Charlie Watts blamed Led Zeppelin for pushing the amount of time musicians were expected to play in concert. Billboard published excerpts from the new biography of the late-Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie’s Good Tonight: The Life, The Times, And The Rolling Stones: The Authorized Biography Of Charlie Watts by Paul Sexton. Charlie Watts died of cancer on August 24th, 2021 at the age of 80.

In the book, which was published today (October 11th), Watts is quoted as saying, “I blame Led Zeppelin for the two-hour-long show. Now, you see, we jumped in a few years from doing 20 minutes, all the hits and off — the Apollo Revue, we’ll call it — we went from doing club dates which are two sets a night, which was great fun, to doing two minutes, because you got pulled off the stage, to doing 20-minute Apollo-type shows to doing, thanks to Led Zeppelin, this two-hour long show.”

Watts went on to say, “If you’re Jimmy Page, you can do that, and (John) Bonham’s 20-minute drum solo. It wasn’t about that with us, it was a different thing. I don’t like doing drum solos, period. I don’t hear things like that.”

Watt’s daughter Seraphina Watts shed light on her father’s behind the scenes creative work for the band’s tours and the design, construction, and presentation of their stages: “He was behind the creative process, that mega-touring, those stages, before U2, before any of those guys. Because of his design history, he did merchandising, designing of stages. Art direction, really. He was involved with the lighting, all the behind-the-scenes stuff. They have a really fantastic team and the same people (each time), and I don’t think people know quite how involved he was.”

Charlie’s Good Tonight includes forewords by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, along with new interviews with the pair, as well as Ron Wood, Bill Wyman, and many of Watts’ family members, friends, and colleagues.


  • Charlie Watts is the third of the original Rolling Stones to die, with co-founding guitarist Brian Jones drowning on July 3rd, 1969 at age 27, and co-founding pianist-turned-roadie Ian Stewart dying of a heart attack on December 12th, 1985 at 47.
  • Charlie Watts, who had turned 80 on June 2nd, 2021, was the second-oldest Stone; co-founding bassist Bill Wyman is 85, Mick Jagger is 79, Keith Richards is 78, and Ron Wood is 75.

CHECK IT OUT: The Stones In November 1969 performing “Little Queenie” live at MSG: