My teenage musical education came playing in a bar and wedding band starting when I was 14. There are lots of iconic motifs, riffs and other signatures that became part of my own musical DNA in those years, but the drum intro that stands out the most from that part of my life is the simple 2-tom-hit opening to the Stones "Honky Tonk Woman". As I think back to the repertoire I learned - "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Satisfaction" as well as HTW - I realize how much my sense of rock and roll drumming, timing and swing were informed in large part by Charlie Watts backbeat.
I'm sad he's gone, but so grateful that he didn't get tragically cut down in his prime like Bonham or Moon, and that he was here to keep the soundtrack of youth going, as well as show us that there is no mandatory retirement age in music. That great heavenly jam just got a dose of dapper class and backbeat swing. Rock in paradise, good sir.
Charlie Watts laying down that understated funky groove on "Beast of Burden"