Details: Let It Bleed.
Charlie Watts: Yeah. He did the cover of that. That's Brownjohn. Brownjohn was a fantastically hip American—we all wanted to be like this and play in jazz clubs. And Bob was another one, and he brought over a crowd of New Yorkers with him. I used to work in the bullpen, they called it. I used to do lettering and things like that. I very quickly realized what a bloody lie it all was—so I just sort of slowly got disillusioned. Not with Bob or with graphic design. I loved that. But I didn't like advertising, and I'm still not very good at self-promotion.
Details: It could be said that you've spent decades sitting in a place where you've got a view of Mick Jagger's ass.
Charlie Watts: Yeah, I have. He's fantastic live, isn't he? He's incredible with an audience. For me there's only ever been three people who were that good live. James Brown, Michael Jackson, and Mick. They're mesmerizing. I mean, Mick—people look at him. They always have done, even when we were kids. They always looked at him. Especially on stage. I would hate it.
Details: You would hate it?
Charlie Watts: Oh, yeah. I don't mind doing something up there. But standing there like that, no, I hate it. That's why he loves to get me to—you know when I walk to the front to say something? Oh, Mick loves that, because he knows I hate it.
Details: He's torturing you.
Charlie Watts: Yeah. And he knows that. It's awful.
Details: I was doing some research on YouTube . . .
Charlie Watts: Oh, don't do that. I don't have a—what do you call it?—machine thing . . .
Details: A computer?
Charlie Watts: No. I don't have a mobile phone, either.
Details: Why not?
Charlie Watts: Well, (a) I don't need one. And (b) I've got no interest, really. I mean, I must admit I'm a bit of a charlatan when it comes to the mobile, because I'll often say—to Mick, for example—"Can I borrow your phone?" But I don't actually possess one of my own. Nor does Keith, by the way, who doesn't use a telephone at all. Very rarely.
Details: How does anyone find him?
Charlie Watts: He very rarely rings anyone. He faxes people. He writes the best faxes in the world, but he's not a telephone man.
Details: Why are they the best faxes in the world?
Charlie Watts: Oh, they're incredible. He says everything in about two lines.
Details: He's just funny?
Charlie Watts: Oh, yeah. He has an incredible sense of how to turn a phrase. He's absolutely brilliant. He has this amazing quick one-liner thing—and is an amazingly perceptive guy as well.
Details: You seem to get along well with those guys, and yet there are ongoing rumors that you're thinking of leaving the Stones . . .
Charlie Watts: I've always thought of leaving.
Details: You've always thought of leaving?
Charlie Watts: No—I don't know where they came from. I don't know why they picked on me. And why would I want to leave? We're not doing anything. [Laughs] What am I leaving? Do you know what I mean?