And so I call it an end. An end of the Rolling Stones. It withstood the death of Brian Jones. It got past the departure of Mick Taylor. Bill Wyman took his bass and left. Ian Stewart was only sort-of in the band.
But with the death of Charlie Watts, that’s it.
Yes, there are Mick and Keith. The remaining originals. Ronnie Wood has been playing in the band since 1975, which is arguably a career and then some.
But Watts was special.
Funny thing: There are often apologists for Ringo Starr, who maintain that he is a far better drummer than he is typically given credit for being. Presumably much of that capability was honed over hours and hours of working the skins with sticks. (And a solid measure of McCartney’s bitching.)
But you never heard any excuses for Watts. He got the job done, and then some.
The Rolling Stones have typically been fluid in the musicians that it only lets the spotlights glance at. The sound of the band is made up of more than the marque members.
The sound of the backbeat was always Watts.