Modest funeral ‘perfect’ for Rolling Stone Charlie Watts, says old friend

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Charlie Watts during a gig in 2018 (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
Charlie Watts during a gig in 2018 (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

The modest funeral held for Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts was a perfect reflection of the man, according to a former tour manager for the band.

Watts was laid to rest in a private ceremony in Devon after his death, aged 80, last month.

His band-mates, who are already in the US ahead of their next tour, were unable to attend because of Covid regulations.

But former tour manager Sam Cutler, who first worked with the musician in the 1960s, said Watts would have appreciated the “lack of fuss” around his funeral.

Writing in The Mirror, he said: “It perfectly reflects the man he was, and I completely understand the choice that was made. He would have hated a fuss and the commotion that involving the public would have meant.”

Cutler praised the drummer’s attitude to his fans and his rock-solid marriage to his wife Shirley and his family.

He said he had no doubt Watts would want the Stones to keep playing.

Shortly before his death, Watts confirmed he was being replaced on the tour by his “great friend” Steve Jordan and he did not want Stones fan to miss out on the long delayed gigs.

He said: “He would have wanted his band mates to continue. I feel certain that they will, and that every show will become a tribute to a remarkable and well-loved man, for there is no way that they will not continue being the greatest rock ’n’ roll band in the world.”

Stars from all walks of showbiz paid tribute to the drummer in the wake of his death.

Mr Watts died in a London hospital surrounded by his family.

The statement read: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts. He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier on Tuesday surrounded by his family.

“Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also, as a member of The Rolling Stones, one of the greatest drummers of his generation.

“We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.’’

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