Meeting Mr. Watts

One afternoon while up at summer camp in Maine, our camp counselor took us on a trip to the nearby town of Naples. It started to rain and he decided to take us to the movies. Bringing a bunch of pre-pubescent 12-year-old boys to see a flick about a high school grad having an affair with his girlfriend’s mom was a pretty ballsy move on his part, but it was 1969 and The Graduate was the only thing playing at the one theater in town. Afterwards, with Mrs. Robinson swirling around my head, we went out for ice cream. I have an imbedded moving-picture memory: I was standing out on a big wooden deck at some sort of outdoor cafe. It was around twilight. There was a view of a lake and everything was bathed in blue neon light. A song blasted on the radio, vibrated through my body and thundered across the water. It had a hypnotic testosterone tinged groove that gave me a feeling I’d never experienced before. The song was Honky Tonk Women. From that moment I was driven to play drums and drums drove my life.
 
In 2006 I had the privilege of opening for The Rolling Stones with my friend, Bump Band leader, and former Faces & Stones* keyboardist Ian 'Mac' McLagan. After we finished playing the set our guitarist Scrappy Jud told me that Charlie Watts had been sitting right behind me the whole time. Good thing he told me afterward and not beforehand. Later on Mac brought me backstage to meet Charlie. As we approached him, the sound of that cowbell, kick & snare echoed across the lake and drifted through time. In an out-of-body haze I stammered a heartfelt "thank you" to mylife-long hero.
 

* Some Girls, Tattoo You