“Charlie’s Good Tonight” – The authorised Charlie Watts Biography by Paul Sexton

Many followers of the Ealing Club may have missed the publication of the authorised biography of Charlie Watts written by the seasoned music journalist Paul Sexton. 

With forewords by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards it’s clearly set to become an important testament to the life, the times of ‘the heartbeat of the band’

Many reviews have already been published by UK broadsheet newspapers including the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times.

Charlie Watts & The Ealing Club 

As would be expected the book highlights Charlie’s relationship with Blues Incorporated, the band led by Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies who set up a residency at a basement bar in Ealing Broadway, launching their club nights on 17th March 1962. 

Paul Sexton has collected some fascinating additional memories from Charlie, Mick and Keith about those early days and how the Rolling Stones emerged from the early 60’s Club Jazz scene. There’s extensive coverage of influential contemporaries such as Ginger Baker who took over from Charlie as drummer for Blues Incorporated. 

The Ealing Club: 12th January 1963: Charlie’s first gig with the Rolling Stones

From 17th March 1962, The Ealing Club had become the gathering place for the ‘would be’ Rolling Stones to meet, mingle and even have the chance to perform. It was the ‘formative’ venue for the Rolling Stones and the favourite ‘R & B’ venue of Keith Richards. 

On 12th July 1962, Mick, Keith, Brian Jones & Ian Stewart brought together the first performance of the ‘Rollin Stones’ at the Marquee Jazz Club. On bass was Dick Taylor (later of the Pretty Things) and on drums either Tony Chapman/Mick Avory. In Autumn 1962, Ealing became the regular venue for the Rollin Stones who were yet to appoint a their long-standing bass player Bill Wyman & Drummer Charlie Watts. In December 62, Bill Wyman joined the band and finally Charlie Watts joined in January 1963 

When & where did Charlie join the Rolling Stones? 

As Charlie was the last member of the classic stones line-up to join the band it is a little of a ‘watershed’ moment in music history. 

This book clarifies the date with input from Mick Jagger who retraced the history of the band for the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones in 2012.

Page 41 details that Tony Chapman (the drummer prior to Watts) was given notification of his last gig on the 11th at the Ricky Tick in Windsor. The book goes on

“and just 24 hours later, back at the Ealing Club and with the group now six in number, Charlie was in the drum seat for the very first time”

The six were: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts.

So 12th January 1963 is a day worth celebrating…..