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Nick Cave Recalls Meeting Charlie Watts While Wearing a “Tiny Tracksuit”

The Bad Seeds leader recounted an embarrassing encounter with the late Rolling Stones drummer

nick cave recalls meeting charlie watts in a tracksuit
Nick Cave (photo by Heather Kaplan), Charlie Watts, (photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)
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    For the past few years, Nick Cave has used his website The Red Hand Files to interact with fans on a slightly more personal level by answering questions they submit. Rightfully so, the Bad Seeds singer dedicated his latest update to the late great Charlie Watts, sharing an anecdote about how he awkwardly ran into the Rolling Stones drummer about ten years ago.

    In a blog post, Cave recalled an incident in which he made a rare excursion to the gym in preparation for tour, then headed to Heathrow airport before he had a chance to clean himself up. “I needed to have a piss so I stopped at the bathrooms and as I walked back out, in my tiny tracksuit, my giant white trainers and my bucket hat, there, walking toward me, was Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones,” Cave wrote.

    The musician went on: “He had silver hair and was dressed in an elegant pearl-grey three piece suit, a button down checked shirt and a tie. He literally glowed with a kind of inner serenity, and as we passed each other we locked eyes for a moment and he smiled at me — not an unkind smile, but not a kind one either, rather the impassive look one animal might give to another in the wild, that signalled their complete and total supremacy.”

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    “As I watched Charlie Watts disappear into the crowd, I rearranged my bucket hat, and thought, ‘There goes a truly great drummer,’ which is what I thought when I heard the news this week of his passing — ‘There goes a truly great drummer.’”

    Watts, one of The Stones’ longest-running members, died on August 24th at 80 years old. His bandmates will proceed with their US tour this fall with Steve Jordan filling in on drums. As for Cave, he and the Bad Seeds are gearing up to release a massive rarities and B-sides compilation this October, and he’s also been working on a soundtrack to a forthcoming Marilyn Monroe biopic.

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