The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died at the age of 80. Charlie had been with the Stones since 1963.
It was announced earlier that Watts would miss the U.S. tour with the Stones this fall in order to recover from an unspecified medical procedure.
Watts was treated for throat cancer in 2004.
The drummer was born on June 2,1941, in London, and came from a working class background. In school Watts developed an interest in art, but music dominated his life. His parents bought him his first drum set at the age of 13.
His lifestyle contrasted with the other band members as he rejected hordes of groupies and remained faithful to his wife, Shirley, who he married in 1964.
In the mid-80s Watts described a mid-life crisis that led him down a road of addiction to alcohol and drugs, including heroin.
“It got so bad,” he later quipped, ” that even Keith Richards, bless him, told me to get it together.”
His relationships with the band members suffered over a two-year period. A drunken Jagger once woke Watts bellowing down a hallway, “Where’s my drummer?”
Watts responded by going round to the singer’s room, hitting him with a left hook, saying “Don’t ever call me ‘your drummer’ again, you’re my f***ing singer.”