The death of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts drew swift reaction, including from rock ‘n’ roll royalty including Elton John and Paul McCartney. The word “great” was among the superlatives used to describe Watts, who was a mainstay of the Stones.
Here are responses to the 80-year-old Watts’ death Tuesday in London:
“He was a lovely guy. … Condolences to the Stones. A huge blow to them because Charlie was a rock. A fantastic drummer, steady as a rock. Love you, Charlie, will always love you. Beautiful man, and great condolences and sympathy to his family — Paul McCartney, in a video on Twitter.
“A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company.” — Elton John on Instagram.
“Not just one of greatest drummers in one of the greatest bands of all time, but a gentleman’s gentleman. He singlehandedly brought the Rock world some real class. Rock and Roll will miss him profoundly. We are significantly less without.” — Little Steven Van Zandt on Twitter.
“Charlie Watts was the most elegant and dignified drummer in rock and roll. He played exactly what was needed – no more – no less. He is one of a kind.” — Joan Jett on Twitter.
“God bless Charlie Watts we’re going to miss you man peace and love.” — Ringo Starr, via Twitter.
“The beat of The Stones. There are no words, every groove has spoken for itself.” — Lenny Kravitz on Twitter.
“Drummers are the most ensnared individuals. Though they are loudest, they are the last to be heard. They have insecurities due to the fact that everyone has their back turned on them. Herein lies the band’s secret; there is no greatness- without a great drummer. — Perry Farrell on Twitter.
“The heartbeat of Rock & Roll. The Great Charlie Watts. all due respect.” — Questlove on Instagram.
“This is Charlie Watts. Mourned and beloved by all.” — Patti Smith on Instagram.
“Charlie Watts wept at Keith Moon’s funeral. I wish I was capable of such tears today. Instead I just want to say goodbye. Not a rock drummer, a jazz drummer really, and that’s why the Stones swung like the Basie band!! Such a lovely man.” — Pete Townshend on Instagram.
“I feel terrible for Charlie’s family. Charlie was a great drummer and I loved the Stones music, they made great records. Love & Mercy.” — Brian Wilson on Twitter.
“A monumentally sad day learning my personal hero Charlie Watts has died. I’m devastated and my soul aches for Shirley, Serafina, the extended Watts family, and of course his band mates.” — Max Weinberg on Twitter.
“A hero is gone. No words. A huge gaping hole in the universe.” — Sheryl Crow on Twitter.
“The most subtlety, warmth and feel of any rock drummer in history. Rest beautifully Charlie we treasure your gifts.” — Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, via Instagram.
“Rest In Power #CharlieWatts RIP. You are a smooth brother. Thanks for all the great music.” — Nile Rodgers on Twitter.
—The Associated Press