February 4, 2023

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Shirley Watts, Spouse of Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie, Dies at 84

Shirley Watts, who was married to Rolling Stones drummer Charlie from 1964 right up until his demise last calendar year, has died soon after a limited health issues, according to a statement from her family members. She was 84.

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The assertion reads: “It is with fantastic disappointment that Seraphina, Charlotte and Barry announce the dying of their substantially-cherished mom, grandmother and mother-in law Shirley Watts. Shirley died peacefully on Friday December 16 in Devon following a limited health issues surrounded by her loved ones.

“She will be also unfortunately skipped by her sisters Jackie and Jill, and her brother Stephen. Reunited now for good with her beloved Charlie.”

The couple grew to become a symbol of marital stability in the freewheeling rock globe, even as Charlie drummed for a band that was the most famously ribald band in tunes record. His small-critical demeanor always contrasted with that impression, not often additional so than in his household-loving patterns — which to him always intended Shirley, whom he achieved in 1961 when both of those were being finding out at the Royal University of Artwork and married, originally secretly, a few years afterwards.

Relationship was a kiss of demise for pop stars in the early 1960s and Watts in the beginning retained the nuptials solution even from his bandmates, who were furious when they 1st observed out.

“He did not want the band to know due to the fact he was worried of Andrew [Loog Oldham, the band’s early manager] and all that,’ explained longtime Stones bassist Invoice Wyman in Paul Sexton’s new Watts biography “Charlie’s Very good Tonight.” “So they held it solution for about three months, [then] the push produced it. He still denied it for the first couple of times, and then he owned up and that was all proper.”

As for the public, Wyman recalled Charlie being confronted by a reporter from England’s Every day Specific. “I emphatically deny I am married,’ he replied. “It would do a great deal of damage to my vocation, if the story bought all over.” Having said that, Shirley resolved not to lie. “We have required to marry for about a calendar year, and just didn’t dare,” she stated. “The months went on and we resolved we could not reside independently any for a longer time. I’m terribly pleased remaining Charlie’s spouse. It’s just excellent.”

Watts was hardly the heartthrob variety and the relationship was never an challenge afterward. The pair suffered issues when Charlie battled compound abuse remarkably late in his career, all through the 1980s, but informed Sexton numerous decades afterwards, “Now, luckily for us, many thanks to my wife, I’ve stopped [using] every little thing.”

Born Shirley Ann Shepherd, she examined sculpture at the Royal Faculty of Artwork, the place she fulfilled Watts, who was finding out graphic design and style although also functioning as a aspect-time jazz musician. Their only baby, daughter Seraphina, was born in 1968 and the family moved to a rural residence in Devon (and lived in France all through the band’s tax-exile decades), in which Shirley established a environment-class horse farm. She grew to become a renowned breeder and demonstrate particular person of Arabian horses.

“She is an incredible girl,’ Charlie is quoted in the ebook as saying of Shirley. “The a single regret I have of this life is that I was never ever property more than enough. But she always suggests when I occur off tour that I am a nightmare and tells me to go back out.”

Indeed, the family’s longtime mate Tony King suggests in the book, “Shirley always retained him in line. He was in no way authorized to get as well huge for his boots if she was close to. She would quite promptly connect with it. She did not flinch about stating something to pull the rug from beneath his ft.

“I keep in mind she wrote me this amazing letter in the early days when they were touring The us, all around Altamont time,” he continued, talking of the band’s galvanizing 1969 American tour.

“She stated, ‘Charlie arrived residence at the weekend, whole of conceit about getting a member of the Rolling Stones. So I built him clean the oven.”’

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