Rock drummers, by default, are the crazy ones – the hell raisers who burn twice as brightly for half as long.
The Who's Keith Moon went half-deaf when he blew his kit up (and narrowly avoided decapitating the bassist with a flying cymbal) and spoof band Spinal Tap got through more than 18 drummers, including Ric Shrimpton, who sold his dialysis machine for drugs.
So Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts is the exception that proves the rule; a quiet, steadying and ego-free presence in arguably rock music's greatest ever band.
Watts' style reflects the man himself – understated, stripped-back but technically strong and more complex than first appears. Not for him the self-indulgent perma-teen lifestyle of your average rock god. Watts hates touring and yearns to be home with the wife he married in 1964, working on his art and indulging his passion for breeding horses.
If the definition of being cool is not thinking you are, then Watts is coolness personified. He dresses sharp and can talk sharper still. When Mick Jagger once phoned him up in the middle of the night with the drunken demand 'Where's my drummer?', Watts got up, shaved, put on a suit and tie and proceeded to punch Jagger in the face before telling him: 'Don't ever call me your drummer again. You're my ****ing singer.'
Charlie Watts – Renaissance Man, rock legend and one of the coolest men on the planet.
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