Chad Smith Recalls 'Unbelievable' Experience Meeting Charlie Watts

By Katrina Nattress

February 10, 2022

Chad Smith is a bona fide rockstar, so he's lived through some pretty amazing moments, but one of the most "unbelievable" came in 1994 when the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer met Charlie Watts at a show at the Rose Bowl.

He told the story to NME, recalling how he noticed the late Rolling Stones drummer watching him play during soundcheck. “It was August and there he is in a full suit, standing there at 3 o’clock in the afternoon in the sun looking and watching us soundcheck,” the drummer shared. “I’m like ‘f**king Charlie Watts is watching me f**king play. Unbelievable!'”

They also spent time together outside of the show. “He was such a big jazz guy – he wanted to know what kit I had. He was very sweet and I got to spend a day with him,” Smith said. “We had the same drum company called DW Drums and he was out here and we toured the factory together and he was so interested in all the different plies and what kind of wood and how it was put together. He was super cool and nice to everybody and just a real gentleman.”

"When he spoke, all he wanted to talk about was jazz. I couldn’t get two words in about the Stones or anything. He just wanted to talk about everything jazz,” he added. “I know some, but not to his extensive [knowledge], so I just nodded. You probably know people that go off on a tangent about something that you sort of don’t really know, you’re just kind of ‘Mmmm yes, Gerry Mulligan in 1946 oh wow really?’ But he was super sweet and nice and obviously what an incredible musician.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers are gearing up to release their 12th studio album Unlimited Love on April 1, before setting off on a massive world tour.

Red Hot Chili PeppersThe Rolling Stones
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