For me, the Stones were a gateway to discover Bruce and so many other great artists. 

Always loved his unflappable nature and seemingly being completely non-plussed about being part of the Stones! 

They won't be the same without him. 

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