(CelebrityAccess) — Charlie Watts, the longtime drummer for legendary rock band The Rolling Stones, turned 80 on June 2nd, 2021.
Watts, who alongside bandmates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, is the only member of the group to perform on all of the Stones studio albums, didn’t initially aspire to be a professional drummer and studied graphic design at Harrow Art School in Westminster. He later worked as a graphic designer for an advertising company called Charlie Daniels Studios while playing drums on the side with local bands in coffee shops and blues clubs around Middlesex.
At first, Watts focused on jazz and even joined a local combo Jo Jones All Stars before he transitioned to the rhythm and blues sound that was taking the UK by storm.
“I went into rhythm and blues. When they asked me to play, I didn’t know what it was. I thought it meant Charlie Parker, played slow,” Watts told the New Yorker in 2012.
In 1961, Watts met Alexis Korner and joined his band Blues Incorporated while still working a day job in the advertising world. However, the gig put him squarely into the burgeoning London blues scene where he soon met Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards, who, a year later, recruited him as the drummer for The Stones.
Now, after laying down the backbeat for the band for more than 6 decades, he continues to provide a steady foundation for the group, which, according to the rumor mill is gearing up to return to the road later this year.
Still, Watts says he’s ready to hang up his spurs. He’s never been shy about his distaste for touring and has previously said he’s ready to retire.
“I love playing the drums, and I love playing with Mick and Keith and Ronnie. I don’t know about the rest of it. It wouldn’t bother me if the Rolling Stones said: ‘That’s it … enough.'” Watts told Rolling Stone in 2012.