Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith Recalls “Unbelievable” Meeting With Charlie Watts

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Drummer Chad Smith has spoken about the “unbelievable” experience of meeting legendary Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts.

Charlie Watts passed away last August aged 80. Tributes to the late drummer were paid. Check them out here. And here.

In a new interview, Chad Smith has revealed that he met Watts during a show at the Rose Bowl back in 1994. Smith also stated that it was during this show that he noticed yours truly looking at the side of drum tech.

“It was August and there he is in a full suit, standing there at 3 o’clock in the afternoon in the sun looking and watching us soundcheck”, he stated.

“I’m like ‘f*****g Charlie Watts is watching me f*****g play. Unbelievable!’”.

Along with his clear admiration for Watts, Chad Smith also hailed the staying power of Watts’ band, the Rolling Stones.

“They’re still going man, still wheeling around”, Smith mentioned. “I think because they were there in the very beginning of rock and roll or modern rock and roll anyway. They’re the last of the Mohicans, they’re still going somehow”.

Charlie Was “such a big jazz guy” – Chad Smith

In the same interview, Chad Smith went on to reveal that he spent some time with Watts in subsequent years.

“He was such a big jazz guy – he wanted to know what kit I had. He was very sweet and I got to spend a day with him”, he said.

“We had the same drum company called DW Drums and he was out here and we toured the factory together and he was so interested in all the different plies and what kind of wood and how it was put together. He was super cool and nice to everybody and just a real gentleman”. 

Chad Smith also shared an insight into the hidden depts of the late drummer, pointing out that he was an “avid” collector and music fan.

“He’d say ‘I have some watches from Gene Krupa and he says ‘I’m not gonna wear them but I look at them and it’s like, ‘hey, Gene wore those when he went out to dinner.’ He really appreciated those kinds of things”, Smith revealed.

“He was a real fan. When he spoke, all he wanted to talk about was jazz. I couldn’t get two words in about the Stones or anything. He just wanted to talk about everything jazz”.

“I know some, but not to his extensive [knowledge], so I just nodded. You probably know people that go off on a tangent about something that you sort of don’t really know, you’re just kind of ‘Mmmm yes, Gerry Mulligan in 1946 oh wow really?’ But he was super sweet and nice and obviously what an incredible musician”.

Earlier this month, Red Hot Chili Peppers had announced their new album “Unlimited Love”, their first new material since 2016. More here.