Max Weinberg Mourns Death of Charlie Watts: Its Hard to Imagine a World Without Him

The Rolling Stones drummer passed away in a London hospital on August 24, and tributes have since poured in from his peers including Bruce Springstreen’s longtime drummer.

AceShowbizBruce Springsteen‘s longtime drummer, Max Weinberg, has offered up a heartfelt tribute to his musical hero, Charlie Watts, hours after The Rolling Stones star’s death.

Watts passed away in a London hospital on Tuesday morning, August 24 and so many of the great man’s peers have offered up their thoughts about the drummer, including Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Elton John and The KinksDave Davies.

And now the E Street Band‘s Weinberg has weighed in, revealing he dreamed up Watts as he was creating the beat for The Boss’ “Born in the U.S.A.”.

“When Bruce pulled out that riff, I went right to Street Fighting Man,” Weinberg tells Rolling Stone magazine. “When I was laying down that drum part, I’m thinking, ‘OK, I’m Charlie Watts – I’m going to do my best Charlie Watts.’ “

Weinberg, who became a great friend to Watts in the mid-1980s, says, “It’s hard to imagine a world without Charlie Watts. I’m just stunned. The first thing I flashed on was November 1965, at the Mosque Theater in Newark, me in the second row. And ‘Get Off of My Cloud’ had just come out. I used to sing that in my band, badly, of course. And there I was, really close, seeing the Rolling Stones live, and, of course, focusing on Charlie…”

“I can’t express what Charlie Watts meant to me as an individual and certainly as an icon of music, and not just in rock.”

“Apart from his drumming, and his musicality, and his droll sense of humor, he was just the ultimate gentleman. He was so meticulous in his attire. That was one of the most impressive things about him, and his drumming tied into his personality. When you look at the amassed work, whether it was with the Stones, Rocket 88, or anything else he did, the quintet, the orchestra, he was immaculate.”

Max also recalled meeting Charlie in New York, when he was a reporter for Modern Drummer magazine – and the Stones star invited Weinberg to join him in his hotel room while he unpacked.

“He had these leather suitcases, and he opens them up, and everything in them was immaculately folded, which is quite the opposite of mine when I’m on tour,” Weinberg smiles. “So I was most impressed with that. But then he took everything out and refolded everything and put it in the drawers. And I’ve never seen any rock & roller, ever, put anything in the drawers.”

“But he was very precise about where everything had to go. And it kind of reflected his drumming.”

Weinberg also helped set up a meeting between Charlie and two of his drumming heroes, Joe Morello and Mel Lewis, backstage at a late 1980s Madison Square Garden gig in New York.

“Charlie’s face lights up like it’s Christmas,” Max recalls. “He literally grabs both of their hands and says, ‘Gentlemen, it is such an honor for me to meet you.’ And he starts talking about obscure records they played on. And now it’s like, ‘Wow, this kid really knows our work!’ And I’m standing there… I just pulled off this summit meeting.”

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