Monday, November 24, 2008

Listening Post


I started playing drums when I was five years old and quickly came to understand that as important as practicing and learning your rudiments may be, there's actually something even more essential for a young drummer: knowing who you'll never be as good as in a million years.

Put another way: Buddy Rich was the greatest drummer that ever lived. So good that he made you want to put down your sticks and go take up needlepoint. So good that you completely overlooked the fact that he was an abrasive, surly son-of-a-bitch who knew how goddamned brilliant he was and would bring an astonishingly creative vocabulary of obscenities to bear against you if you dared to argue with him.

From 1978, here's a great clip from The Muppet Show featuring a truly inspired drum battle between the mighty Buddy Rich and, yes, Animal.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Totally awesome. Doubt there'll ever be another one like him.

idiosynchronic said...

Any comments on Ringo?

I named my xB Ringo in perverse humour. The car was wonderful all around, and decidedly glam British in a way that wasn't British, but it had a habit of start-stalling.

dick_gozinia said...

Dave Lombardo wishes to have a word with you.

Fungi said...

did i ever tell you that buddy rich was one of my fathers cousins? no bullshit.

Deacon Blue said...

Never kept up much on drummers and don't know squat about Buddy Rich, but do you have any knowledge of Roy Haines? Mrs. Blue and I saw him live once at a jazz joint in Chicago and even though he showed up late, clearly hung over, and virtually in pajamas, he was amazing. At one point, he went to get a little of the hair 'o the dog that got him the night before, and was drumming on every available surface on the way to the bar and back to the drums, and still was utterly engaging.

Sat.Morn.Brkfst.Show said...

I'll chime in:
Gene Krupa.
Check out the Ball of Fire clips with Krupa 'Drum Boogie'...

Chez said...

The Krupa vs. Rich drum battle is the stuff of legend.

YZF said...

Really? Not Neil Peart?

slouchmonkey said...

Love Buddy! And, his self described "Fuck you" technique.

And, if I may add to the mix, Louie Bellson.

Stephen said...

RIP Mitch Mitchell

Anonymous said...

Louie Bellson is far and away the superior drummer compared to Buddy Rich See for ya self

Having said that Keith Moon is tops in my book.

Fred said...

Wow.

Chez said...

Bellson was fantastic -- but if you really think that Keith Moon was better than Buddy Rich... Well, I can't even dignify that with a response.

Ike said...

Moon? Please!

Peart is far better than Moon, and Peart will tell you that Buddy Rich is even better.

Peart produced the "Burning for Buddy" tribute album, FWIW.

Anonymous said...

Once I saw a interview on Canadian TV with Neil Peart,
his quote was that there is Buddy Rich, and then everyone else. Good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or at some point during that clip did Buddy Rich look physically younger by at least a decade or two?

Boo said...

Rich vs Roach.

Figure Eights.

slouchmonkey said...

I'm a huge Who fan. Favorite band, ever! Keith Moon was Keith Moon and I'm not sure he knew what the hell he was doing half the time. Like Krupa, a showman, only more manic, more drunk and less in time.

The guys that totally control their instrument are the true "cats" in my book.

choenbone said...

yah yah yah yah ANIMAL!