Faces drummer Kenney Jones pays tribute to “wonderful” Charlie Watts as he says how pal Ronnie Wood was left shell-shocked by his death
Faces drummer Kenney Jones has told how Ronnie Wood was left shell-shocked by Charlie Watts’ death.
Kenney, 72, said he phoned Ronnie as soon as he found out the drummer had died on Tuesday.
Kenney said: “Ronnie and Charlie are very close and I phoned Ron up as soon as I heard the news. Ron told me, ‘No matter how prepared you are for this sort of thing you are never half prepared when it happens’.
“I said, ‘No, it always hits you like a ton of bricks’.”
Kenney said he called Charlie at the beginning of June on his 80th birthday.
He added: “I spoke to him at home – it was amazing that he reached 80 after everything he had been through such as having cancer.
“He didn’t sound very great but he was wonderful to talk to and very friendly. He was so pleased that I had called and we laughed together about being on tour in the 80s.”
Kenney said that just days after he spoke to Charlie, the Stones drummer went to hospital.
A spokesperson for the band said at the time that Charlie had a procedure “which was completely successful” but that he needed “proper rest and recuperation”.
Charlie said at the time: “For once my timing has been a little off.
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“I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of experts that this will take a while.”
But Kenney said he realised his old friend was gravely ill.
He said: “I kind of half expected it as a month before he died I had been recording with Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Faces, which is now two years late. I spent a lot of time with Ronnie so I knew about Charlie and how he was doing. I knew it wasn’t good… so I wasn’t surprised.
“I am sad that he didn’t quite make that tour and recover.”
Kenney said that “Charlie’s spirit“ will be heard every time a Stones song is played.
And he paid tribute to a “lovely, genuine man”.
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Of his musicianship, he added: “If Charlie didn’t play the way he did, Jagger would have nowhere to wiggle his arse. “
Kenney replaced Charlie on the Rolling Stones’ 1974 hit It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It) but it caused no hard feelings.
Ronnie had phoned Kenney, asking if he wanted to jam with him and Jagger as Charlie was away.
Kenney was surprised when they put his drum section on the single and said: “I called Charlie up about it and said, ‘I never meant for that to happen, I really am sorry, it’s not my doing’. Charlie said, ‘It’s OK, Kenney, it sounds like me anyway’. He was such a gentleman.
“I got a gold disc too.”