“Charlie was loved by everyone and the Go-Go’s are no exception,” drummer Gina Schock wrote on Instagram. “On a more personal level,” she continued, “Charlie was my hero.”
As a young drummer aspiring to become great, Schock used to put on Rolling Stones albums and play along on her kit, “trying to lock into [Watts’] beat.” “His playing was rock-solid, elegant, and fluid,” Schock wrote. “He cut straight to the heart of the song. No bullshit, just slamming it home with machine-like precision.” Watts never gave Schock a formal drum lesson, but the Rolling Stones’ veteran “was teaching me to play drums” through his albums, Schock added.
Years later, after the Go-Go’s became a rock force of their own, they served as an opener for the Rolling Stones. “When we were doing soundcheck, I started to talk to Charlie’s drum tech,” Schock remembered. “… He told me that the rug that [Watts’] drum kit was sitting on was worth a fortune. The drums were a pittance in comparison. That is so Charlie Watts: loaded with class, a gentleman through and through.”
In addition to the Go-Go’s tribute, Watts was remembered by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Pete Townshend, and many more on Tuesday.