Charlie Watts says David Bowie wasn’t a “musical genius” and it “wouldn’t bother” him if Rolling Stones split

Watts on Bowie: "He was a lovely guy and he wrote a couple of good songs"

The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has said that it wouldn’t “bother” him if the band broke up, also revealing that he doesn’t think David Bowie was a “musical genius”.

This week has seen The Rolling Stones announce details of a huge tour of UK and Ireland for this summer, including dates in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Their first UK tour in five years, the band have also been criticised for the prices of tickets for the No Filter tour.


Following the news, Watts spoke to The Guardian when he seemed to suggest that he wouldn’t mind if his band called it a day.

“I love playing the drums and I love playing with Mick and Keith and Ronnie, I don’t know about the rest of it,” Watts said. “It wouldn’t bother me if the Rolling Stones said that’s it… enough.”

He continued: “I would hate it to dissolve not amicably. I would like Mick to say, or me or Keith or whoever… I don’t want to do it any more, for whatever reason, and we just say that’s it. I wouldn’t want it to be an argument or whatever.”

Rolling Stones Hamburg setlist videos

“I don’t know what I would do if I stopped,” Watts added. “Keith is a great one for saying once you’re going, keep going. The big worry for me is being well enough. We don’t work like we used to fortunately. There are huge gaps between each show.”


Asked whether the tour would be the band’s last, Watts replied: “For me, I would like to be standing on Sunday 8 July at the end of the show in Warsaw. That’s as far as I can see.”

Speaking about Bowie’s death in 2016, Watts said that he was surprised by the outpouring of grief. “I thought people would have been very sad obviously, and he was a lovely guy and he wrote a couple of good songs,” Watts explained. “But for me, he wasn’t this musical genius.”

The Rolling Stones, who last played London’s Hyde Park in 2013, will kick off their tour with a show at Dublin’s Croke Park on May 17. That will then be followed by their first ever show at the London Stadium on May 22.

From there, they’ll head to Manchester’s Old Trafford Cricket Ground on June 5. The tour then moves on to Scotland for a show at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium on June 9, before heading to Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on June 15.

A return to London will conclude the tour, with a show at Twickenham Stadium on June 19.

Tickets will go on sale from Friday March 2 and you can buy them here.

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