Drums, drums, drums. Drums were almost certainly the very first musical instrument that wasn’t actually part of the human body. They are the pulse of all popular music, and even that song you love that you think doesn’t have drums most definitely has some percussion instrument (guitars and pianos are percussion instruments).
It’s the first week of Spring, the sap is rising, so let’s celebrate everything drums, drumming, and drummers.
I found an old scratchy copy of Sandy Nelson’s unlikely hit in my Dad’s record collection when I was a kid. I learned to beat out that rhythm about the same time I was demonstrating to my third grade class that I could play Wipeout to completion on my desktop before Sister Elizabeth could crack me in the head with a geography book. I was the Zakir Hussain of desktop drumming back then.
If you can drum while dancing and singing, you get free passes into Heaven.
Elvin Jones could take already stellar music and lift it into an entirely new dimension. He made John Coltrane better.
There are a lot of really great rock drummers, and I’ve seen many of them, from Keith Moon to Terry Williams (Rockpile era), Nick Knox to Paul Thompson. One who really made an impression on me live was Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Addiction (although to be fair, I was probably pretty high when I saw them).
Blues, R&B, and funk brought us some of the greatest drummers ever. Clyde Stubblefield from James Brown’s band must have been a blast to play with. He could twist a beat into sick knots and reach right out of the grooves of a record and force your hips to move. You can hear the entire band picking up what he was putting down.
Hey Deadsplinterers, did I mention how much I love you all? All this drumming has me in a mood and I just wanted to mention it. Also, thanks for coming out for my DUANs. I really get off on doing them.