Charlie Watts - New Book

What It Is

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I really enjoyed it, but definitely not a biography of Charlie nor the Stones. Wasn't advertised as such. Remember, the only reason the Stones matter, is because Charlie matters. Definitely created a new playlist with all of the references and influences of Charlie and the Stones I haven't heard or listened to in a while. Howlin' Wolf and Chuck Berry pretty much sum it all up, which is why Charlie rolls.
 

bigbonzo

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I really enjoyed it, but definitely not a biography of Charlie nor the Stones. Wasn't advertised as such. Remember, the only reason the Stones matter, is because Charlie matters. Definitely created a new playlist with all of the references and influences of Charlie and the Stones I haven't heard or listened to in a while. Howlin' Wolf and Chuck Berry pretty much sum it all up, which is why Charlie rolls.
What do you mean "not a biography of Charlie nor the Stones"?

It was "advertised as such" and even the title indicates that it is supposed to be a biography about Charlie Watts.

On the inside cover it actually says "Biography/Music".
 
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What It Is

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What do you mean "not a biography of Charlie nor the Stones"?

It was "advertised as such" and even the title indicates that it is supposed to be a biography about Charlie Watts.

On the inside cover it actually says "Biography/Music".
The "Biography/Music" part is how it's categorized and cataloged by the Library of Congress. The title, to me, didn't give any indication that the book was a straight up biography, and any review I read about it didn't give that perception. I can certainly see how many readers could be mislead by the intent of the book through the title. I really enjoyed how the history of American music impacted Charlie's playing and the Stones' music, and for me, I'd rather learn more about those influences. I enjoyed it, but I can understand readers being caught off guard with what they thought they were getting.
 

bigbonzo

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The "Biography/Music" part is how it's categorized and cataloged by the Library of Congress. The title, to me, didn't give any indication that the book was a straight up biography, and any review I read about it didn't give that perception. I can certainly see how many readers could be mislead by the intent of the book through the title. I really enjoyed how the history of American music impacted Charlie's playing and the Stones' music, and for me, I'd rather learn more about those influences. I enjoyed it, but I can understand readers being caught off guard with what they thought they were getting.
Yeah, so since it has Biography/Music on it, it must be considered a biography. Again, the book is called "Sympathy For The Drummer; Why Charlie Watts Matters". Based on that title, how could you NOT think that it was a biography about Charlie Watts? Seems to me that it would/should be a biography about Charlie. Obviously, very little of it was about Charlie, which is why I disliked the book. That, and the author's writing style.

My take on it is that the author intended it to be a biography about Charlie (as the title indicates). However, there is so little worth talking about Charlie that he basically wrote a biography about the Stones and throwing in little tidbits about Charlie here and there. As I mentioned earlier, the only part that was actually about Charlie was the second half of Chapter 10, which was about his jazz bands. Which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I will give my copy to my local library.
 
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What It Is

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Yeah, so since it has Biography/Music on it, it must be considered a biography. Again, the book is called "Sympathy For The Drummer; Why Charlie Watts Matters". Based on that title, how could you NOT think that it was a biography about Charlie Watts? Seems to me that it would/should be a biography about Charlie. Obviously, very little of it was about Charlie, which is why I disliked the book. That, and the author's writing style.

My take on it is that the author intended it to be a biography about Charlie (as the title indicates). However, there is so little worth talking about Charlie that he basically wrote a biography about the Stones and throwing in little tidbits about Charlie here and there. As I mentioned earlier, the only part that was actually about Charlie was the second half of Chapter 10, which was about his jazz bands. Which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I will give my copy to my local library.
Well, the internet is one big book club, and it's a beautiful thing to discuss Charlie and literature. Glad to hear you're donating the book to your library. At least we agree that Charlie does matter (and so does Bun for my money).

OT: one of my biggest misses of my life was just missing meeting Charlie at Steve Maxwell's in the Chicagoland store. Walk in on a Saturday, and Steve says "you just missed Charlie Watts, bought some snare drums." Argh.
 

frankmott

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I'm eager to read it, based solely on the polarized reviews here. To me, the title implies more analysis than biography, akin to Christopher Hitchens' Why Orwell Matters. Good read, but most decidedly NOT a biography.
 

Johnny D

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I'm just about finished with the book and anything that praises Charlie Watts is ok with me. Mike Edison's heart is in the right place.

As a fan of Charlie since the first time I picked up drumsticks in 1972 (and by now you know I'm pretty obsessed with him), there was nothing in the book I didn't already know. I was hoping there would be. In fact, there were a few things in the book I'd debate Mike Edison on, but that's another story.

I give him credit for highlighting Charlie's importance, which he tries (and succeeds) to do at different times throughout the book. His writing style takes some getting used to. Once you get past that, it's easier to read and digest.

It would've been nice to include a few quotes directly from Charlie. When I heard about the book, I assumed there would be something directly from Charlie, but that's not the case. Had I written it, I would have dug deeper into Charlie's gear, going back to the beginning and throughout the different periods of the Stones. That would involve picking Charlie's brain and getting him to talk about it. And who knows, maybe I will. He's given me little tidbits of info over the years, but doesn't remember a lot of it. But as I said, Mike's heart is in the right place and I give him credit for that.

So here's my bottom line: If you don't know much about Charlie, his playing style and influences, or the Rolling Stones and want to learn more, it's worth reading the book.

I give it a solid "B"
 
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