Charlie Watts On What Makes 'Satisfaction' So Satisfying | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Charlie Watts On What Makes 'Satisfaction' So Satisfying

Play associated audio

This week, All Things Considered is talking to The Rolling Stones one by one, in honor of the band's 50th anniversary. Each of the Stones was asked to pick one song from their archive to discuss. Drummer Charlie Watts — at 71, the eldest statesman in the bunch — chose the song that gave the group its first No. 1 hit in the U.S.

"I chose 'Satisfaction,' " he says. "It was just the first really big record we ever made. It's an iconic riff. It just sums up the whole period, really."

Released in 1965, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" is built around a simple riff by Keith Richards. Watts says that although he's the band's timekeeper, onstage he generally follows Richards' lead rather than the other way around.

"He usually starts the intros," Watts says. "And very much when we were in the early period of our existence, monitors were kind of nonexistent, so I had to have his amplifier quite close to me, and they weren't very big amplifiers. With an audience shouting, I needed that to know where the changes came, because you could very rarely hear Mick."

Speaking of Mick Jagger, he made a guest appearance in Watts' conversation with NPR's Melissa Block while the two were discussing the song's distinctive beat. Click the audio link on this page to hear more.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

No Small Feat: The NBA's Shortest Player Never Gave Up

At 5 foot 3, Muggsy Bogues holds the record as shortest player in NBA history. Criticism of his height started on the basketball courts of the Baltimore projects, and continued well into his career.
NPR

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.
NPR

Ranting And Throwing Papers: An Angry Candidate Runs For Congress

State Rep. Mike Bost's rants on the Illinois House floor are the stuff viral dreams are made of. Bost says he has good reason to be upset, and wants voters to share his anger.
NPR

Israel's Solar-Powered 'Trees': For Smartphones And Community

The man-made trees are designed to create a public space where people can gather and re-charge a battery — their own and their smartphone's.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.