Sympathy for the Drummer: Why Charlie Watts Matters

Mike Edison (Author)

Product Details

$22.00  $20.24
Backbeat Books
Publish Date
November 05, 2019
5.8 X 7.2 X 0.9 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Mike Edison is the former editor and publisher of High Times magazine. His books include the celebrated memoir I Have Fun Everywhere I Go, the sprawling social history of sex on the newsstand, Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! and the deliciously filthy political satire Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie. Edison is also a noted musician who spent much of the 1980s and '90s seeing the world from behind a drum set, opening for bands as diverse as Sonic Youth, Sound Garden, and the Ramones. He has written extensive liner notes for, among others, Iggy Pop, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and has contributed to numerous magazines and websites, including Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, the New York Observer, Spin (writing about the Rolling Stones), Interview, and New York Press, for which he covered classical music and professional wrestling. He speaks frequently on free speech, sex, drugs, and the American counterculture. Edison lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.


"Proof positive that one can be both edgy and erudite, lowbrow and literate, and take joy in the unbridled pleasures of the id without sacrificing the higher mind." --PopMatters
"Charlie Watts lays it down, and the others follow. He is the Law. This book explains why." -- Clem Burke, Blondie
"Required reading for any Stones fan." -- Bun E. Carlos
"The most colorfully graphic and, arguably, the most accurate description extant of the Rolling Stones at the absolute pinnacle of their career."-- All About Jazz
"[Edison] shoots from the hip from the first line to the last in this extremely entertaining celebration... Edison's frenzied, gunned up prose repeatedly reminds one and all of exactly why Charlie Watts Matters... Stones fans and jazzers, bluesers and rockers alike all owe Mike Edison a massive thank you." β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… -- Shindig
"Sympathy thankfully is not a ponderous academic treatise, and while Edison occasionally leans into gonzo flights of fancy, he takes the reader on a grand tour of forty years of Watts' contributions to the Rolling Stones... As Keith Richards has said, "No Charlie, no Stones," and Edison wrote the book to prove it."-- Modern Drummer
"Sympathy for the Drummer is so much more than an incisive appreciation of Charlie Watts, it is an effusively infectious tribute to art in all of its myriad forms. Edison's insights into the Rolling Stones are backed up by a fluent scope of cultural historicity, and peppered with an array of no-nonsense broadsides. Compelling evidence to convince even the most non-partisan reader that Charlie is indeed the WORLD'S GREATEST ROCK'N'ROLL DRUMMER!" -- Jim Sclavunos, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
"It's not hard to fathom why a former editor of both Screw and High Times magazines would find writing about the Rolling Stones, one of the most dissolute champions of sex and drugs, right in his conceptual wheelhouse. But Edison takes a unique approach by focusing his investigation on Charlie Watts, the woefully underappreciated lynchpin of the Stones sound. This book is a delightful look at the Stones through the eyes and the beats of their most reticent member. Finally someone gave this drummer some." -- Larry "Ratso" Sloman, author On the Road with Bob Dylan
"A great voice of authority and knowledge, dispensed with free-wheeling fluidity. Super entertaining, and right on." -- Katherine Turman, coauthor, Louder Than Hell: The Complete Oral History of Heavy Metal
"A wild ride through six-plus decades of music history... An illuminating and massively entertaining book." -- Dan Epstein, author Big Hair and Plastic Grass
"Mike Edison's libertine prose swings and hits like Charlie Watt's right hand." -- Meredith Ochs, author Rock-and-Roll Woman
"Charlie Watts is the backbone of the Rolling Stones. In this affectionate yet unflinching biography, Mike Edison shows how integral his jazz sensibility makes them a true band: keeping time, creating space, and hitting the crash cymbal at just the right moment." -- Lenny Kaye, guitarist, author of You Call It Madness: the Sensuous Song of the Croon
"An imaginative consideration of the Rolling Stones, one which will let you hear utterly familiar tracks with entirely fresh ears." -- Ira Robbin
"Rollicking ... highly engaging ... essential." -- Classic Rock
"A marvelous snare-crack of a book." -- Hot Press (UK)
"Exhilarating... magnificent insouciance... Edison writes like Charlie Watts drums: with panache.""-- Planet Rock
"A remarkable achievement... insightful, passionate, knowledgeable, funny, fresh and astute... Sympathy for the Drummer is hard to beat." -- International Times
"Edison's style captures the effortless nature of Watts' drumming... you come away with new respect for the man behind the small kit, and I guarantee you'll blast a Stones cut when done. Highly recommended."-- The Big Takeover
"Fanf**kingtastic."-- Kenny Aranoff
"The most fun and evocative Stones book since Keith Richard's Life." -- Record Collector (UK)