Friday, February 01, 2008

Weekend Listomania (Special Pagan Skins Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental manservant Hop-Sing and I are off to Paris, France, home of the ignoble frog, for the annual Marguerite Duras Film Festival. Sounds very existential, so just in case I'm having my beret re-blocked. In any case, posting by moi will necessarily be sporadic for a few days.

But in my absence, here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:


[Apologies if I've done a similar theme before, but it's been a very long week. Plus, I'm aging rapidly.]

Okay, here's my totally top of my head Top Five:

5. The Four Seasons -- Dawn

New York studio great Buddy Salzman makes this dawn come up like thunder, if you'll pardon the overheated metaphor/literary reference.

4. The Rolling Stones -- 19th Nervous Breakdown

Charlie Watts, with only his tiny little jazzman's kit, generates a rumble worthy of Krakatoa on this one. Incidentally -- the Stones are lip-synching here, but I think it's nonetheless pretty much the most exciting early clip of them ever. Charisma isn't even the word....

3. The Beatles -- Ticket to Ride

Ringo Starr's first genuine breakthrough -- nobody, at this point, had ever done a recorded drum part that sounded so huge and yet was actually so musically minimalist. (BTW -- anybody ever see this clip before? It's a new one on me...)

2. (a tie)

The Detroit Wheels -- Devil With a Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss

The legendary Johnny B. Badanjek kicks ass...

and The Young Rascals -- Good Lovin'

...while the unbelievable Dino Danelli takes names and leads with his chin.

And the absolutely no question about it most explosive percussion work on a 45 pm vinyl record of the decade is -----

1. The Who -- My Generation

Keith Moon playing lead drums. As Greil Marcus famously said, after all these years the sheer audacity of that still takes ones breath away.

Alrighty, now -- and your choices would be?


Anonymous said...

I wish I could find a longer clip of I Must Be Mad by The Craig than what Amazon and their ilk offers up. The song features Carl Palmer (pre E & L) making a big, awesome racket.

TJWood said...

No surprise Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, and Keith Moon were in the mix there. There are any number of examples by any of the three you could have chosen.

For Ringo, I'll take "Rain", even though it wasn't a particularly big hit single (it might have even been a B side, in fact). His number one moment as a drummer, IMHO. For Charlie Watts, it's "Honky Tonk Women", with the cool cowbell introduction. For Keith Moon, let's go with "I Can See For Miles".

To round out my five choices, I'll take:

"Wouldn't It Be Nice" (Beach Boys, Hal Blaine drumming): You couldn't go wrong picking anything from the "Pet Sounds" album, really


"Like A Rolling Stone" (Bob Dylan, Bobby Gregg drumming)--for what Bruce Springsteen would call "the snare shot that sounded like somebody had kicked open the door to your mind" alone.

Avedon said...

I like the way you think, sugar. I've never heard a cover of "Good Lovin'" that captured the sheer energy of that track - my heart belongs to the original.

And, no, I'd never seen that Beatles clip before, either - great catch.

(Now, check out some of the old Procul Harum clips on YouTube and watch for B.J. Wilson's drumming.)

mcpart said...

Great list, as always.

Save this one for when you do the 70s:


TMink said...

Rain is right! Ringo recognized that he drummed like a man posessed on that one.

The drumming on the Minutemen songs was always happening too. Nothing in particular, but George Hurley kept the beat and made you listen to him.

Keith is the real deal though. I think Audacity was his middle name.


Anonymous said...

Can I put in a word for the drummer on the early Kinks sides? Most of it was done by session drummer Bobby Graham, I believe (Mick Avory was considered, rightly, to be not quite up to it) and his power, confidence and energy leap off the tapes.

Also one should mention Viv Prince and "Don't Bring Me Down" in particular. And let's not forget Kenny Jones; was that extraordinary flam -- the first time many of us had heard the whole kit at one time on record -- at the end of "All or Nothing"?

The first time I heard a bass drum on record was on the intro to "Smokestack Lightning." Mike Hugg was very competent, if unflashy, and that band made some of the best white R'nB records ever.

I have always been a Byrds fan, so may be biased, but am I right in thinking that Mike Clarke was as good as any West Coast band drummer of that era? OK, John Densmore was technically very good and the guy who played on "Forever Changes" was hot, but I always thought Clarke was under-rated.

I disagree that Bobby Elliot was under-rated. He was often named as the best drummer in Brit-pop at the time, but since most of the critics and fans were (and are) non-musicians, such accolades don't add up to much.

Finally, BJ Wilson is undoubtedly the greatest English drummer of the '60s. No-one played with more soul, inventiveness, humor, and musicality. IMHO.

The Kenosha Kid said...

Scott Asheton - 1969 (Iggy & the Stooges)

Some Session guy(s) - Be My Baby (The Ronettes)

John Densmore - Moonlight Drive (The Doors)

Session guy? I Want Candy - The Strangeloves

Anonymous said...

All great choices.

I've also always liked the "fwap fwap fwap!" drumming on I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night.

dave™© said...

Well, you can't beat Moonie.

I had a friend who had a boot of an early mix of "Paperback Writer" where the drums were WAY up front and given a "phase" effect.

MUCH superior version... sounded like the Jam!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't going to post because I figured EVERYONE would mention this one, but so far no one has .... Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love," in which Ginger Baker single-handedly invents John Bonham et al. It's the '60s, it's a hit, and it's cool.

And Mad props to Dino Danelli.

Anonymous said...

Since we're only doing sixties singles (thus leaving out BJ Wilson who really excelled best live in concert) I would have to go with my favorite lead drums by Keith Moon: HAPPY JACK! (I saw yah!)

PS I've never seen the Beatles' video either.

Anonymous said...

Probably it was the doomed Benny Benjamin who tore the universe a new one on Smokey Robinson's "Tears of a Clown"-- I never get tired of it.

George Hurley completely rules on those Minutemen sides. And it ain't pop, but John "Drumbo" French and Art "Ed Marimba" Tripp redefined what rhythm can mean with Captain Beefheart-- that band really was Magic.

My favorite Moon side is fat, bloated (full?) Moon leaving it all on the floor on "Love Reign O'er me" from Quadrophenia. Pretentious? Yes. But Moon and Daltrey did it like it was the last thing they'd ever do on Earth.

Somebody should mention Mitch Mitchell somewhere, so here he is.

dave™© said...

OT, but thought you guys might like this - via Mark Evanier, it's "The Real Don Steele Show"!

Circa 1974...

Anonymous said...

Also worth mentioning:

Micky Waller did great work on the Jeff Beck and early Rod Stewart albums. He had a wonderful feel and an untidily clattering drum sound.

Aynsley Dunbar is fabulous, but I can't think of any 60s recordings apart from the John Mayall stuff (I never heard the Retaliation LPs). But his work on "Pin Ups" and Zappa's early 70s jazz-rock stuff is awesome.

Simon Kirke just gets into the 60s with the first Free album, I think. Great example of English meat-and-potatoes drumming; see John Bonham, Paul Thompson, Kenny Jones.

Anonymous said...

It's not as bombastic as Moon, but I'm partial to the drumming on Needles and Pins by The Searchers.


I'd swear it was a better video when I first saw it. Ah, well...

shrimplate said...

I'd like to second the motion on Ginger Baker. My pick would be "White Room."

His sense of time was always pretty deep so it's no surprise that he's still going strong in the jazz world.

Going Back Home.

steve simels said...

Benny Benjamin.
Simon Kirke.
BJ Wilson.

Micky Waller...omg.

The Minutemen....

You guys have really good taste...

Anonymous said...

Well, since the 60s started in 1960, let's really take a walk down memory lane:

The beginning of "Nowhere to Run" by Martha and the Vandellas always slayed me ... bottom heavy, big drums. Gotta love those Funk Brothers.

But I fell in love at the age of 12 with a boy named Brian because he was able to play the drum solos from "Wipeout" by the Surfaris.

steve simels said...

Brooklyn Girl said...

I fell in love at the age of 12 with a boy named Brian because he was able to play the drum solos from "Wipeout" by the Surfaris.

Who didn't?

Anonymous said...

Who didn't?

Precisely. For pure 60s boy-gets-girlness (okay, that's a clunky way to say it, but you know what I mean), "Wipeout" sets the standard against which all other drum solos are measured.

Anna said...

(wah! stupid Blogger ate comment!)

some of my favorite drums are on old NYC girlgroup stuff: the first few seconds of "The Loco-Motion", the Raindrops' "The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget"...the drummer was another studio musician who was just ON (or had just come on to those pep pills).

speaking of pep pills, my all-time favorite drummer to watch was Moon...dementia in motion. (at least until he got sloppy post-Who's Next). favorite goosebump-raising Moon moment: "Rael", at the end, when the "It's a girl, Mrs. Walker" motif starts. he just EXPLODES.

steve simels said...

Anna said...
(wah! stupid Blogger ate comment!)

some of my favorite drums are on old NYC girlgroup stuff: the first few seconds of "The Loco-Motion",

I think we need to find out who that're right, it's brilliant.

steve simels said...

According to Google, it was the aforementioned Buddy Salzman.

Unfortunately, a Google search does not reveal if the guy is still working or even alive....

MBowen said...

"Ain't Too Proud To Beg" by the Temptations. Either Pistol Allen or Benny Benjamin.

Those anonymous drummers on "Runaround Sue" and "Quarter to Three".

"I Fought The Law", with that great rifle-shot snare sound.

Anna said...

more on Salzman here:|SALZMAN&samples=1&sql=11:hpfrxqlgldse~T4

...although it focusses on his folkier midperiod.

Spectropop comments have much appreciation for him (from Al Kooper, Artie Kaplan, etc.) but not much more info.

I just hope he didn't have one of those sad, unappreciated demises. (actually, I hope he's still drumming and happy somewhere.)

steve simels said...

"I Fought The Law", with that great rifle-shot snare sound.

Yep. That would have been number six.

And now that I think of it, whoever played on Gene Pitney's "It Hurts to Be in Love."

Mister Pleasant said...

Bev Bevan drums up a storm on a bunch of Move singles. I am quite fond of his work on I Can Hear the Grass Grow and Wave Your Flag and Stop the Train.

Kenney Jones gets in some great phased drum sounds in The Small Faces Itchycoo Park.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, RINGO! He's the Poet of the Drums, for my money. The taste he put(s) into everything.... Some of my faves: "What You're Doing," "Hey Jude," "Tomorrow Never Knows," "Rain," "Long Tall Sally" (he swings and rocks), and number one, "Don't Let Me Down."

BTW, didn't Paul play lead guitar on "Ticket to Ride"?

Anonymous said...

Anything by Hal Blaine, and the intro to "Be My Baby", in particular. Ok, also that perfect machine gun rhythm in "Da Doo Ron Ron". Just last month, Mr. Emma and I saw Hal Blaine in a small setting at NAMM in Anaheim, CA. He performed with a few other members of "The Wrecking Crew". They were Don Randi (who played on Mr. Emma's beloved Tim Buckley's "Goodbye and Hello") and Jerry Cole. Hal's not getting around so well these days, and it was criminal that they didn't provide a simple set of steps so the poor man could get up on the portable stage. He had to suffer the indignity of being hauled up and down like a sack o' potatoes. I'm not sure, but I could almost swear I saw Phil Spector on the front row. Really. Cross my heart. And it creeped me out.

steve simels said...


Those guys played on just about everything on the West Coast. Jerry Cole played rhythm guitar and/or electric piano on Mr Tambourine Man, fer crissakes.

Sorry to hear Hal is not in the best of health; my god, that man practically invented studio drumming as we know it.

"Long Tall Sally" (he swings and rocks),
An astounding performance...I would have included that if there was a video

Anonymous said...

Pistol Allen on Martha and the Vandella's Heat Wave.

Attaturk said...

Every time I pop "Live at Leeds" into the CD player I'm still amazed that Moon wasn't dead half-way through.

What a fucking machine!

Anonymous said...