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October 2021 – Volume 45 • Number 10

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Articles in October 2021

Charlie’s My Darling...

The reluctant rock star.The loving husband to his beautiful wife Shirleyfor over a half a century.The fantastic father to his Seraphina.The brilliant grandfather to his Charlotte.The jazz lover/enthusiast.The Dapper Dan.The dog lover/owner.The Arabian horse owner.The classic car collector.The vintage drum…

By Steve Jordan
Oct 29, 2021

RTOM

LV Mesh Drumheads I thought I was so smart. With the global pandemic surging, I drove to my rehearsal space to pack up my four-piece Yamaha kit and bring it to my home office just before lockdown. “Now, I can…

By Michael Molenda
Oct 29, 2021

It’s Only Rock and Roll

Welcome to a very special MD tribute to the Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts. I grew up in that era where a question like “Beatles or Stones?” sort of told you about someone. I always thought it was crazy, because although…

Modern Drummer
Oct 29, 2021

Charlie Watts Quartet

Four Different Collector Covers Honor the Legend The Modern Drummer staff wanted to do something ultra-special to celebrate the life and artistry of Charlie Watts, and we decided that a single cover—however great it might look—simply would not do. We…

Modern Drummer
Oct 29, 2021

Snare Drum Independence

Editor’s Note: It’s no secret that Charlie Watts loved jazz, so if you want to put a dollop of “Charlie Vibe” into your playing, consider jumping into some jazz exercises. This book excerpt by Modern Drummer founder Ron Spagnardi is…

By Ron Spagnardi, excerpted from Progressive Independence: Jazz
Oct 29, 2021
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Charlie’s 50 & Counting Rehearsal Kit

We’re taking this space away from Modern Drummer readers this issue, but we hope no one will mind, because the Kit of the Month for October 2021 belonged to Charlie Watts. (We’ll showcase reader kits again starting next month—you weren’t…

Michael Molenda and Jason Mehler
Oct 29, 2021

Capturing That Charlie Vibe

As great as he was as the starship-powered engine of the Rolling Stones, Charlie Watts didn’t have a distinctly obvious drum sound on the order of John Bonham’s bombastic room rumble, or Tony Thompson’s gleefully grandiose ‘80s Power Station tracks.…

By Michael Molenda
Oct 29, 2021

Why Influencers Matter

The Drummers Who Forged Charlie Watts’ Style As a teenager in early ‘50s London, Charlie Watts discovered the American jazz art form and was transformed. He became obsessed with anything and everything regarding the American jazz movement—including the fashion and…

By Mike Haid
Oct 29, 2021

Gretsch Drums August-September 1982

“Unbeatables.” Ya think? Also, “Legends,” “Icons,” and “Badasses.” Gretsch certainly had a pair that represented all of the above—and more—for this 1982 promotional ad. Tony Williams (1945-1997) was a Gretsch user from 1959 to 1993. He used a round-badge kit…

Modern Drummer
Oct 29, 2021

Remembering Charlie Watts

Ringo Starr Excerpted from his Change the World Press Conference Charlie Watts was a beautiful human being—a great guy and a lot of fun. He had a harder band than I did to keep together. He was like the quiet…

Modern Drummer
Oct 29, 2021

DW Drums

MFG XF Double Pedal I’ve been using a DW 5000 double pedal for years. I really enjoy playing it, and it has been super reliable. I broke a spring just once. That’s the only time it needed a repair. Everything…

By Jon Christ
Oct 29, 2021
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Chad and Charlie

In 2018, Charlie Watts made an appearance on Drum Channel’s The Chad Smith Show. To celebrate Watt’s imprint and impact on drumming, we are currently offering the complete interview for free at drumchannel.com, but here are a few tidbits from…

Modern Drummer
Oct 29, 2021

12 MD Cover Artists on Playing for the Song From the Modern Drummer Archives

As we honor Charlie Watts in this special tribute issue, we wanted to take a look back at how some other drummers accomplished what Watts did so brilliantly—which was create parts and arrangements that enhanced the song. A lot of…

Modern Drummer
Oct 29, 2021

What Was That?

Five Genius Charlie Watts Fills You hardly ever see “Charlie Watts” and “Drum Fills” in the same sentence. Discussions around him usually involve his groove, his feel, and the way he never plays his hi-hat with his backbeat. Rightfully so—as…

By Lane Sanders
Oct 29, 2021

Watts Wisdom

Stone Insights from the Pages of Modern Drummer Given his stature in the drum community and his tenure in the world’s greatest rock and roll band, Charlie Watts gave few relatively interviews. For example, throughout MD’s 45 years, he only…

Modern Drummer
Oct 29, 2021

Don McAulay Charlie Watts’ Drum Tech

Drums are at the center of many lives, and Don McAulay seems to live in all of them. McAulay is a drummer, a woodworker, drum restorer, studio owner, vintage-drum collector, and technican for bands such as Neil Young, My Morning…

By Clementine Moss
Oct 29, 2021

Donn Bennett’s Drum Vault

The Charlie Watts Collection Long before I ever met Charlie Watts, I was captivated by him and anything he did, said, or played. Why did this small, grey-haired gentleman sitting quietly behind the massive spectacle of the Rolling Stones command…

By Donn Bennett
Oct 29, 2021

Buried Treasures

I Unboxed Charlie’s First Drum Kit and Other Stories from The Watts Collection It’s hard to know what to say at a time like this. Most people will mention Charlie Watt’s contribution to the world of rock drumming—which, of course,…

By Steve Maxwell
Oct 29, 2021
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NEW GEAR

RenziAdvanced Heel Pedestal System Kit Founded by Berklee College of Music alumni John Renzi, the Renzi “Stomp Louder” corporation utilizes science and an “athletic” approach to drum-product research to improve performance sustainability and ergonomics. (“Drummers are athletes, as the physiological…

Modern Drummer
Oct 29, 2021

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