“Stu was so grounded that he probably propelled the band to a higher level, because they could always rely on him.” Which is not a bad epitaph for anyone.
And after being in the business for awhile and so long, in one year, I think we saw each other two weeks. Twenty-one overweight people were asked to taste solutions from three cups and point to which was different.One contained small amounts of a fatty oil, while the other two were fat-free.“Charlie came on board and then told me, 'You’ve got to ask Keith too’,”says Waters, recalling how he went on to recruit Ronnie Wood, Bill Wyman and Mick Jagger in what became a kind of domino effect.Jools Holland, Waters’s long-term mentor who also guests on the album, offered his Deptford recording studio free of charge, although Waters had to fly to New York with the hard drive to record Richards’s guitar and vocals while Jagger emailed back his contribution – characteristically snarling vocals and harmonica on Bob Dylan’s Watching the River Flow – from the South of France.With proceeds going to the British Heart Foundation, the album can boast the first Wyman recording with his former fellow Stones since 1992 — something that perhaps only the ghost of Ian Stewart could have pulled off.As Wyman acknowledged in a London concert last month to launch the album: “We wouldn’t go on stage until Stu said, 'OK, you shower of shits, you’re on’.” There was, Waters says, a potentially sticky moment when Richards wanted to do the vocals on the same song, Worried Life Blues, that Wood had just recorded.In what he calls “a combination of luck and coincidence” within the tight-knit world of rhythm and blues enthusiasts, he persuaded the Stones to guest-star on Boogie 4 Stu (a title borrowed from a track Stewart played on for the Led Zeppelin album Physical Graffiti) alongside Waters’s cousin P J Harvey, jazz saxophonists Willy and Alex Garnett and Don Weller and 76-year-old blues shouter Hamish Maxwell.Although Waters, who has worked with Jagger’s brother Chris for years, had played piano for parties at Mick and Jerry Hall’s Richmond house, he had a much closer connection with Charlie Watts, who plays drums in his band, the ABC&D of Boogie Woogie. things are printed in the press, this, this and this. He was a member of the coolest band in the world, yet he was never scared to be square.