7.19.2005

Shiny, shiny pants and bleached-blond hair

So I saw Q and not U at Fort Reno last night. I am not going to offer a review because I like the band too much and it would basically be “they are awesome” or “I am going to miss them when they are gone.”


But something came up that I have been meaning to write about. I was standing with someone who hadn't seen them before, and she asked “There are only two of them?” I responded by pointing out the drummer who was hidden behind a speaker and his drum set. It is this very question that gives drummers their complex.


All musicians are head cases to a certain degree, rock musicians especially. I have mentioned it before, but you have to think a lot of yourself to get on a stage and perform well. Now you can certainly go to far, see Fleetwood Mac, but I think arrogance is a necessary condition to a good band.


Drummers have this arrogance, but the added problem of having no one pay attention to them. A singer gets to stand in front, lead the band, and get all the attention. A drummer sits behind a lot of hardware, usually in the back of the stage. No one every pays attention to the drummer, and the drummer knows it.


I had a drummer in my band who use to wear a black shirt with the word “Drummer” on it when we played. He certainly meant it as a joke about the drummer complex, but only kind of. He really wanted people to know that he actually played in the band when we got off stage.


I also played with another drummer who insisted on singing back up vocals. This is a terrible thing to admit, and I don't know if he reads this site but if he does I am sincerely sorry, but we use to tell sound guys just to put his mike into his monitor and not into the house speaker. There are drummers who can sing, but they are usually not very good drummers, see Don Henley. This guy was actually a very good drummer, so you can imagine the quality of his vocals. I know, I am an awful person. Once I even rerecorded our bassists parts after he had left the studio and never told him. If you are reading, sorry about that also. In many ways it is a wonder my band lasted as long as it did with me in it.


It is this complex that explains drum solos. Drum solos add nothing to a song. Try to name any songs that had recorded drum solos that were not call “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, as a side challenge, name the last time you actually listened to all of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Drum solos are a live phenomenon so that the drummer can get some applause and feel like people are paying attention to him. So this is my plea to you, the next time you are at a concert say “good set” to the drummer, or “I like your music,” anything. Don't just go talk to the singer or guitarist. If enough of us do this we might be able to defeat the drummer complex and then I might never have to listen to a drum solo again. That is my dream.

5 comments:

  1. There is credence in what you say. A blink 182 drum solo may actually be more comic than anything else, and I am sorry to whoever that is, but you have to give John Bonham(drummer for led zeppelin) http://www.led-zeppelin.com/johnbonham/ (sorry I am not cool enough to know how to link pages) SOME CREDIT! may he rest in peace

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  2. While a great drummer, I still don't want to listen to a John Bonham drum solo. Now to be fair, I don't really want to listen to a guitar solo, or any other type of solo. But watching a drum solo is usually closer to watching a gymnastic floor routine or a weight lifting competition than anything else. You can be impressed with the dexterity, or stamina, but rarely does it add anything to the song.

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  3. What about dudes like this? Huh? They'll drum your effing face off!

    (huah)

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  4. I just can't trust your opinion Jeff. You have been at Berkley so long you probably think that drum circles are a good idea.

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