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“Charlie Watts lays it down, and the others follow. He is the Law. This book explains why.” — Clem Burke, Blondie

“Required reading for any Stones fan.” — Bun E. Carlos

“Sympathy for the Drummer is so much more than an incisive appreciation of Charlie Watts, it is an effusively infectious tribute to art in all of its myriad forms.” — Jim Sclavunos, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

“A great voice of authority and knowledge, dispensed with free-wheeling fluidity. Super entertaining, and right on.” — Katherine Turman, coauthor, Louder Than Hell: The Complete Oral History of Heavy Metal

“A wild ride through six-plus decades of music history... An illuminating and massively entertaining book.” — Dan Epstein, author Big Hair and Plastic Grass

“Mike Edison’s libertine prose swings and hits like Charlie Watt’s right hand.”Meredith Ochs, author Rock-and-Roll Woman

“It’s not hard to fathom why a former editor of both Screw and High Times magazines would find writing about the Rolling Stones, one of the most dissolute champions of sex and drugs, right in his conceptual wheelhouse. But Edison takes a unique approach by focusing his investigation on Charlie Watts, the woefully underappreciated lynchpin of the Stones sound. This book is a delightful look at the Stones through the eyes and the beats of their most reticent member. Finally someone gave this drummer some.”

— Larry “Ratso” Sloman, author On the Road with Bob Dylan

“Charlie Watts is the backbone of the Rolling Stones. In this affectionate yet unflinching biography, Mike Edison shows how integral his jazz sensibility makes them a true band: keeping time, creating space, and hitting the crash cymbal at just the right moment.” — Lenny Kaye, guitarist, author of You Call It Madness: the Sensuous Song of the Croon

“An imaginative consideration of the Rolling Stones, one which will let you hear utterly familiar tracks with entirely fresh ears." — Ira Robbin


“Proof positive that one can be both edgy and erudite, lowbrow and literate, and take joy in the unbridled pleasures of the id without sacrificing the higher mind.” PopMatters

“They don't make guys like this anymore . . . overeducated yokelry, and intensely American egalitarian humor . . . surprisingly intelligent.” SF Weekly

“Edison’s writing style is a gonzo-type rush, filled with hilariously inventive descriptions . . . ”The Boston Phoenix

“Smart, filthy, and funny, Mike Edison is no ordinary author.” Spin

“Edison can turn out crisp, poetic sentences or tug a heartstring or two. He is blessed with the ability to swiftly nail down characters in indelible, often hilarious descriptions.” ­The Rumpus

“Edison’s insight transforms the mundane to the sublime.... unrelentingly smart and funny.” The Brooklyn Rail

“Edison glides along the edges of society with an intense dose of wit and a startling eye for the insane.” Metro Spirit


"Mike Edison can go toe to toe with some of the best writers of the (old) New Journalism.” —Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America

“Freakishly evolved.” Kirkus, in starred review for I Have Fun for Everywhere I Go

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About Mike Edison

MIKE EDISON is genuine rock’n’roll renaissance man. He is the former editor and publisher of famed cannabis magazine High Times, and was the editor-in-chief of the courageously irresponsible Screw. He is the author of 28 “adult” novels, and an internationally known musician who spent much of the 1980s and 90s seeing the world from behind a drum set, opening for bands as diverse as Sonic Youth, Sound Garden, and the Ramones. He has written extensive liner notes for, among others, Iggy Pop, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and has contributed to numerous magazines and websites, including Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, the New York Observer, Spin (writing about the Rolling Stones), Interview, and New York Press, for which he covered classical music and professional wrestling.

His books have included the highly-praised memoirs I Have Fun Everywhere I Go and You Are A Complete Disappointment, as well as the sprawling social history of sex on the newsstand, Dirty! Dirty! Dirty!, written during his time as a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library. He also writes prolifically about food and wine, notably collaborating with restaurateur and viniculturist Joe Bastianich on his New York Times bestselling memoir, Restaurant Man, of which writer Bret Easton Ellis has said, “The directness and energy have a cinematic rush . . . not a single boring sentence.”

His most recent book is Sympathy for the Drummer – Why Charlie Watts Matters, a rawkus appreciation of the Rolling Stones drummer.

Edison can frequently be seen with his long-running blues, gospel, and garage-punk experiment The Edison Rocket Train, and he speaks frequently on free speech, sex, drugs, and the American counterculture. He is “proof positive that one can be both edgy and erudite, lowbrow and literate, and take joy in the unbridled pleasures of the id without sacrificing the higher mind.” (

Edison lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Please visit him at