At 80, life turns down the watts on Charlie. May he roll in peace

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At 80, life turns down the watts on Charlie. May he roll in peace

This is how the Rolling Stones drummer infused one of the greatest rock n roll bands with a little jazz

Victor Coelho

In an era when rock drummers were larger-than-life showmen with big kits and egos to match, Charlie Watts remained the quiet man behind a modest drum set. But Watts wasn’t your typical rock drummer.

Part of The Rolling Stones set-up from 1963 until his death at the age of 80 on Tuesday, Watts provided the backbeat to their greatest hits by injecting jazz sensibilities — and swing — into the Stones’ sound.

As a musicologist and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Rolling Stones, as well as a fan who has seen the band live more than 20 times over the past five decades, I see Watts as being integral to its success...

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