There is no denying that Watts was the most sensible band member in what was, at times, an incredibly wild rock band. Many of the biographies and documentaries of the Stones have focused on the craziness of Mick Jagger and the recklessness of Keith Richards in their heydays. But it was during those times of debauchery that Watts acted as the glue that held things together and, quite literally, kept the band ticking on and off stage.
Along with Jagger and Richards, Watts was a core member of the Stones and featured on every single studio album. He joined the band in 1963 after meeting Jagger, Richards, and original founder, Brian Jones in and around London’s rhythm and blues scene. According to The Guardian, Watts enjoyed such great success as a drummer because he never aspired to force his way into stardom. He was content with allowing others to hog the limelight while he quietly went about his business in the background. This helped Watts go on to be regarded as one of the finest drummers of all time, placed at number 12 in Rolling Stone’s list.
How Can Watts be Commemorated?
There is no doubt that Watts will be commemorated in various ways so that his memory lives on forever. This is always the case with the best in the business, and it is impossible for the music world to ever forget about the ones who had the most significant impact on it. Watts will join the likes of Prince, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and John Lennon who, although they have passed, still live on thanks to their everlasting music.
There are plenty of ways to ensure an incredibly wide array of people from all walks of life can remember Watts. There will almost certainly be films and television series dedicated to the drummer, detailing how he became a key member in one of the world’s greatest acts. In his career, Watts already has 78 acting credits in a diverse range of productions, with many of these being videos for the many iconic Rolling Stones songs. There is no doubt that these will all help to preserve his memory. Some of the best-known feature films to include the fabulous timekeeper include Martin Scorsese’s Shine a Light in 2008 and Brett Morgen’s Crossfire Hurricane in 2012.
The most probable upcoming release could be a documentary about Watts’ life, with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon likely to be scrambling for the rights to make it. It would be great for viewers to get a true sense of the man behind the sticks, and how his life panned out in such a successful way.
Musicians Everywhere Pay Homage
It should come as no surprise that musicians from all over the world have paid tribute to Watts. Over the course of his 58-year career at the top of the entertainment industry, the Wembley Whammer managed to meet a great number of other movers and shakers in the music business. Some of the biggest names to come out and pay their respects to Watts included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Elton John.
Of course, the other members of the Rolling Stones were the most rocked by the news, and the band’s official website contents were simply replaced with a picture of Watts for six days after his passing.
What Next for the Stones?
The Stones have already sold thousands of tickets for their No Filter US tour, and there is no way they can back out of playing the scheduled dates despite this tragic news. Luckily, the band has an experienced backup drummer in Steve Jordan who is ready to step in. Jordan has worked with the likes of Eric Clapton and Neil Young in the past, so he is no stranger to drumming at the top level. It will surely be an emotional day, though, when the Stones line up on stage for the first time without one of their founding members.
Watts was a true legend of the music industry, and he will leave a gaping hole. However, thanks to the great expanse of the entertainment industry, his memory will live on in a myriad of ways for many years to come.