The Metallica sticksman has paid a touching tribute to the ‘Satisfaction’ group’s drummer – who passed away at the age of 80 on Tuesday (24.08.21) – and admitted his stint behind the drumkit of one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll groups of all time was undervalued, as the “spotlight” has always been on frontman Sir Mick Jagger, 78, and guitarist Keith Richards, 77.
He began: “It hits hard on many levels.
Obviously, as a Stones fan, it’s sort of the end of at least an era within that band, because he was the only drummer that ever recorded with them. He was such a significant part of their sound, and an underrated part of their sound. In a band where the spotlight would go to especially Mick and Keith, a lot of people truly didn’t understand how valuable he was. And from that side, as a Stones fan, it’s a great loss.”
Lars, 57, shared how Charlie and the Stones – also comprising Ronnie Wood, 74 – give him hope that the ‘Nothing Else Matters’ hitmakers can still be rocking into their 70s.
He said: “Charlie has always been that driving force.
“He could kick these songs and make them swing, make them swagger, still make them have that attitude, that pocket. Seeing him do that way deep into his [70s] has been such a life-affirming thing.
“[Metallica are] a good 20, 25 years behind, but it’s given me a lot of faith in the possibilities of what it can continue to be – music, concerts, connecting to fans, connecting to each other as a band. There’s nobody above them on that pyramid, and there’s nobody above Charlie on that pyramid.”
And Lars insisted that Mick wouldn’t have moves like Jagger if it wasn’t for Charlie’s drumming, as he was the beating heart of the ‘Paint It Black’ group.
On the drummer’s last performance in Florida on August 30, 2019, as part of the ‘No Filter’ tour, the heavy metaller told Rolling Stone: “I was looking at a couple of the clips from [that show] and even seeing Mick Jagger up there swaying.
“He’s swaying to Charlie Watts’ drumming. People sit there and go, ‘Yeah, I’m dancing along with Mick Jagger.’ No, you’re dancing along with Charlie Watts, in the same way, Mick Jagger’s dancing along to Charlie Watts’ drumming.
“Mick Jagger wouldn’t have those moves if it wasn’t for Charlie Watts’ drumming. It sort of starts and ends there.”