How Charlie Watts enjoyed varied musical career beyond The Rolling Stones

The drummer was heavily influenced by jazz and performed with a number of other groups over the years.

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who has died at the age of 80, enjoyed a varied career in the music industry.

Before hitting the big time with the internationally renowned group, which he joined in 1963, Watts was known for playing in London clubs and performed with several jazz bands.

That is said to be how he met his future bandmates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Charlie Watts death
Charlie Watts (Jane Barlow/PA)

However, after he joined the band and began his journey towards global stardom, Watts continued to pursue his own side projects without his Stones bandmates.

As well as being a musician, Watts was also a keen artist and in 1964 published Ode To A High Flying Bird, a comic book tribute to the jazz musician, Charlie Parker.

Despite finding success playing rock and roll, Watts maintained his interest in other genres of music.

In the late 1970s he also formed supergroup Rocket 88 alongside Ian Stewart, Alexis Korner and Dick Morrissey.

The boogie-woogie band went on to record a number of albums, including their self-titled 1981 release release which was recorded during a live performance in Hanover, Germany.

Charlie Watts death
Charlie Watts (Joel Ryan/PA)

During the 1980s, he also performed jazz with the Charlie Watts Orchestra.

The following decade he began to perform with the Charlie Watts Quintet, with the group paying further homage to Parker, who was a major musical influence on the drummer.

The group went on to record albums From One Charlie and Warm & Tender.

In 2004 he also released Watts At Scotts, a recording of him playing at London jazz club Ronnie Scott’s alongside a group of other musicians.

Around the same time he was also performing with The ABC&D Of Boogie Woogie.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access