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Charlie Watts Chats With Red Hot Chili Peppers Drummer About Early Influences

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Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts sat down with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ sticksman Chad Smith for a four-par interview for Rolling Stone posted the first clip, which is the only portion available for non-subscribers, where Watts goes deep into his key jazz-based musical inspirations.

Although born in 1941 and perfectly situated to be among the millions of British teens to fall under the spell of rock n’ roll, Watts revealed to Smith that it was only in the early-1960’s though Stones co-founders Brian Jones and Keith Richards that he was able to find his way to rock via their blues infatuations: “Brian and Keith — Brian Jones and Keith used to play Jimmy Reed all day on the little machine — well they actually had a big radiogram — it was the same as playing jazz. It was another drum thing. I learned to play by watching people. If you were playing, I’d be up there watching you. . . how to play this, that, and the other. All those guys, y’know, D.J. Fontana, who probably plays some of the best — what’s termed rock n’ roll — y’know, ‘Hound Dog’ and all those things, they’re fantastic. It’s like a swing drummer, actually. And you watch him with Elvis (Presley), he’s (laughs) playing. . . it’s all one thing.”

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