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Charlie Watts
© Charlie Watts / AP
Charlie Watts wanted to quit Rolling Stones before anniversary shows


The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts was on the verge of quitting the band before they reunited for their 50th anniversary shows last year.

The veteran rockers returned to the stage in 2012 for the first time in five years to play a handful of gigs in London and the U.S. to mark their 50th year in the music business. The group is heading back out on the road this year for a North American tour and several shows in the U.K., but Watts admits he was considering retirement from The Rolling Stones before they got back on stage at London's O2 Arena in November.

Bing: The Stones on tour at 50

In a new interview with Britain's The Guardian, Watts, 71, was asked whether he had ever wanted to quit, and he replied, "I thought that before the O2, but it was actually very comfortable to do. It was good fun, is what I meant to say... (Did I have) misgivings? Yeah, oh yeah, I always do. It's a young person's (game). "The thing I find difficult is that 50 per cent of it (the job) is image, not my side of it, but it is, and as you get a bit older you think, 'Oh gawd!' (sic) I don't like looking at the pictures. I think (David) Bowie looks all right... Some others haven't weathered so well... You do now seriously have to look at your age, because if this goes on for another two years, I'll be 73."

The drummer goes on to insist his bandmates Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were the ones pushing the group towards a reunion, adding, "You wouldn't do it if Mick didn't want to do it. You've got to have Mick and Keith, but the driving force is Mick. If he's enthusiastic, he'll push everyone along. Keith's much more laidback about it."

Apr 6, 2013 8:17PM
If I was 132 and people would stand in line for hours to watch me do ANYTHING I would sure as hell do it
Apr 6, 2013 5:09PM
Im suprised Charlie has hung in this long, he plays with jazz bands  - thats his roots  - he is a dam good drummer & he's old, if he wants to hang it up, he should do it  - - he's earned it....
Apr 6, 2013 3:29PM

It's all in the eye of the beholder, some love the Stones, some hate 'em for various reasons.

Opinions are like armpits everyone has a couple and a lot of 'em stink!

Apr 6, 2013 3:09PM
Charlie has a unique sound and without him it would sound a lot different, more like a Keith or Mick solo album.
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