Jan 292016

I’d like to welcome Townsman Mark to the Hall. Or maybe I’m welcoming him under some other name as I’m not sure how he registered; I’ll let him introduce himself if he’d like.

Mark is an old acquaintance. We’ve had little contact since I met him around 30 yeas ago and not a lot even then. But…there’s been quite a lot of contact in the last week and Mark has posed some thoughts/issues that seem cut from the RTH mold. And he’s posed them in the insightful/witty/sarcastic manner that is a hallmark of the Hall. I asked his permission to steal one for the Hall and suggested he check us out. He’s joined and now I’m opening this thread but it’s really Mark’s in conception and in words.

Al: “Take over Mark.”

So, on to musical schizophrenic killers we love…

I’ll start with Jim Gordon (drums) – disciple of Hal Blaine & Wrecking Crew; toured with Everly Brothers, Derek & The Dominos, Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & EnglishmanDelanie & Bonnie, Traffic, Souther-Furay-HIllman; played on Beach Boys‘ Pet Sounds, Dave Mason’s Alone Together, Steely Dan’s Pretzel Logic, Traffic’s Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys, Emitt Rhodes’ The American Dream

In 1983, he attacked his 72-year-old mother, Osa Marie Gordon, with a hammer before fatally stabbing her with a butcher knife, after claiming the voice told him to kill her.

Mar 172014
Scott Asheton.

Scott Asheton.

I’m sure you know by now that Stooges drummer Scott Asheton has died at 64. Damn, from the perspective of a guy my age, that’s young!

What can I say about the guy other than his intro to “No Fun” is up there with Charlie Watts’ intro to “Get Off My Cloud”? If that wasn’t enough, Scott played those blazing roundhouse fills at the beginning of “Loose.” Fantastic! What I loved most about Scott (and Ron) Asheton (as well as original Stooges bassist Dave Alexander) was his commitment to each song’s animalistic beat. The guy was never showy, never sloppy, yet never predictable. The Stooges’ rhythm section approach even holds my attention through “Dirt,” the kind of long blooz workout I typically skip on most artist’s records.

Few songs have been more fun for me and my bandmates to cover through the years than “No Fun” and “1969.” Unambitious cover guys that we are, we never bothered learning another. What did it matter? We spent countless nights gathered around the turntable, blasting the first 2 Stooges albums (the real ones, with Ron on guitar), soaking up the raw power those records delivered. Now Iggy is all that’s left: Iggy; occasional sax player Steve Mackay; and human hot licks replacement guitarist James Williamson, who was actually kind of great in his own right, just not a personal inspiration to me, as Ron was. The records will long survive all those guys.

I need to crank up Fun House!

Feb 042014

What’s the deal with the drum sound in Van Halen’s “Jump”? Is it good? Does it serve the song/fit in with the production? Does anyone else feel like I do, whenever they hear “Jump” on the car radio? I always think, “That’s a weirdly unaffected drum sound! What’s the deal? Where are my drummer friends when I need them riding shotgun?”

Seriously, every time I hear this catchy VH song, not an entire verse goes by before I am reminded of how drums sound in a recording studio, at first playback, when the band has finished its take and loads in, with tremendous anticipation, to hear the engineer’s playback of the newly recorded rhythm track.

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Jan 172014


It might be argued that this discussion will come down to a rehash of rock’s most iconic logos, but I believe there are certain kick drum heads that are iconic in their context as kick drum heads, not just vehicles for the display of a cool logo. When you think of Ringo Starr, for instance, is the image complete with the primitive kick drum head pictured above, or do you think of this:

Mar 072013

I received the following message from a close personal friend and Townsperson who just joined a Dead cover band. He asked me to pass along his note in hopes of getting advice from the Hall on how to best handle this new challenge

I just joined a Dead cover band to help out a friend from our synagogue  They do Dead, Stones, The Band, “Into the Mystic,” “Breathe” by Floyd, and some other classic rock. What was I thinking? Now what do I do? Can any drummers in the Hall give advice on how to play Dead-style drums? I’ve been listening to the band’s set recordings and it’s all bad habits and bad fills.


Feb 152013

We received a note from Steve Gadd‘s people informing us that he was a little bummed to have received no consideration, to date, in our ongoing discussion to determine—once and for allRock’s Greatest White Afro. The final paragraph of the note is worth sharing with our readers:

Although Steve would have been honored by the Hall’s consideration, he understands he would have been no match for his fellow drummer (and his personal selection) Sib Hashian. On Valentine’s Day, may we suggest that you run another thread to settle—once and for all—another age-old question: Rock’s Most Essential Drum Intro; that is, the one drum intro that is most essential to the success of the song that follows. Steve’s intro to Paul Simon‘s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” has got to rank among the Top 5 most essential drum intros in all of rock, possibly only challenged for the top spot by the intro to The Rolling Stones‘ “Honky Tonk Women.” Another Stones song to consider might be “Get Off My Cloud.” Would that song ever get off the ground without that intro? We ask that you bring this topic to your readers for them to determine—once and for all!

So there you have it, without the aid of an RTH People’s Poll, let’s determine—once and for all—the Most Essential Drum Intro in Rock, beginning with “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and “Honky Tonk Women.”

What is rock's most essential drum intro?

  • The Ronettes, "Be My Baby" (29%, 12 Votes)
  • Led Zeppelin, "When the Levee Breaks" (17%, 7 Votes)
  • The Rolling Stones, "Honky Tonk Women" (17%, 7 Votes)
  • Iggy Pop, "Lust for Life" (14%, 6 Votes)
  • Sweet, "Ballroom Blitz" (12%, 5 Votes)
  • Paul Simon, "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" (7%, 3 Votes)
  • Elvis Costello & The Attractions, "This Year's Girl" (2%, 1 Votes)
  • The Clash, "I Fought the Law" (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, "Going to a Go-Go" (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 42

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Previously, you may recall, we suggested “50 Ways…” is a recipient of a Most Valuable Drum Part (MVDP) award.


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