Why Rolling Stone Charlie Watts doesn't have a drum kit at home

2 June 2021, 11:19 | Updated: 3 June 2021, 11:37

Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones performing live in 2010
Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones performing live in 2010. Picture: Howard Denner/Photoshot/Getty Images

The world was loving Charlie playing "air drums" at the One World show last year - but there's a valid reason why he didn't have a real set.

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts turned 80 on 2 June, and the veteran sticksman can still attract attention.

The world was delighted when The Rolling Stones performed a classic hit for the One World: Together At Home gig during the lockdown in April 2020.

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts all called in to the charity event, organised by Lady Gaga in conjunction with Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation.

Performing individually from their own homes via webcam, the veteran band played their 1969 classic You Can't Always Get What You Want.

Fans were amused to see Watts use a suitcase and the side of a chair to "air drum" his part on the classic song - playing along to a pre-recorded drum track.

"Charlie Watts happily playing air drums for The Rolling Stones is the kind of feel-good content we need," tweeted one.

Some wondered why the legendary drummer wasn't using real drums. "Very much enjoying that Charlie Watts spent his entire life as the drummer for The Rolling Stones and apparently doesn’t have a set of drums in his house," was one typical tweet.

But there's a reason why Charlie doesn't drum at home - his wife doesn't like the noise, therefore he can only play drums when he's on tour.

In 1989, he explained his predicament in an interview: "Because of what I do I can't play the drums at home so to play the drums I have to go on the road, and to go on the road I have to leave home and it's like a terribly vicious circle that's always been my life.

"I don't like living out of suitcases. I hate being away from home. I always do tours thinking they're the last one, and at the end of them I always leave the band"

He also told The Guardian in 2000 that the touring life caused issues with his daughter Serafina. "It's difficult to be a good father when you're away from home so much," he mused.