Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts and the "Steel Wheels" album

Charlie Watts recently passed away, and, on a car related note, this got me to thinking why that album was named “Steel Wheels”? Any theories?

FWIW, my favorite cut on that album was “Sad, sad, sad”.

No idea. Mixed Emotions was the song I remember. Had the album and the t-shirt. I was a big Stones fan in Jr. High. Then I kind of morphed into a punk/alternative/grunge fan. I still like Can’t You Hear Me Knocking off of Tattoo You. One of my all time favorites.

Nearly off of my high school teachers told us kids that after we got older we’d decide for ourselves that we no longer liked 60’s rock and roll music. Like that’s happening … lol … concur w/your judgement of Can’t you hear me knocking, great tune.

I still play my high school jams. 90’s stuff. Dinosaur Jr., early Green Day, early Social Distortion, early Weezer, some of Nirvana’s softer stuff like “About a Girl”. I think every generation thinks their music is the best. Mom was a big Tom Jones fan :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:. I think my attitudes are slightly less antisocial than they were back then. But, some of it still just resonates. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking always resonated with me, though. Just a great song with all the jam session stuff in the middle.

To keep it car related, Weezer had a song entitled “In the Garage” on their best album!

Ever notice the earlier stuff with most bands is the best stuff? I guess it’s what they really want to say. Then they get all influenced and mainstreamed.

I think it’s a reference to old style steel bicycle wheels, but it could be car wheels. They were old rockers when the album came out, and the name is a nod to their long run as a popular band.

It could even be a reference to train wheels.
Quien sabe?


Ronnie milsap. She loves my car.
Please don’t drive 57 vette on beach

I think train wheels, not car or bicycle. Look at the album cover art.

What did “Tattoo You” or “Voodoo Lounge”really mean? Sometimes I think bands just pull stuff out their A, so to speak.

Interesting theories. My guess is the album was intended to be a return to the RS root musical style, i.e. rhythm & blues. Back to basics, nothing “pootsy” in other words. A basic car has steel wheels, hence the name.


  1. steel wheel -The lowest straight flush, ace-2-3-4-5 (all of the same suit). Etymology: wheel is a common slang name for the lowest straight, ace-2-3-4-5.

Well, that’s a definite possibility. I do recall folks with poker hands that beat mine referring to their straights as “wheels” now that I think about it. Isn’t it annoying to lose to a straight? … lol …

I saw a cartoon that foresaw them still playing in way old age on the Steel Wheelchairs tour.