Did you know the Pollard Syndrum, the first electronic drum, was invented by a former studio drummer for The Beach Boys and The Grass Roots? I did not know that. That said, I propose that the Syndrum is the lamest instrument ever.
Has the Syndrum ever made a positive, essential contribution to any recording? The Cars‘ “Good Times Roll” is cited as a well-known example of the Syndrum in practice, but would you call that little tom-tom ping positive or essential? Would anyone call that noise both positive and essential? The good times are rolling just fine without it in this 1982 live performance of the song.
Furthermore, why did someone have to invent a synth that’s controlled by a drum pad? Why couldn’t Cars’ keyboardist Greg Hawkes have used his index finger to hit that blip on the downbeat of David Robinson’s tom-tom? Hell, he could have done it on a keytar, putting to rest any arguments that that lame instrument is more lame than the Syndrum.
Can you name one positive and essential recording driven by a Syndrum? Thinking of what that instrument did to the already lame Clash song “Ivan Meets GI Joe,” would you want to let the Syndrum off the hook by indentifying a lamer instrument?
Can you name an instrument more lame than the Syndrum? And don’t give me the Ovation Roundback acoustic guitar, because despite its aesthetic shortcomings thousands of hours on The Road have been logged playing perfectly fine music for The People.
(More about the Syndrum player in this post’s introductory video…after the jump!)
Ace Frehley co-writes, co-produced and plays syndrum on Eugene. Look for John Regan from the Frehley’s Comet/Ace Frehley band on bass in this video.