How Charlie Watts had a varied musical career beyond the Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who died aged 80, had a varied career in the music industry.

Before hitting the big time with the internationally acclaimed band, which he joined in 1963, Watts was known for playing London clubs and performing with several jazz bands.

It is said that this is how he met his future bandmates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Close


Charlie Watts (Jane Barlow/PA)

Pennsylvania

Charlie Watts (Jane Barlow/PA)

However, after joining the band and beginning his journey to global stardom, Watts continued to pursue his own side projects without his Stones bandmates.

Besides being a musician, Watts was also an avid artist and in 1964 published Ode To A High Flying Bird, a comic book tribute to jazz musician Charlie Parker.

Despite the success found playing rock and roll, Watts maintained her interest in other genres of music.

In the late 1970s he also formed the supergroup Rocket 88 alongside Ian Stewart, Alexis Korner and Dick Morrissey.

The boogie-woogie band went on to record a number of albums, including their 1981 self-titled release which was recorded during a live performance in Hannover, Germany.

Close

Charlie Watts (Joel Ryan/PA)


Charlie Watts (Joel Ryan/PA)

Pennsylvania

Charlie Watts (Joel Ryan/PA)

During the 1980s he also played jazz with the Charlie Watts Orchestra.

The following decade he began performing with the Charlie Watts Quintet, the band paying more homage to Parker, who was a major musical influence on the drummer.

The group then recorded the albums From One Charlie and Warm & Tender.

In 2004 he also released Watts At Scotts, a recording of him playing at London jazz club Ronnie Scott’s alongside a group of other musicians.

Around the same time, he was also performing with The ABC&D Of Boogie Woogie.