Charlie Watts, who died on Tuesday (24/8) aged 80, has always been characterized as one of the most laid-back members of the Rolling Stones.
The British band’s drummer always showed a more affable personality and tried to avoid being the center of the group’s attention by giving few interviews.
However, more than 50 years of trajectory with the group is a long way and hundreds of situations emerged from this coexistence that now, at the time of his death, have been remembered by many.
One of the most talked about cases was the fight, including a punch, that the calm Watts had with Mick Jagger himself – which shows that their relationship was marked by ups and downs.
The reason for the dispute: the singer referred to him as “my drummer”.
The incident was described in Life, the autobiography of Stones guitarist Keith Richards published in 2010, and also in the book Under their thumb (How a Good Boy Mixed With the Rolling Stones), written by Bill German, editor of a Rolling Stones fanzine who followed the band closely for nearly two decades and secured interviews and unpublished material.
According to the latter, the fight took place in Amsterdam, in 1984, when Jagger was one of the most famous people in the world.
The group held a meeting in the Netherlands to discuss whether they should continue or break up.
“None of this should matter to you because you’re just my drummer,” Jagger told Watts, according to the German publication.
Without reacting immediately, Watts returned to his room at the hotel where they were staying. After pondering what had happened, he put on his shoes and went to Jagger’s room.
As soon as he opened the door, the drummer punched him directly in the jaw. “I’m not your drummer, you’re my singer,” he said.
Without further ado, Watts turned and quietly left the room.
Keith Richards confirmed the landmark episode in his autobiography, albeit with some differences in the story.
According to his account, he and Jagger returned to their hotel in Amsterdam at 5:00 am after a night out and the singer then wanted to call Watts.
“I told him, ‘Don’t call him, not now.’ But he called and said, ‘Where’s my drummer?’ There was no answer and he hung up,” says the book.
According to Richards, 20 minutes later someone knocked on the door where he was with Jagger.
It was Charlie Watts, who, far from showing up in his pajamas at this hour, looked perfectly dressed in a suit, tie, and perfume.
“I opened the door and he didn’t even look at me, walked right past me, stopped in front of Mick and said, ‘Don’t ever call me your drummer again.’ Then he grabbed him by the lapel of his jacket and landed a right hook.” , Richards said.
According to the guitarist, his intervention was necessary for the fight to end and, even 12 hours later, Watts was determined to hit him again.
In any case, the relationship between singer and drummer was rebuilt and this was confirmed in countless interviews decades after their famous fight.
“I think age has softened us up a bit. Mick is a great person if you have a problem,” Watts told British newspaper The Daily Record in 2012.
“Are you tired of seeing Mick’s ass after all these years?” a fan asked him in a 2015 Q&A session on Twitter, referring to his position on stage in relation to the band’s frontman.
“No. It’s one of the best views in the country,” Watts replied with a laugh.
This Tuesday, hours after his partner’s death was reported, Jagger paid tribute to him through his Twitter account.
He did this with a simple post, with no text at all, and which only showed a photo of Watts in front of his drums and smiling broadly.
— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) August 24, 2021