The Rolling Stones have shared a moving video tribute to their late drummer Charlie Watts, who died on Tuesday at the age of 80. It features an affectionately chosen selection of clips and images of the great man from throughout his near 60-year tenure with the rock legends. The film has also been published on Mick Jagger’s Twitter feed.
The two-minute film plays to the well-chosen accompaniment of the Stones’ “If You Can’t Rock Me,” the opening song from their 1974 album It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll, on which Jagger sings: “The band’s on stage and it’s one of those nights, oh, yeah/The drummer thinks that he is dynamite, oh, yeah.”
Material in the tribute includes Watts’ own memories of how he joined the band, after they had courted him for several months, in January 1963. “So when the Stones asked me to join, they talked in terms of a band, you know?” He says. Commitment, in other words. So I thought ‘Oh, this’ll go on a year, and then next year, it’ll fold up.”
Jagger is also seen introducing Watts in a Stones gig at Wembley, using his occasional nickname “the Wembley whammer.” In another amusing clip, the Stones greet the media at a press conference and Mick, mindful of Charlie’s hatred of interviews and public speaking, says “If you have any questions, Charlie will answer all of them.”
The Stones are due to start the rescheduled resumption of the new leg of their No Filter tour on September 26 in St. Louis, with Watts’ place at the drumkit taken by the band’s friend, seasoned drummer and producer Steve Jordan. Dates continue into early November.
All content is currently removed from the Rolling Stones’ official website, which features only an image of Charlie dressed as impeccably as ever in one of his tailored suits.