Nick Cave recalls meeting Charlie Watts while in a “tiny tracksuit”

"There goes a truly great drummer"

Nick Cave has recalled the time he met late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts after a rare trip to a gym.

The Bad Seeds frontman dedicated his latest post on The Red Hand Files to Watts, who passed away last week at the age of 80.

Cave recalled the time he met Watts after a trip to the gym when dressed awkwardly in “a tiny tracksuit”.


He said: “As I walked back out, in my tiny tracksuit, my giant white trainers and my bucket hat, there, walking toward me, was Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones.

“He had silver hair and was dressed in an elegant pearl-grey three piece suit, a button down checked shirt and a tie. He literally glowed with a kind of inner serenity, and as we passed each other we locked eyes for a moment and he smiled at me — not an unkind smile, but not a kind one either, rather the impassive look one animal might give to another in the wild, that signalled their complete and total supremacy.”

“As I watched Charlie Watts disappear into the crowd, I rearranged my bucket hat, and thought, ‘There goes a truly great drummer,’ which is what I thought when I heard the news this week of his passing — ‘There goes a truly great drummer.’”

Earlier this month, prior to Watts’ death, it was announced that he wouldn’t join the band on their autumn ‘No Filter’ tour dates, with his bandmates sharing messages of support. Longtime Stones associate Steve Jordan was announced to be replacing him on drums for the 13-date tour.

On August 26, it was then revealed that the band are still set to play the upcoming US tour dates as planned despite Watts’ death.


Many drummers have praised Watts in the wake of his passing – among them Pink Floyd‘s Nick MasonRoyal Blood’Ben ThatcherRingo StarrQuestlove, Alex Van Halen and The E Street Band’s Max Weinberg.

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