Clap Hands, There Goes Charlie

Charlie Watts Steinegg Live Festival Italy 2010 a Collepietra - Bolzano via DonClemente12F67 Wikimedia Commons

The world of public affairs seems to bring nothing but grief these days, from Joe Biden’s humiliation of America in Afghanistan to Nancy Pelosi’s latest spending orgy on the House floor. It’s already Tuesday afternoon, and there’s been no good news this week.

So, why should the world of entertainment be any different?

This week began with bad news, indeed: Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones’ veteran drummer, passed away Monday at age 80. Defying medical science and, indeed, the laws of physics, the Stones’ legendary lead guitarist, Keith Richards, has outlived Watts — who might have been this keystone rock group’s cleanest-living member.

As a long-time fan of the Stones, I was sorry to see the steadiest drummer in rock and roll slow, ironically, to a complete lack of rhythm. 

I fondly recall first seeing Watts play with his bandmates in Los Angeles when I was in 11th grade. Some friends and I straight-out ditched high school to see the Stones lead an all-day extravaganza at the L.A. Coliseum. Bill Graham Presents staged a major stadium blowout: Prince, Loverboy, George Thorogood, Journey, and the Rolling Stones. Prince was so new to the scene that he opened the entire show. In fact, none of us ever even had heard of this act. We reckoned that Prince was a Queen tribute!

The Stones capped a long, sunny day of hard-rocking teen spirit. Charlie Watts’ incredibly reliable, simple pace on his drum kit was a huge part of what made that event so memorable.

I am in L.A. right now, visiting family and loved ones. The radio stations here played a beggar’s banquet of Stones yesterday. I dined with friends here last night. We played the Some Girls, Emotional Rescue, and Tattoo You albums. GREAT stuff. And we marveled at each and every one of Mr. Watts’ snare hits and cymbal crashes.

What a sound. What a player. What a man.

Every red-blooded music fan will miss him.

Rock in peace, Charlie Watts.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

  1. May him rest in peace. Sad the the article didn’t mention his biggest accomplishment. The man was married to his wife for 57 years.
    Personally I didn’t care much for their music maybe 4 or 5 songs but 57 years and be in that rock star environment. My hats off to the man. Now he IS A ROLE MODEL.

    1. Yes he is role model for our youths to become members of drug fueled rock and roll bands.
      You freaking moron.

      1. Leave it to YOU..A typical dim to F things up about this article about him..Just like you dims F up everything else you touch…

  2. He was one Fine Man and a Drummer Superb.
    The stones will continue, I wonder if they’ll have the same sound.
    Thank You Charlie for all the great Years.
    Forever Stones. . . . . .

    1. Thank you Charlie, and Mick, for introducing generations of our youth to joys of drugs and deviant sex practises.

  3. Do the Rolling Stones define true Conservatism?
    Does Trump using YMCA as his theme song define him as gay.

  4. Good music from the Rollin Stones, Beatles, Byrds, Lovin Spoonful, Turtles, and Spencer Davis Group, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Peter and Gordon, Animals, and Kinks. Rock on man.


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