Charlie Watts: Michael Eavis pays tribute to Rolling Stones drummer

  • Michael Eavis pays tribute to the Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts.

The founder of Glastonbury Festival Michael Eavis has described the Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts as one of the "greatest drummers of all time".

Watts died in hospital in London on Tuesday 24 August, leaving fans of the famous rock band devastated.

He had been a part of the band since 1963 and was scheduled to be part of their upcoming tour of the US.

In an interview with ITV News West Country, Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis said the dummer's death is a "huge loss" to the country.

Charlie Watts passed away in hospital on Tuesday.

"It is very sad, you think the Stones are never going to die," he said.

"You think they are going to go on forever.

"To hear he has died is really sad - it is a huge loss to the country."

The Rolling Stones at Glastonbury Festival in 2013. Charlie Watts (second right) has died at the age of 80. Credit: PA

The founder of the festival recalled how the band made their spectacular Glastonbury debut during the festival in 2013 but revealed they took some convincing.

"I had a job to get them to come, they phoned and asked 'do you really want us to play?' I said 'yes, of course we do'," Eavis continued.

"They agreed to come which was great for us and it was a huge success. It was probably one of the best sets in our history.

"Charlie was a charming bloke, a bit laid back but he was kind of super cool wasn't he? Like Mick Jagger, he was a great character. It is a great loss."

Charlie was notorious for not being a massive fan of festivals, and Mr Eavis said he was originally not going to attend when the band came in 2013.

"He didn't fancy it I don't think but in the end he came round and I hope he did have a good day. I think he really enjoyed it," he said.

"I think I was on the stage watching the whole thing, the crowds loved it. They went crazy for it.

"It was a fantastic moment."

Mr Watts lived near Dolton in Devon and people there have described him as a "true gentleman" and a "very charitable man" who helped the area. 

Charlie Watts helped fund benches and other projects around the town.

Jeff Tapp, a resident in the village said he had left a "legacy" in the area.

"A gentleman, a true gent," he said.

"He used to put himself out for lots of charity things in the area and there was a lot of things he did that people wouldn't necessarily know about him. 

"He was very low-profile but he will be missed here."

Niels Walker, another resident in Dolton, said he was a very private man but always generous.

"He did a lot for Dolton. He did a lot for the village hall and for our hospital and he even helped fund benches here, he will be sorely missed. 

"He moved here so he could get on with his own private life, which he did, but he was a true gent."