Veteran rocker Charlie Watts refused visits from his THE Rolling Stones bandmates when he was undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

The Brown Sugar drummer was diagnosed with the deadly disease last year (JUN04) despite having given up smoking 15 years previously, and underwent major surgery to remove a lump in his neck.

He says, "I lay there thinking, 'Well normally you die...'"

But the brave musician refused to be comforted by SIR Mick Jagger, Keith Richards or Ronnie Wood.

He says, "I didn't want them to. I didn't even want the family to come in and see me.

"The best way - for me at any rate - was to be left alone. Totally alone. Like a dog that's been hurt."