Foghat drummer Roger Earl: Charlie Watts personified cool
Foghat drummer Roger Earl has paid tribute to Charlie Watts, saying the late musician “personified cool”.
Watts, long-time drummer of The Rolling Stones and a lynchpin of their success, has died aged 80.
He was known for his understated style – especially compared to his rock star bandmates – and a deadpan wit teamed with a love of tailored suits.
Following Watts’s death, tributes flooded in from around the world.
Earl, a Londoner like Watts, is known for his work with rock band Foghat, whose hits include Slow Ride and Fool For The City.
He said “the world just lost another great drummer”.
Speaking from his home in Long Island, New York, he told the PA news agency: “I love the way he played, he was a huge part of the Stones and the world is a sadder place not having him in it.”
Earl praised Watts’s technical skills and his role in the band alongside Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood.
He said: “His drumming was always understated but he had a really cool way of playing, the way he would play with his high hat.
“And he would lift off on the fourth beat instead of ‘1,2,3, 1,2,3′ like that. And his feel was terrific.
“Just listen to Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Brown Sugar. The grooves on these songs are terrific. And that’s what Charlie did, he played for the song, he played for the band. He was a great drummer.”
Earl also saluted Watts for maintaining his own style during his decades at the top of rock and roll.
“Charlie was really cool, he personified cool,” he told PA.
“He didn’t dress like a ‘rock star,’ he was Charlie. I think a lot of people respected him for that and maybe admired him because it’s not easy playing in a rock and roll band all your life and trying to keep some sort of sanity in your day-to-day life and how you deal with other people.
“Charlie had a good reputation for being cool with people and being able to handle different situations.”
Earl added: “Drummers are the ones who have the most fun. You’ll see a lot of pictures of Charlie, he took his work seriously, as we do. I see lot of pictures of him smiling. He had that wry smile like, ‘how cool is it to be here?'”