Why Did Charlie Watts Punch Mick Jagger? The Story Revealed!
Such sad news when it was announced that The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died unexpectedly. RIP to this iconic Drummer and Jazz Musician. He was the heartbeat of that band and a true gentleman.
The entire musical community came out with stories to celebrate his life, including his band members, as well as Paul McCartney, Eddie Vedder and more. He was one of the nicest guys in rock…except for this time!
So Why Did He Punch Out His Lead Singer Mick Jagger?
This is a wild story, and it’s getting a lot of press now as friends remember him…this anecdote was revealed in a new biography of the Drummer, released in 2019!
I can’t wait to read this entire book, but the story that is circulating widely now took place in the mid-80’s, when the band was at a creative low, and unbeknownst to the others, Mick had re-negotiated a deal that gave himself a lucrative solo career as well!
Keith Richards was furious – more on his story in a moment – but here is what went down at the time:
“By 1984, the Stones are not getting along at all, but they’re trying to patch things up, and they find themselves in Amsterdam for a meeting. Mick and Keith are still on lousy terms, but they decide to go out for a few — a few being Mick’s limit. Anyway, Keith lends Mick a jacket to go out, not incidentally the one Keith got married in, and they get back to the hotel around five in the morning, properly potted. At which point Mick has the bright idea, against Keith’s sage advice, to call up to Charlie’s room and demand, “Where’s my drummer?”
According to Keith, “Twenty minutes later, there was a knock at the door. There was Charlie Watts, Savile Row suit, perfectly dressed, tie, shaved, the whole fucking bit. I could smell the cologne! I opened the door and he didn’t even look at me, he walked straight past me, got a hold of Mick and said, ‘Never call me your drummer again.’ Then he hauled him up by the lapels of my jacket and gave him a right hook.”
Keith calls it the “drummer’s punch” and says “it’s lethal; it carries a lot of balance and timing.” Nothing less than you would expect from a guy whose right hand has been carrying the weight of The Greatest Rock’n’roll Band in the World for 20 years.
So far, so good. But here’s the part everyone forgets: the Charlie Watts right hook is in fact no laughing matter, and Mick flies back onto a platter of smoked salmon and begins to slide out the open window toward the canal below — and admit it, Mick Jagger sliding out a window on a platter of smoked fish into a canal is fucking hilarious.
Except that Keith realizes that Mick is wearing his jacket, the one he got married in, and he really wants it back. It’s a real “leave the gun, take the cannoli” moment. Keith grabs Mick and hauls him back into the room. Charlie is incensed — he was happy to see Mick go flying out the window. In fact, he wants to have another go at it, but Keith is insistent about not wanting to lose the jacket.”
So there you go!
An insult leads to a punch out, and a frantic save of a special jacket – that’s life in rock ‘n’ roll!
Of course, the band members made up and went on to perform for decades more – in fact, they were rehearsing for their upcoming tour when Watts became ill and tragically died.
I shared this memoir by Keith Richards, and it really digs into the turmoil around Mick’s secret deals behind the band’s back…Keith hold NOTHING back in recounting it, but he is also painfully honest about himself as well.
It’s a fascinating book and you can see more of it here:
Their relationship went through turmoil even before that recording contract incident – you see, Keith’s girlfriend starred in a film with Mick Jagger – and they took a nude bath together!
As you can imagine, that didn’t go over well at all!
Here’s is that story:
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RIP to the legendary Charlie Watts, who was not only one of rock’s greatest Drummers but a guy who could throw a punch as well!