Late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has been described as the band’s “secret ingredient” by his friend, Faces rocker Kenney Jones.
Kenney, 72, was grieving just like the rest of the rock community after hearing of Charlie’s passing at the age of 80 on Tuesday (24.08.21) and he praised the ‘Gimme Shelter’ rocker for giving the group their “heartbeat”.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, Kenney said: “Charlie’s playing with The Stones, he put a swing in their beat, just like I put a swing in our beat. It’s the secret ingredient he had which was to provide those swing beats.
“He was the heartbeat of the band, their backbone.
“Also, Charlie never changed, that’s one thing that I’m very proud of him for, he stuck to his guns and said, ‘I’m only ever going to play me.’ “
Kenney and Charlie were friends and toured together, along with a host of rock legends, for the ARMS Charity Concerts which took place in 1983 to raise money and awareness for Action into Research for Multiple Sclerosis, and he has nothing but fond memories of the time they spent together.
He remembered: “He wasn’t outrageous, he wasn’t a Keith Moon!
“Charlie was a nice guy. I knew him in the days when he was drinking and I knew him in the days when he gave up drinking, he was a gentleman all the way through. We would talk to each other about old times.
“We toured with each other a lot in ’83 on the ARMS tour for multiple sclerosis with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, Joe Cocker and many others, we had a good time. We toured the States for about five weeks, we had a great time playing together, and in the bar.”
Kenney also revealed that he called his Faces bandmate, and Rolling Stones guitarist, Ronnie Wood after hearing that Charlie had died to offer his condolences.
He shared: “I called him [Ronnie] immediately after I found out, he answered straight away, I said, ‘I’m sorry.’ We both knew it was going to happen, but Ronnie said, ‘We knew it was going to happen but it doesn’t matter how much you prepare for it, you’re never prepared.'”
Ronnie, 74, has reunited with drummer Kenney and singer Sir Rod Stewart, 76, to record new Faces material.
Kenney has also just released ‘Small Faces – Live 1966’, the earliest live Small Faces concert recording, on his own label Nice Records.