Ostensibly a biog of Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones this tome is actually an appreciation of the art of pounding the toms, while placing Watts as the greatest of these often under-appreciated sidemen of rock.
From the fairly faceless sticksmen who backed up Elvis and Buddy Holly, Edison analyses the skills of more meaty legends like Zep’s Bonham and Keith Moon of The Who and looks back at Watts’ own first love, the jazz of the 40s.
But it’s not all about the rhythm, the 250 pages also looking at how the clean-living family man has survived to this day, a curious contrast between the Stones beatkeeper and bandmate Keith Richards.
And although Mick Jagger’s infamous “Where’s my drummer?” (and the bloodied nose that ensued) has become legend, it’s a quote from bandmate Keith Richards which sums up Watts’ place in his band: “No Charlie, No Stones.”
Sympathy For The Drummer is out now. This article originally appeared in the Bo’ness Journal.