October 2021 Archives - Modern Drummer Magazine

October 2021 – Volume 45 • Number 10

Tommy Lee Rockstar Ridge Rider Cowbell Tommy Lee’s signature model is big. Way big. It’s loud. Crazy loud. It even looks like a rock-and roll cowbell should look, in its bright-white finish with a large red-white-black star logo under Lee’s signature. And could the model name get any longer? I’m thinking a Guinness World Record […]

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Articles in October 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
esteemed friends

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

A family tribute to Charlie Watts ...Or Recollections on the Bakerloo Line

Charlie presenting Dad with the Zildjian Lifetime Achievement Award in London, 2008. I know that my late father, Ginger Baker, would want me to pay tribute to one of his two most-enduring friendships. Here is my personal account of a…

By Nettie Baker
Oct 29, 2021
On the Cover

Charlie Watts

A Personal Remembrance and Tribute Ringo Starr and I waited at the top of his Los Angeles driveway. It was November 2006, and as noon approached, I turned to ask Ringo, “When was the last time you and Charlie saw…

By Rob Shanahan
Oct 29, 2021

That Seductive Charlie Watts Groove

One Style I Could Never Mimic Charlie loved music of all kinds. One of the many things we had in common. And he loved all the same drummers I did—mostly the jazz guys. But we also agreed on how great…

By Jim Keltner
Oct 29, 2021

A Distinguished Gentleman

My Photographic Journey with Charlie Watts Charlie Watts was a distinguished man, grounded, considerate of others. In 1981, years after we had worked together, he called me from the road when he heard my father passed away. He brought so…

Words and Photos by Ethan Russell
Oct 29, 2021
Product Close-Up

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

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
Kit of the Month

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

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

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
The Modern Drummer Product Guide

Hardware & Accessories

If percussion gear were rated like cinema fare, drum kits, snares, and cymbals would be the thrill-a-minute, skyscrapers exploding, monsters devouring Manhattan action flicks. Hardware? Probably more like a grainy, black-and-white French film from the ‘60s, where two people sit…

By Michael Molenda
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
Vintage Ad

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

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

“The Adult in the Gang”

Photographing Charlie Watts Charlie was a real English Gentleman who brought class to the Rolling Stones as the adult in the gang. And he gave them a solid foundation to play on! As fast as rock and roll can be,…

Words and Photos by Bob Gruen
Oct 29, 2021
In Memoriam

Ron Tutt

March 12, 1938 - October 16, 2021 Ron Tutt, who backed up the King—Elvis Presley—as part of his TCB band from 1969-1977, passed away on October 16, at 83 years old. Tutt was a founding member of Presley’s “Taking Care…

Modern Drummer
Oct 29, 2021

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