Imagine being 76 years old, with a grandchild and more money than you’ll ever be able to spend, and instead of driving a golf cart around your breezy beachfront estate, you’re touring the world with the same bunch of blokes you’ve been around since you were 22, pounding drums on stage every night for paychecks you don’t need, spending your free time talking to journalists. Such is the life of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who—completely understandably—told the Guardian recently that he wouldn’t mind if the band stopped playing tomorrow:
“I love playing the drums and I love playing with Mick and Keith and Ronnie, I don’t know about the rest of it,” he said. “It wouldn’t bother me if the Rolling Stones said that’s it … enough.”
“I don’t know what I would do if I stopped,” Watts said. “Keith is a great one for saying once you’re going, keep going. The big worry for me is being well enough. We don’t work like we used to fortunately. There are huge gaps between each show.”
Watts, who has been sober for years, also gave a quote that should be inspiring to every 28-year-old who thinks their hard-drinking days are behind them:
“We are getting to that elderly period, so it’s a good thing not to. When you’re 40 and you’ve got a hangover you get up and have another drink and you’re off again. I don’t think we could do it nowadays…”
Imagine that—looking back on your 40s as the days of wretched excess. In any case, we don’t blame Charlie for feeling like he’s ready to stop. If you don’t want to miss your chance to see those geriatrics flouncing and pouncing around onstage one last time instead of getting shiatsu massages at a day spa where they belong, the Stones just announced a bunch of European tour dates for this summer.