Charlie Watts

MPL

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Are there any Charlie Watts fans here who know alot about his early drum kits and if he still has them. I know he had a sky blue Ludwig Super Classic early on and then Gretsch kits. Also what cymbals did he use early on.

thanks
 

Nutbox

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Are there any Charlie Watts fans here who know alot about his early drum kits and if he still has them. I know he had a sky blue Ludwig Super Classic early on and then Gretsch kits. Also what cymbals did he use early on.

thanks
Doesn't answer your question but he used one of mine ............. for one appearance anyway (miming).



Dave Clark's set on Reday Steady Go! New Years Eve 1965.
 

K.O.

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I don't know the answers but there is a book coming out about the Stone's gear which may hold the answers. It's by the same author as did the excellent "Beatles Gear" book on the equipment the Beatles used.

According to Amazon the book was due to come out last fall. I was counting the days to order a copy. The release date was around the same time as Sandy hit the east coast and after that the release date was pushed back almost a year. I wonder if perhaps the books that were supposedly ready to go were sitting in an east coast warehouse and all got ruined. For whatever reason the publication date suddenly got pushed WAY back.

Stones book
 

wflkurt

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I remember seeing an interview with Charlie where he said he still has the sky blue Ludwigs. He said they were "prettier" than ringo's. lol
 

KINGTRIXON

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I did a lot of business with Charlie, starting in Sep 1989, right up until 2005, when Steve Maxwell took over. I sold him a number of kits for his own personal use, as well as a few kits that he bought for other members of the Rolling stones. Charlie was not always sure of exactly what he had in storage, but apparently, Steve M. recently did a full scale, top to bottom inventory of all of Charlie's drums.

Charlie's sky blue pearl Ludwig super classic drum set that was used throughout most of the 1960's, was located in the inventory, and they are now in storage in proper flight cases.

Charlie has a set of black nitron Gretsch's that was used in the late 1960's, and into the early to middle 1970's, this kit is storage as well.

Charlie is still using a Gretsch maple finished drum kit that was purchased second hand in 1978.
 

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BrianOwens

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Are there any Charlie Watts fans here who know alot about his early drum kits and if he still has them. I know he had a sky blue Ludwig Super Classic early on and then Gretsch kits. Also what cymbals did he use early on.

thanks
Doesn't answer your question but he used one of mine ............. for one appearance anyway (miming).



Dave Clark's set on Reday Steady Go! New Years Eve 1965.
Too bad that Charlie didn't play Rogers drums regularly. It would have really helped put Rogers on the map during the British Invasion!
That Dave Clark kit sure is nice though!
Charlie's mismatched Ludwig Sky Blue kit when the small tom did not make it to the show:
CW_Ludwig mismatched.jpg
 

Roosto

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Charlie's kit today -

Round badge Gretsch from about 1960 or so. Charlie or news releases will sometimes state earlier, but the hardware on the kit belie that. Sizes are 8x12, 16 floor tom, 22 bass. Standard size for a kit is 13 16 22. So there sometimes can be a challenge to get the 12. Heads are black dot on white Control Sound, top and bottom on toms. Charlie has changed bass drum heads over the years, but for awhile had Evans on the batter side. Charlie uses a Ludwig Speed King bass drum pedal. The drum seat is a vintage Atlas Ludwig. Snare stand is an old Atlas snare stand. Cymbal stands are 1980's Gretsch. Cymbals are old Zild hi hats, 18 China Ufip, an old Ufip 18 flat top ride, and a vintage 17 crash zild. He uses the old Rogers "Buck Rogers" hi hat stand. Drumsticks for years were Ludwig hickory 11A. He now uses the Vic Firth Charlie Watts sig sticks. Snare is now a DW 5x14 wood. The Classic albums were with a metal 400 Ludwig 5x14. In the 80's Charlie played a Ludwig 6.5x14, then the Super Sensitive for Steel Wheels. Voodoo Lounge period was a Pearl wood 8x14. Then came the Arnie Lang 4x14 wood.
 

Sequimite

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Back in the nineties I got a call from the drum shop I frequented asking about my blond maple Gretsch kit because Charlie Watts was flying in for a charity event. I had the sizes: 12, 13, 16, 22 but missed my brush with fame. I think it was because mine was a 70's with Pearl tom hardware.
 

KINGTRIXON

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Charlie still uses the maple kit today. He has a real odd mix of hardware. The hi-hat stand is a late 1970's Swivomatic model, but with Memriloc collar. The cymbal stands are Gretsch "Techware" straight stands. The snare stand is a Buck Rogers Ludwig, while the 8x12 tom is supported by a DW 9000 series model with offset tilting basket. Bass drum pedal is older 60's Ludwig speedking with WFL markings and narrow connecting strap. Drum throne is a Ludwig 70's Atlas model. If you see a different throne in my pictures, that is the throne used by Mike Cormier, Charlie's drum tech. Charlie endorses Vic Firth drum sticks and they supply him with his own signature model. When I first met Charlie, I spent a lot of my time looking for vintage 1970's Ludwig Joe Morello 11S woodtip drum sticks. The Vic Firth Charlie WAtts stick is based on the 11S stick.

Charlie has a large stock of NOS Gretsch Techware stands, as well as a number of NOS Rogers Swivomatic hi-hats in storage. Every stand is wrapped in a faux leopard skin sleeve, and then carefully placed in the ATA flight case. Charlie's flight cases date all the way back to the early 1970's.

When I met Charlie, he was still using a clear Evans hydraulic 22" batter head on the Gretsch bass drum, clear Remo Ambassadors on the bottoms of the toms, and Remo CS Batter black dot on the tops.

The most consistent cymbal in Charlie's setup, is a 1970's UFIP 16" Flatop ride ( REDSOUND series ). This is a entry level cymbal made by UFIP that has a majority copper content in the cymbal alloy. REDSOUNDS were sold primarliy for sale in Europe, Charlie told me that he purchased this cymbal in a Parisian drum shop.
 

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Roosto

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Charlie still uses the maple kit today. He has a real odd mix of hardware. The hi-hat stand is a late 1970's Swivomatic model, but with Memriloc collar. The cymbal stands are Gretsch "Techware" straight stands. The snare stand is a Buck Rogers Ludwig, while the 8x12 tom is supported by a DW 9000 series model with offset tilting basket. Bass drum pedal is older 60's Ludwig speedking with WFL markings and narrow connecting strap. Drum throne is a Ludwig 70's Atlas model. If you see a different throne in my pictures, that is the throne used by Mike Cormier, Charlie's drum tech. Charlie endorses Vic Firth drum sticks and they supply him with his own signature model. When I first met Charlie, I spent a lot of my time looking for vintage 1970's Ludwig Joe Morello 11S woodtip drum sticks. The Vic Firth Charlie WAtts stick is based on the 11S stick.

Charlie has a large stock of NOS Gretsch Techware stands, as well as a number of NOS Rogers Swivomatic hi-hats in storage. Every stand is wrapped in a faux leopard skin sleeve, and then carefully placed in the ATA flight case. Charlie's flight cases date all the way back to the early 1970's.

When I met Charlie, he was still using a clear Evans hydraulic 22" batter head on the Gretsch bass drum, clear Remo Ambassadors on the bottoms of the toms, and Remo CS Batter black dot on the tops.

The most consistent cymbal in Charlie's setup, is a 1970's UFIP 16" Flatop ride ( REDSOUND series ). This is a entry level cymbal made by UFIP that has a majority copper content in the cymbal alloy. REDSOUNDS were sold primarliy for sale in Europe, Charlie told me that he purchased this cymbal in a Parisian drum shop.
I know you meant 18" flat top.
 

GiantBeater

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Nice pictures, can they get larger?? Thanks for all the info- I have noticed from the recent Stones gigs that his far right crash is an Armand 16'' thin and the bottom head on his rack tom looks to be a clear ambassador again. I remember reading that the hammering is really interesting on his Ufip flat ride, like Diamond Shaped indents, I have seen a 20'' Ufip ride on ebay like this before. KINGTRIXON, can you confirm or deny? Just curious..
 

wflkurt

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Cool info guys! Thanks for the pics King. I'll bet the black RB set is the one from Altamont.
 

JOE COOL

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charlie played a rb black nitron in the 1968 rock and roll circus

http://ma-tvideo.france2.fr/video/iLyROoaftBSP.html
 

ObiWan

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This is a great post, BTW - blown away by the details. Really enjoying it!
 

tillerva

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His gear choice is really cool to me. Play whatever you find works, and stick with it. Who cares what brand or if it matches!
 

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