The ‘Why [insert musician’s name here] Matters’ book concept is gathering a head of steam, and this time it’s the turn of the Stones’ venerable drummer, Charlie Watts. His mate Keith has repeatedly declared, “No Charlie, No Stones” and author Mike Edison, also a drummer, has taken it upon himself to back up that claim. For five decades, Charlie has had the best seat in the house watching Mick shake his skinny arse, but his public persona, what exists of one, rails against the grain of typical rockstar behaviour.
Just what was an urbane jazz sticksman with a sharp dress code and an intense dislike of the limelight doing behind the drums at Altamont as an essential part of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world?
And it’s largely that unlikely juxtaposition which keeps the ebulient Edison occupied throughout the course of this undeniably entertaining yet slightly fluffy book. While the ‘Why… Matters’ subtitle might suggest itself to some degree of cultural study having been applied, in truth, Sympathy For The Drummer is anything but. What’s more it’s probably way better off without it.