Why Charlie Watts once punched Mick Jagger in the face

Keith Richards told all in his autobiography

Sam Moore
Tuesday 24 August 2021 21:28 BST
Rolling Stones exclusive gig

Charlie Watts, the drummer for The Rolling Stones, once punched lead vocalist Mick Jagger in the face during a dispute.

Lead guitarist, Keith Richards, wrote about the argument between Jagger and Watts, who died aged 80 on Tuesday, 24 August, in his bestselling autobiography, Life.

The disagreement was to do with Jagger’s burgeoning ego and remarks he apparently made in a meeting about whether the Stones should break up. According to Richards’s book, Jagger told Watts: “‘None of this should matter to you because you’re only my drummer.”

Later, Richards recalled, a drunken Jagger antagonised Watts over the phone and said to him “where’s my drummer?”.

Watts, who was in a hotel room just down the corridor from Jagger, then proceeded to have a shave, put on one of his Savile Row suits and spray some cologne before knocking on the door of his bandmate.

Richards said Watts walked right past him and grabbed Jagger by the lapels of his jacket and gave him a right hook and said “never call me your drummer again”.

Richards recalled how Jagger promptly stumbled backwards and fell onto a platter of smoked salmon and nearly slid through an open window into the nearby canal.

Jagger was also accused of acting as if he was bigger and more important than the rest of the band. Richards termed that he suffered from “lead vocalist syndrome”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in