Sure, there are low key drummers. There are percussion bedecked drummers whose prowess overcomes the near pomposity of it all. Then there is Tres Cool. He is cocky. He is different and he is a drummer with SOUND like Mighty Max with the pounding prowess of no less than Keith Moon. Listen to ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’.
Just listen to the drums. That’s the driver, baby. It’s no audio trick either. I have seen it performed live and in person. It drives as Keith does on ‘Baba O’Reilly’. I always imagine both of them, keeping time in their heads, waiting to pound the shit out of those drums. That’s when the spotlight burst of them adds to the chorus of rock-n-roll. Don’t count out the wild ones. Outside of the crazy, inside they are heartbeats.
And damn, that drum intro on ‘Baba O’Reilly’. Just listen to that drive. To those of you who say, sure, but ‘American Idiot’ just nicks The Who anyway, I am not judging this on musical merit. I am comparing it to technical and raw ability. They do it live. Rip it, rock it and fuck it, those drums are like… whew. Play them back to back and you will see what I mean.
Levon Helm, another drummer, is deceptive. He played a very basic set. He was the de-facto lead singer and gracefully kept The Band in time. You can get caught up in the flashy and pounding drums, but Levon shows how you how it’s done. Sometimes you don’t have to hit that drum with every ounce of power.
The same goes for Don Henley. Not flashy, just devastatingly accurate. Then there are the flashy drummers. The drummers playing a kit, obscured up on the riser, taking the weight of the rhythm section. Flailing on hundreds of percussion instruments, these drummers fill the rhythm in the songs with rolls, cymbals, and sometimes gongs.
It’s all very primal, isn’t it? One of the earliest instruments, I see our forebears dancing around the fire, time kept by a drum. Somewhere back there, a proto Tres Cool, was pounding with power and flair. Playing and keeping the time. It all marches on and the drummer keeps playing.
This has been my first blogpost in seven months. I am going to try getting one out at least once a week, so check back?