The Rolling Stones: Remembering Charlie Watts

The Rolling Stones: Remembering Charlie Watts

Date: 25/08/2021 16:34

Charlie Watts was more than a drummer. He was the heart and soul of the Rolling Stones, pulling the music together and anchoring the songs in a perfect beat. No airs and graces. No fancy tricks or superfluous trills. A classy man with impeccable taste and a passion for getting things right. While the rest of the band seemed to continuously implode or wander, Watts was the anchor.

In their early years, the Stones played in Northern Ireland in 1964, one gig at the Flamingo Ballroom in Ballymena and the second in the Ulster Hall in Belfast. Infamously, the Belfast gig was abandoned after only three songs due to ‘hysteria’! The band came back to play two shows at the ABC Theatre in 1965. The wonderful films here show the chaos and energy of those early gigs with fans camping out to get tickets, fainting once they get into the gig and engulfing the band after the concerts. 

The loss of Charlie Watts to the band, their fans and the music world is immense but archives like these allow us to enjoy his legacy and remember what the music means to us.

In our featured clip, Maurice Smyth interviews the band who are somewhat perplexed by his questions, but genuine and engaging. Check out the other clips below and dig about in the Digital Film Archive for more film of 60s bands including The Beatles.

 These young lads are waiting outside the ABC to get in. Their commitment is to be admired but a little weakened by the admission that they're going to run home for their dinner.


Although this footage from 1965 is a little grainy, the energy of the band shines through and the effect on the fans is obvious!