I love The Beatles as much as the next guy. But when you get right down to it, I’m a Rolling Stones fan. More than that: I’m a Charlie Watts fan. For my money, he’s not just the jazzy, swinging heartbeat of the world’s greatest rock ’n’ roll band; he’s the world’s greatest drummer by a long shot. (Those of you who prefer Ringo, Neil, Bonzo or whoever are all entitled to your opinion, even though you are wrong. Sorry.)
So hearing that Watts has died at age 80 — after a surgical procedure that forced him to bow out of the band’s upcoming North American tour dates — was nothing short of awful. I am actually sadder than I have been after the deaths of people I know, and I never met or interviewed Charlie. I can’t even imagine how Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are handling the loss of someone who’s literally had their backs for nearly 60 years. But fellow Stones fan and Sonic Reducers collaborator Eric Alper and I will try in today’s segment. Join us as we mourn the one and only Charlie Watts, share our thoughts on his importance, and ponder whether this will (or should) mark the end of The Rolling Stones. Sonic Reducers. One topic. Two music nerds. Five minutes. Everything you need to know. Farewell, Charlie.