Friday, December 03, 2010

Two masters of the beat

Joe Morello from 1961, John Bonham from 1971. The influence is clear. Mick Wall recounts

The best thing Bill [Harvey, a friend of Bonham's in the early sixties] ever did
for you was to introduce you to the Dave Brubeck quartet, whose drummer Joe
Morell was famous for his finger control technique - this weird bloody thing he
did with his fingers, tapping on the snare drum in a way that made it sound
like a lion's roar one minute, then doing something else that made it sound like
a bow and arrow the next. You couldn't get over the idea of using your bare
hands on the drums. You thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Then
Bill showed you another 'great pattern' from a Humphrey Lyttleton recording he had
called 'Caravan', where the drummer played floor-toms with his hands. You
couldn't get over it and begged Bill to show you how it was done. 'Forget it',
he'd said. But you bloody well did, mate. You bloody fucking well did!
(Mick Wall, When Giants Walked the Earth , 2008, p/36)

It's easy to forget the influence that jazz (as well as folk) had on the development of modern rock music in the 1960s.

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