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A BIT OF HISTORY: ‘ODE TO A HIGH FLYING BIRD’

Charlie Watts’ book, which he wrote and illustrated in 1961. The story of a little bird, but it’s really about jazz great Charlie Parker.
In 1961, twenty-year-old Charles Robert Watts was working as a full-time graphic designer and a part-time drummer. He had left art school in July 1960, and after working as a tea boy in an advertising agency he got his chance to work as a designer. In mid-1961 he was also playing drums twice a week in a coffee bar, but by September he was playing with a band at the Troubadour Club in Chelsea. It’s here he met Alexis Korner who asked him to join his band, but young Charlie had other ideas: he moved to Denmark to work. It was while he was at art school that he wrote and illustrated a book he called, Ode To A High Flying Bird, the bird being, Charlie Parker, the jazz saxophonist who Charlie loved so much. When Charlie became a member of the Stones in January 1963 his jazz drumming took a back seat, but not his passion for the music, which he has loved and played ever since whenever his commitments with the Stones allowed. The book was issued again 30 years later as part of the FROM ONE CHARLIE boxset.

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