Charlie Watts speechless over ‘Jagger’ the 11-year-old drummer
No one gets near the Rolling Stones Charlie Watts, still one of the world’s best (and most protected) live drummers for the last 50 years. No-one except an 11-year-old boy called Jagger, who calls the band’s drummer, Charlie Watts, his hero. Jagger Alexander-Erber is the Australian drumming prodigy first seen on Australia’s Got Talent in 2012, and he has three drumming heroes: The Who’s Keith Moon, Led Zepplin’s John Bonham and Watts.
He just kept saying ‘Jackie Dougan! Jackie Dougan’ over and over. He was surprised, his eyes were really wide open and he said ‘How did you get this? It’s amazing’. He managed to leave speechless the only one of those three drumming legends still living, before the Rolling Stones wowed Sydney at Allphones Arena.
Jagger Alexander-Erber onstage at the Rolling Stones concert at Sydney’s Allphones Arena on Wednesday night. He gave Watts, 73, a gift, a rare cymbal – once owned by Watts’ own hero, Jackie Dougan. He was repaid by being allowed to sit for photos at Watt’s 1963 Gretsch drum kit in front of a packed Allphones Arena minutes before the Stones four-star show began. Watts told Jagger the only other people allowed to sit there were his grandchildren.
Jagger wasn’t permitted to play the kit and didn’t because he didn’t want to annoy Watts’ security guard or Watts himself – a quiet man with a legendary reputation. Watts is rumoured to have once punched Mick Jagger in the face for suggesting Watts was “my f—ing drummer”. “I was tempted [to play], I had the sticks in my hand sitting at the kit and I thought ‘why not?’ But the drum tech said ‘do not play it!'”
Jagger says Watts looked amazed by the gift. “He just kept saying ‘Jackie Dougan! Jackie Dougan’ over and over. He was surprised, his eyes were really wide open and he said ‘How did you get this? It’s amazing’.” Jagger, who was named after Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger, has been invited backstage with the Stones before at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles last year, when he also met Kiss and Motley Crue. Watts saw a segment on Jagger on an American television network, AXS, and the Stones’ camp tracked down Jagger’s father, Mark Alexander-Erber.
“The best thing is Jagger will now have Charlie Watts as a mentor. The connection he made was incredible … [although] Charlie doesn’t have a phone or use email. [My son] is now known to the Stones camp. Keith Richards walked past and patted him on the shoulder and said ‘G’day Jagger,” Mr Alexander-Erber said.
Jagger Alexander-Erber, with Mick Jagger after whom he was named and Charlie Watts at their LA gig in 2012.
How will Jagger cope with the relative boredom of school on Thursday after his brush with rock royalty? “I got to bed about 11.30pm. I’m tired. Tell dad I need a day off school.” Jagger studies music at The McDonald College, North Strathfield – and last week was awarded a junior scholarship, which reduces his tuition fees.
What will he say to his classmates? “My mates at school are not really into Rolling Stones at all, they are into that pop rubbish. “If they ask I’ll say it was an amazing night and we got to meet one of the most famous drummers in the world.” Jagger is these days a fast-rising star himself. He has a Facebook page with 66,000 likes and his YouTube videos have been watched hundreds of thousands of times. He has appeared with several rock bands – including Limp Bizkit and Rose Tattoo, – and will join the Choirboys on stage at the Cherry Bar in Melbourne on Saturday night.