The Touching Charlie Watts Tribute You’ll See On The Rolling Stones’ Website

Being a drummer in a rock and roll band often means forgoing the spotlight. Sure, they get their names on Grammy Awards and their faces appear on the concert t-shirts, but most of the acclaim usually goes to the lead singer or guitarist. But real musicians would tell you the critical importance of drummers to a band. Alongside the bassist, the drummer is responsible for laying down the rhythm and keeping the time. No small feat — particularly in a giant stadium packed with screaming fans.

Maybe that’s why Charlie Watts, who died on August 24 at the age of 80, still holds such a special place in the hearts of the fans and his bandmates alike. Earlier this year, when Watts had to bow out of a planned Stones tour due to health reasons, Keith Richards spoke of the immense impact to the band just with Watts missing that tour, saying, “This has been a bit of a blow to all of us, to say the least,” (per Outsider). Sadly, that reality may be the new normal for the surviving band members.

No words necessary

Following the news of his death, fellow musicians heaped praise on the jazz-trained drummer who somehow ended up in one of the most successful rock bands of all time. Deadline gathered some of the most touching tributes, including those from Paul McCartney (who called Charlie Watts “a fantastic drummer. Steady as a rock”) and Elton John (saying of Charlie Watts, he was “the ultimate drummer”). Famed producer Nile Rodgers, meanwhile, summed up his admiration by proclaiming Watts “a smooth brother.” Even the usually acerbic Noel Gallagher of Oasis tweeted his condolences.

But if you’re a Stones fan who’d really like to get the waterworks going, you might want to take a quick trip to the band’s website. While the site is usually packed with photos, tour information, and band updates, instead there’s one stark image — no words — on a single page: Charlie Watts, wearing his signature suit and tie, arms crossed, staring straight at the camera.

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