Authorized Biography Of The Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts Launched In London

‘Charlie’s Good Tonight: The Life, The Times and the Rolling Stones,’ by music writer and uDiscover Music contributor Paul Sexton, has forewords by both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

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'Charlie's Good Tonight' launch - Photo: Courtesy of Alan Horne
'Charlie's Good Tonight' launch - Photo: Courtesy of Alan Horne

The new authorized biography of late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts was launched at a special event on Friday night (16) at south London’s Sound Lounge venue.

Charlie’s Good Tonight: The Life, The Times and the Rolling Stones, by music writer, broadcaster, uDiscover Music contributor, and longtime Stones chronicler and interviewer Paul Sexton, has the approval of Watts’ family and is endorsed by the band themselves.

It features forewords by both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and a prelude by former band manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham, and was published in the UK on Thursday (15) by Mudlark/HarperCollins. US publication follows on October 11, after which it will be out in the Netherlands on October 24, Spain in November and numerous other countries next year.

The launch evening combined live performances with audio and video celebrating the life and work of one of the most admired musicians in the worlds of both rock and jazz. A core live band featured guitarist and Sound Lounge co-founder Keiron Marshall, bassist Terry Peaker, and drummer Nigel Appleton, with guest appearances by David Sinclair, leader of his own David Sinclair 4; rock singer Helen Hurd; Danny George Wilson, of UK Americana Award-winning bands Danny and the Champions of the World and Bennett Wilson Poole; and his frequent collaborator on guitar, Paul Lush.

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The location of the venue, one block away from the pub in Sutton formerly called the Red Lion, where the Stones played many early gigs both before and after the arrival of Watts and Bill Wyman in the line-up, was reflected in the opening live tracks. Chuck Berry‘s “Bye Bye Johnny,” with lead vocals by Sinclair and also featured on the DS4’s new Apropos Blues album, was on the Stones’ first, self-tjtled EP in January 1964; Slim Harpo’s “I’m A King Bee,” with vocals by Marshall, was on the group’s debut album three months later.

Later tracks performed on the night included another Berry composition, “Let It Rock,” again featuring Sinclair; “Time Is On My Side” and “Mixed Emotions,” both with Wilson’s lead; “Tumbling Dice,” featuring Hurd, and a closing return to the Stones’ R&B roots with “Ride ‘Em On Down,” the Eddie Taylor song covered by the band on their chart-topping 2016 album Blue & Lonesome.

Interspersed with the live performances were tracks from albums by the Stones and from Watts’ various jazz projects, selected videos, and excerpts from Sexton’s interviews with the band, whom he has been interviewing since the early 1990s. Guests at the event, featured in the book, included Watts’ tailor and shoemaker respectively, Dario and John Carnera, and Nettie Baker, daughter of Ginger, with whom Charlie had a lifelong friendship.

Listen to the best of the Rolling Stones on Apple Music and Spotify.

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