Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Happy Golden Wedding Anniversary, Charlie Watts

Cast your mind back to the English music scene in the 60s and 70s. Think for a moment about the aspiring rock bands who wanted nothing to do with the squeaky clean, goody two shoes, boy next door appearance of many of their rivals, and how they set about the task of proving themselves as nonconformists. It might start with a sneering image or a more defiant dress sense. It might then progress to destruction of their instruments on stage at the end of their live shows, and onwards to the use of hotel corridors for Harley Davidson trials, and hotel bedroom windows for the ejection of clunky old style TV sets from high floors. Not to mention the groupies and the opportunities to take advantage.

So how would any of those musicians achieve, in turn, the unlikely accolade of nonconformist within a nonconformist band? Let’s leave aside the fact that some of the present day survivors from old times would go back to their hotels after the show and tidy the rooms. Back to the past we shall go. As legend would have it, one particular member of a ‘bad boy’ group spurned the wild party and the groupies and went to bed at a civilised hour. Upon being rudely awakened by a 3am phone call, he is said to have washed, shaved, and put on a suit, before descending to the ground floor and expressing his displeasure with the antisocial caller. No doubt we can forgive the fact that he did so by punching the miscreant in the face, requesting in rather robust terms not to be described as ‘my drummer’ by ‘my singer’ ever again.

And on that rather contrived note, what better way to congratulate Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones on celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary, a truly rare milestone for any member of one of our long established rock bands?

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