No moss haiku, part 2

Bill Wyman’s birthday yesterday makes it as good a time as any to get some earlier Stones stuff onto the blog. These are from Charlie Watts’ 70th birthday, June 2, 2011. I know nothing about playing the drums, but I always thought Charlie was the perfect drummer for the Rolling Stones — flexible, solid, content to be in the background. And he always seemed to have some sort of cool jazz or blues project going on the side.

Haiku powered by Charlie’s wattage

Today’s the birthday
Of Charlie Watts, Stones’ drummer
Renaissance beat man

Rock traces its roots
To folk, country, mostly blues
But how about jazz?

Jazz caught Charlie’s ear
“Flamingo” and “Walkin’ Shoes”
He lusted for drums

Before his first kit
He hacked off a banjo’s neck
Drummed on its body

Soon he played skiffle
‘Round London street corners, joined
Alexis Korner

Keith and Mick showed up
Blues Incorporated group
Morphed into the Stones

Whatever a song
Needed, Charlie knew the beat
Time was on his side

The Stones, the rolling
Circus, creative chaos
Charlie was the rock

Pick any Stones hit
Listen to Charlie’s drumming
It will be just right

For instance, it’s there
On “19th Nervous Breakdown”:
Sticks, cymbals, big toms

He didn’t forget
His first love, either, once formed
A jazz orchestra

Boogie-woogie lived,
Too, in his great pickup group
Rocket 88

With Stones and without,
He’s played it all, and he marks
One more year on time

And on “Moonlight Mile”
Charlie Watts proved he drums to
A different dancer

No moss haiku, part 3

Bill Wyman’s birthday yesterday makes it as good a time as any to get past Stones stuff onto the blog. From the anniversary of the release of a great album.

May 12, 2011, haiku

Exile on Main Street
Released 39 years back
On a dark May day

The Stones were exiled
To France and LA, fleeing
Britain’s back taxes

Music deep in blues
Vocals buried in mixes
Murky, layered, drugged

Country, calypso
And soul sank into the songs
Blurring the picture

Musicians drifted
In and out, heroin shot
Through Keith Richards’ veins

The dissolution
And delays bugged unstoned Stones —
Mick, Bill and Charlie

Despite everything
The beast was corraled, not tamed,
Baffling to many

Dice tumbled, joints were
Ripped, hips shaken, a light shined
And Keith got happy

A time of excess,
Restless music, “more is more”
Captured brilliantly

And the Voice critic
Robert Christgau got it right:
“Fagged-out masterpiece”