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Same here. I'm absolutely stunned.Quote
Uh oh, tears are coming. Rolling Stone reporting it:
This would be so tragic. I love him and that band so so much and this is completely out of nowhere.
RIP Neil. While I went a different direction musically over the years, Neil wrote a big part of the soundtrack of my high school years.
I went digging for this story - of Neil meeting Charlie when Rush played at the SARS concert in 2003.
A short, older man stepped up to me, sticking out his hand and saying something I couldn't hear. Thinking "Now who's THIS?" I took out one of my ear monitors and said "Sorry, I couldn't hear you."
He spoke again, smiling, "Hello, I'm Charlie Watts."
"Oh!" I said, taken aback, "Hello." And I shook his hand.
He asked if we were going on soon, and I said yes, any minute, and he said, with a twinkle, "I'm going to watch you!"
I suppose if I could have felt more pressured, that might have done it, but I was already at maximum intensity - there was no time to think of Charlie Watts and the Rolling Stones, watching them on The T.A.M.I Show or Ed Sullivan when I was twelve-and-a-half, hearing Satisfaction snarling down the midway at Lakeside Park, Gimme Shelter at the cinema in London, listening to Charlie's beautiful solo album, Warm and Tender, so many times late at night in Quebec, or any of the other million times Charlie Watts and his band had been part of my life.
Geddy e-mailed me later and mentioned that scene:
"BTW, I will never forget that moment before we went onstage when Charlie Watts came over to shake your hand (at the worst possible moment!) and watching your face go through all the motions of... a. who is this old guy? b. what does he want? c. oh for god's sake it's Charlie Watts!"