Keith Richards: Charlie Watts Keeps Stones Grounded

Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts

Vic Garbarini: [How] does a band like the Stones…keep grounded?

Keith Richards: Maybe the answer is in the nature of the band itself.., that each person in the band in some way grounds the others. If there’s anything that’s stopped us from blowing our loudspeakers, it’s probably each other….

VG: I would imagine that Charlie [Watts] and Bill [Wyman] are a key element in that anchoring mechanism.

KR: Yeah, in that they’re both incredibly down-to-earth sort of people. Charlie, after twenty years, still can’t stand the thought of having to do even the slightest thing that strikes a false note, like smiling at somebody if you don’t want to. He’d rather give them a scowl, so at least it’s honest. Bill and Charlie are very similar in that they keep you grounded because you can’t really be around people like them and strike any false notes musically or personally, because you’ll instantly get locked out of the room. I imagine that if we’d had a couple of totally different guys in their places, we could have collapsed in a very short time.

Source: Keith Richards: The Heart of the Stones, by Vic Garbarini, Musician December 1983

Photo Credit of Charlie Watts

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