Reports have surfaced today that Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has quit the band, just three years shy of their 50th anniversary.
A source "within the Stones inner-circle" allegedly told Australian website Undercover: "Charlie Watts has quit the band. He will never record or tour with the band again... The Stones are looking to Keith's Expensive Winos drummer Charlie Drayton to fill the void in all future Stones' callings."
While Watts's departure is yet to be confirmed by the Rolling Stones camp, it doesn't come as a complete surprise. Before the Stones' A Bigger Bang tour, guitarist Keith Richards had to reportedly do a lot of arm-twisting to get the 68-year-old drummer to agree to go out on the road. That tour ran for two years, from August 2005 to August 2007.
Watts joined the Rolling Stones in 1963 and, for many a fan, is often seen as the group's backbone.