Charlie Watts 'like a father' to Mick and Keith

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Charlie Watts credit:Bang Showbiz
Charlie Watts credit:Bang Showbiz

Charlie Watts was like a "father" to the rest of The Rolling Stones.

The 'Start Me Up' group's touring photographer, Denis O’Regan, has recalled how the late drummer - who passed away at the age of 80 on August 24 - was always the first to stop any squabbling between frontman Sir Mick Jagger, 78, and guitarist Keith Richards, 77, who often butted heads.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror newspaper, Denis recalled taking photographs of the iconic sticksman in the French Riviera in 1982 and how "placid" he was.

He said: “It was the only European tour the Stones did between 1976 and 1990. After that they informally broke up because of Mick and Keith falling out – it was always Charlie who got them back together again.

“He was always the person to go to sort issues, he was like their dad. To me, he was the father in the band - the oldest and the most placid unless severely provoked.”

The photographer - who has also taken pictures of the likes of Queen and David Bowie - hailed Charlie for his "dry sense of humour".

He said: “He was down to earth. He could come across as miserable, because he would observe, sit in the corner doing his thing. But when you chatted to him, that dry sense of humour came out.”

On his passing, Denis added: “It’s really sad because he was so lovely. I had a premonition that not every band would come out of lockdown intact. Unfortunately, Charlie was the one.”

Denis sharing his memories of photographing Charlie comes after The Rolling Stones paid tribute to their bandmate in a video.

The 'Satisfaction' rockers honoured him with a montage of moments from his life and career.

A two-minute clip posted on the band's social media accounts was set to the 1974 track 'If You Can't Rock Me' and featured a number of videos and photos from Charlie's years with the Stones.

One video shows Charlie talking about when he first joined the band and how he only expected The Rolling Stones to last for a year.

He said: "When the Stones asked me to join, they talked in terms of a band, a commitment, in other words.

"So I was like, 'Oh, this will go on a year, and then next year, it'll fold up.'"

A photo also shows Charlie rolling his eyes at the antics of Mick.

It concludes with an image of Charlie's drum kit with a "closed" sign hanging on it, which was posted by Keith on social media in tribute following his passing.

Charlie's death was announced on Tuesday (24.08.21) by his publicist Bernard Doherty.

In a statement, he said: "It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts.

"He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.

"Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also as a member of The Rolling Stones one of the greatest drummers of his generation.

"We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time."

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