The Night Charlie Watts Owned Foxboro Stadium, May He Rest In Peace
The world is still reeling from the news that Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has passed away at the age of 80. I, for one, will never forget the only night I ever saw him.
October 21st, 1997 - Bridges To Babylon Tour
The Rolling Stones lit up the sky with their pyrotechnics and three hours worth of hits.
Mick Jagger ran more yards than any Patriots running back I had seen at the time (granted this was a few years before the Brady dynasty), yet, through all of that, the most impressive person in that crowd of 50,000 plus was Charlie Watts.
Explosions, three hundred foot flames, stages and bridges were moving and swaying yet Charlie kept perfect time.
They had a gigantic Jumbotron that would temporarily broadcast the images of each Stone and every single time Charlie Watts was on that screen, the whole place went bonkers.
They'd show him for a split second, then cut away, then the crowd would boo and then the camera would return to him and it was bedlam again.
His expression was priceless.
Somewhere between nonplussed and bemused.
Even back then, you have to figure he was used to this environment. Drumming in front of umpteen thousand adoring fans for thirty five years at that time and always keeping perfect time.
23 years after I saw him, he dominated in front of millions and millions more.
On April 18, 2020 he sat in his living room and basically played his armchair during a virtual performance with the Stones and that was still the only thing people talk about when referencing the 'Together At Home' concert.
The Rolling Stones, and their music, will never quite be the same without him.