It is, of course inevitable that ‘man born of woman hath but a short time to live’.
At times it has always seemed that the Rolling Stones may well go on forever, be it through the intervention of the dark side or Keith’s seemingly concrete constitution.
It is a hard one to accept as the Stones always like Dr. Faustus, seemed to possess qualities of eternal life.
But all good things come to an end.
It was back in 1963 that my guitar mentor and friend, Mike Leavy and I, crossed London to catch Alexis Korner’s new Rythm and Blues Club at Ealing Broadway.
Everybody turned up to give a helping hand. Rod Stewart was lurking in the shadows and then a ballsy sort of band played a great set. This was the Art Wood’s combo, featuring funnily enough Art Wood.
Then various jazz ensembles filled in before the break.
The next act was ear catching.
Three guys on stools and long hair.
I was impressed with the drummer.
He had a face like a baked haddock but he swung like no other.
This strange band featured Elmo (Brian) Jones on slide guitar and mouth harp.
The guy in the middle had longish hair and a very distinctive vocal and good mouth harp too, but the third guy looked mean… and had a penchant for peeling off lacerating Chuck Berry riffs.
In the heat and the sweat the guy in the middle introduced ‘the band’ as Brian, Mick and Keith, then with a flourish of the hand towards the drummer, …Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Charlie Watts.
He nodded once, but you could never forget him.
A legend in his own lifetime.
A true gentle man and will be sorely missed.
Charlie Watts died on August 24th. 2021.
Chris Simpson, August 27, 2021.