A Virtuoso of Rhythm Passes

Just over an hour ago I was given some very painful news from a friend. She and many/most of my good friends know all too well how passionate I become about iconic drummers, percussionists who make the skins (as they are sometimes called) come alive, the various metals, hollowed woods, mallets, and drumsticks hit, reach, vibrate into and through, then consume human bodies and spirits bringing together perfect, harmonized syncopation with Earth’s air, our ears, with life’s purest beat and rhythms. Today is a day and night of mourning. I am crushed as well as stunned by this news. The Rolling Stone headline reads:

Neil Peart, Rush Drummer Who Set a New Standard for Rock Virtuosity, Dead at 67

When I heard the Canadian band the very first time in 1978, their “2112” album, I was immediately affected and in sheer awe at this drummer’s skill and abilities. I remember that day on the airline flight to London Heathrow with football/soccer teammates. He and I were both drummers in our middle school and high school marching and concert bands. After listening to Overture, The Temples of Syrinx, Discovery, and the remainder of the 20-minute concerto of fine rock, and then A Passage to Bangkok, I was speechless. I thought I had just listened to the most beautifully complex, other-worldly performance of percussion I had ever heard. And believe me, I had listened to countless rock drummers at that age. It was my obsession next to football/soccer.

To this day there are but two or three other performances by other drummers that by my heart and standards can be included in the discussion of Greatest of All Time. Neil Peart was more than my childhood idol behind the skins and cymbals. He was a god, the Lord of the Skins as we ‘sophisticated’ drummers affectionately called him. Now he has passed into the ages at far too early an age. This world, the art of fine modern music, percussion, rock, and lyrics will miss terribly this brilliant, talented man. A dark day indeed.

I raise my shot-glass to this icon of drums. I place a pair of drumsticks in front of a burning candle in honor to this once-in-a-lifetime artist that meant so, so very much to me most all of my life, not only by his remarkable sometimes independent syncopation by his two hands and two feet—he could keep four different rhythms perfectly and simultaneously—not an easy task for most, but Neil was also highly educated and therefore an exquisite lyricist for Rush. I’d like to pay my homage to this fantastic man and the trio from Toronto.

Many of you might be familiar with their 1981 hit Tom Sawyer from the Moving Pictures album, one of their top selling albums of all-time. Be utterly impressed by this man’s drumming talent and watch how he invests so much into his artform:

I have many favorite songs/lyrics that Neil composed. It’s impossible for me to say that I have a number one song/lyrics because I don’t; never could shrink that list to less than ten. However, for this emotional occasion I will share one of my top five. It is from their Permanent Waves album released in 1980. I wore this entire album out for at least two years straight. I played it so much on my stereo turntable it hardly left the actual record-table, much less get put away into the paper sleeve. The song I’ve chosen? Though Red Barchetta is a magnificent arrangement in all ways, I did not choose it. Part of my adoration for this particular song is its continual time-signature changes from 6/4, 7/4, to 6/4, to 7/4, 6/4, and 8/4 and back again. Simply amazing! Neil’s four limbs never miss a beat, that is… four independent beats. Here is Neil Peart’s work of art, Freewill:

Rush_Permanent_WavesThere are those who think that life
Has nothing left to chance
A host of holy horrors
To direct our aimless dance

A planet of playthings
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive
The stars aren’t aligned
Or the gods are malign
Blame is better to give than receive

You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice

You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that’s clear
I will choose free will

There are those who think that
They’ve been dealt a losing hand
The cards were stacked against them
They weren’t born in Lotus-Land

All preordained
A prisoner in chains
A victim of venomous fate
Kicked in the face
You can’t pray for a place
In heaven’s unearthly estate

You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice

You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that’s clear
I will choose free will

[incredible instrumental solos by Geddy and Alex, followed by the most hypnotic, moving seque back into the main theme] 😲

Each of us
A cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomplete
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt
That’s far too fleet

You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice

You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that’s clear
I will choose free will

Freewill” by Neil Peart and Rush from their album Permanent Waves

If you are interested in listening to this song’s complex sophistication of Neil’s syncopation talent along with bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, click here.

Finally, I give my most humble adoration, appreciation, and tribute to Neil for this long, very exhausting composition, also with several time-changes. It took me all summer long (in 1981 when I finally got my 15-piece monster drum kit!) to learn and master, mimicking every single hit of the open or closed hi-hat, double-bass strikes, cymbal crashes, and all drum-fills by every sized tom-toms from 4-inch to the 16-inch and 18-inch floor Toms in perfect syncopation! Never in my life, then or since (well, until my Alt-lifestyles actually), had I achieved the neurological, chemical rush in my body, the natural euphoric HIGH I would get every time I played this song. Dear God it nearly killed me. The composition was around 144-beats per minute for 9 ½ minutes non-stop! Very, very demanding mentally and physically on any drummer. Some olympic athletes might compare it to a Decathlon. But the more I perfected it, the more I HAD to have more! I was becoming a protégé of drumming greatness. Without a doubt I was a seriously lost Peart-addict. There was no hope for me.

I pumped it through my garage band’s Peavey guitar-speakers, four of them all at once! Our downstairs playroom walls with sliding glass door and one window vibrated like earthquakes when I turned up this jam. I had to install a small fan on top of one of my bass-drums to help with the perspiration I’d work up. Several times my hands were so sweaty I’d launch a drumstick across the room trying to keep up with Neil’s unhuman play. What a FREAKIN’ workout it was to get lost in this brilliant piece of music… and I loved every second of it. Perhaps you will hear and detect why it is incredibly demanding for the drummer:

I am going to miss this great artist and percussionist dearly. He fills so much of my early life, my addiction to many rhythms all coming together to create masterpieces. There have been several great drummers over the decades that compare to him, but they have or will confess soon enough that they should not really belong in the same hall or Apollonian Temple as Neil Peart. Here’s to you Neil, rest in peace. I wonder, will the concert halls and recording studios ever be so fortunate again to have a real historic Master of the Skins? Probably not. Not in my lifetime. Now I’m going to a private room to weep.

————

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always — Bang the Skins

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56 thoughts on “A Virtuoso of Rhythm Passes

  1. It’s the strangest thing, Rush never made it to Australia, in any shape or form. I first heard of them [literally] when I came to Brazil, where they’re HUGE. My wife ADORES them, and was crying earlier on hearing the news.

    I think I’ve seen three docos on them now, and Neil truly seemed like a wonderful, wonderful human being. The earth is, sadly, a little lighter tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh dear, John… that is a superb meme/tribute. Thank you so very much for sharing it! Wow! I just LOVE that quote.

      Many thanks Sir and I can so relate to your wife’s sadness. I too welled up with intense emotions after I determined that my friend was NOT f*cking with me. I just did not want to believe it. Sixty-seven years old is too young to die when they have so much pleasure and beauty to share, especially from such a wonderful person and artist. Give your wife a hug for me. I honor this man as she does. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. His book, Ghost Rider, is one of the reasons I’m alive today. I don’t think I’m being too melodramatic in saying that. Sometimes you’re in a place where you need to relearn how to live & his journey across North America & through mourning taught me. I will honor him always.

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    • Mmmmm, I share your deep adoration Silverapplequeen. He was a very talented artist, drummer, and inspiration to so many. He also had a very hard, painful life in 1997 and 1998. I seriously doubt I could’ve returned to his BRILLIANCE after losing my daughter, then her mother, his wife. I can’t even fathom that level of sorrow, pain, and missing two loved ones. From Wikipedia on this time-period:

      On August 10, 1997, soon after the conclusion of Rush’s Test for Echo Tour, Peart’s first daughter and then-only child, 19-year-old Selena Taylor, was killed in a single-car accident on Highway 401 near the town of Brighton, Ontario. His common-law wife of 23 years, Jacqueline Taylor, succumbed to cancer only 10 months later on June 20, 1998. Peart attributes her death to the result of a “broken heart” and called it “a slow suicide by apathy. She just didn’t care.”

      Thank you for a wonderful comment Silverapple. 🙂

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  3. Want to get a glimpse of just how respected and awed Neil Peart was by his contemporaries? From Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and Nirvana when asked the hypothetical question, Would you take the place of Neil Peart after hearing of his retirement? His response:

    Emphatically ruling it out, Dave responded: “I would say, ‘I’m not physically or musically capable, but thanks for the offer.’ Neil Peart, that’s a whole other animal, another species of drummer. I know the arrangements, but I’m like (The White Stripes’) Meg White to Neil Peart. And she’s one of my favourite drummers!”

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  4. The reason Peart retired was because his body, as worn and expended as it was for the sake of the highest quality artform… gave out. Neil pushed himself relentlessly to the painful physical edge even during their long, world-wide tours. Neil would perform through his pain simply because he did not want to let down the band’s loyal fans:

    https://www.loudersound.com/news/rush-neil-peart-tendonitis-tour-retirement

    This is a true symbol of an artist and performer deeply dedicated to his art. How many drummers would do the same over several months or a career?

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  5. No. Fucking. Way. I am crushed. I owned an 11 pc blonde maple set because of Neil Peart. He was my musical idol. It’s been many years but I still run the double bass when I air jam. This is a huge loss too early. Sorry Dwain.

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    • Ugh… Jim, I could not agree more with you brother. So YOU know a bit about percussion and drum-kits? The huge drum-kits and how much they demand of their owners? Were you a marching band and concert band drumline member too!? It is a small, very special bond and brotherhood and womanhood among our skins and peculiar tid-bits of strange noise and vibrations, huh? 😉

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        • Yes! The trio from Toronto made such cerebral works of art, didn’t they? Neil’s lyrics along with Geddy’s and Alex’s talents made their creations SO intriguing, SO challenging and provoking that any artist with the desire to dive DEEP into the marrow of their musical art was fascinated and inspired, yes?

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          • I was in college and this girl I was seeing said she didn’t really like Rush. I put Tom Sawyer on the Walkman, put my headphones on her and let ‘er rip. She literally couldn’t believe her ears spinning around her head in stereo.

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            • Indeed! I think anyone who has a deep learned and appreciation for sophisticated, brilliant music composition… simply CANNOT deny the talent of these 3 men. Every single time I would watch them live in concert, they NEVER had any electronic recordings of their plethora of accompaniments and compliments to their HUGE library of songs and albums! Geddy would play his bass-guitar, keyboards, and those foot-pedals simultaneously, and Alex would play all his various guitars for every set, every album. And then of course, Neil would play the equivalent of 4-5 percussionists in a concert orchestra AND everything as a prolific, fuckin’ demon of a rock drummer on his 2,457 piece drum-kit!!! 😉 JEBUS CHRISSYMAS ALMIGHTY, just Neil’s performances live were worth $10,000 easily!

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            • I paid $9 to see him in Seattle. Moving pictures. The only live show I saw of them. It was worth $12easy. Haha I hear you. He was a magician. I have songs in my head tonight. A lot of memories I have are ties to Rush, a companion unobtrusive.

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    • Sorry for the delayed reply Shell. I’m currently out of town. 🙂

      I hear that “pair” compared often Shell. I won’t argue it at all. Personally, I like putting Danny Carey (Tool, Volto!, Pigmey Love Circus) * close to Neil. I think he’s exceptional, especially when Tool was performing/touring, and producing albums! Yes, may Neil’s masterpieces last forever, for sure! ❤

      * – http://dannycarey.com/

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      • No worries man, Im often running around like there’s no tomorrow and busy with the things in life. It slows down my blogosphere travels too.

        I dont know that Id compare Bonham and Peart in the normal sense of the word. I only see them both as legends of the craft who in my opinion rose to the top of their time and their talents also stand the test of time.

        I’ve not heard of Danny Carey, but Tool Im vaguely aware of. Not my genre, and I tend to wall of things that arent…

        Even though, when I might catch a performance of a band outside of my personal tastes I can still appreciate the musicianship that goes into it. A while back I caught Megadeath on cable, yep not to my taste at all, but damn they are great musicians. Even if I dont care for the music I can’t disrespect the talent.

        I’ll give that link a look…

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        • Neil Peart was SO idolized Shell that even Sully Erna (singer/drummer) and Shannon Larkin (drummer) both of Godsmack, put in several of Peart’s famous solos in a tribute—his solo from YYZ Moving Pictures as example here—that I wouldn’t be surprised if for the next decade or so younger percussionists influenced by Peart will include his artistry. 🙂

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    • Well, I do hope all his closely loved ones were there at his last breath. I’m guessing they were. Neil certainly would’ve been worth it, no questions at all asked. In fact, if it were me as a close friend, I probably would’ve gone mad and been a risk to society to get to his death-bed by any means! Lol 😉

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  6. He was a great drummer, one of the best, though I don’t really like to compare too much. Music isn’t like sports where you can (though not always) have a clear “better” or “best” in comparisons. My other personal favorites are John Bonham, Tommy Aldridge, Terry Bozio, Ian Paice, Bill Ward, Joe Franco and Bobby Rondinelli. I’ve seen them all live except Bonham and they all gave me chills. I saw Rush in 1986 at Madison Square Garden. The entire band blew my mind. What impresses me most in music is how an entire band can come together – almost as if they are one being. It’s beautiful.

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    • I only saw Rush that one time, in 1986, but I’ve had their music since the late seventies. I had their first album, before Neil Pearl joined, on vinyl. I love the last song on the album most – Working Man. I’ve also owned Fly By Night, Caress Of Steel and 2112 on either vinyl or CD. A good friend of mine owned All The World’s a Stage, A Farewell To Kings, Hemispheres and the next few albums so I heard all of that stuff. I’m actually not a big fan of Geddy Lee’s voice so I started listening to them less over the years, but respect them instrumentally very much.

      Are you familiar with the Randy Coven Band? If not, I suggest looking into them. They never made it big, but were amazing. You can find some songs on YouTube. They played instrumentals, blending hard rock, jazz, funk and even a hint of country.

      Randy Coven grew up in Long Island (a suburb of NYC) and went to a respected school for music (Julliard?) and his roommate was another Long Islander, Steve Vai, who you likely have heard of. He was in Frank Zappa’s band in the early 1980s, Alcatraz in the mid 1980s and has recorded and toured under his own name ever since. He played on Randy’s first album, Funk Me Tender. Another local musician they befriended at the school was the guitarist in the Randy Coven Band, Al Pitrelli. He was in Savatage (great band) in the 1990s and is a founding member of Trans Siberian Orchestra (great band – yes, I’m very opinionated!) 😆

      Al Pitrelli was roommates in that school with Jordan Rudess, who was in The Dregs, an instrumental duo with Rod Morgenstein of the Dregs (RMP), Liquid Tension Experiment (amazing instrumental band) and Dream Theatre, a successful progressive hard rock/metal band from Long Island. Quite a bit of talent from a few kids who went to school together. 😆 If there’s another band mentioned here you’ve never heard of, I suggest checking them out. I think you might like them.

      This is a link to an article about Mike Portnoy, a drummer in Dream Theatre who was good friends with Neil Peart and had nice things to say about him. (Portnoy was also in Liquid Tension Experiment along with John Petrucci of Dream Theatre and the legendary bassist, Tony Levin).

      https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/8547805/neil-peart-mike-portnoy-remembers-drummer

      Peace, brother.

      Liked by 1 person

        • The guys from Dream Theatre are nice guys. Two guys who grew up with them (in Kings Park, L.I.) sang (separately) in a band I had back in the nineties. One of them, Chris Collins, was actually the vocalists on Dream Theatre’s demo that got them signed, though the band was named Majestic at the time. They both said they are nice, stand up guys. And if someone would have a reason to bash them it would be a guy who was in their band for a while and was dumped right after being signed. 😆

          Most of the bands I mentioned have videos on YouTube. Steve Vai was in a movie called “Crossroads” which was a 1980s version of the Robert Johnson story of making a deal with the devil to become a successful musician. It’s an entertaining movie starring Ralph Macchio of “Karate Kid” fame. Vai also has tons of videos online (I believe he’s sold over 15 million albums throughout his career).

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          • I am definitely going to check them all out because you have listed 2-3 drummers/bands I DO know and their drummers are indeed worthy of praise and honor. 😉

            So let me get this straight Ashift. 😲🤔 You have been in these circles with these musicians and drummers in your own career!!!!? 😲 Cuz… I can’t remember ANY drummer, musician, artist named AshiftinConsciousness on Billboard’s Charts or in Rolling Stone. 🤭 😉

            Come on buddy, spill it! SPILL IT ALL or else I’m pulling out my bow and shoot you with my warped drum sticks!!! 🏹 And I WON’T be aiming for your forehead or your rear-end. 😈

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            • 😆 You won’t miss me, even shooting warped drumsticks. I can’t run anymore.

              Chris Collins was in Majestic in the late 1980s. I met him in 1992 and he was only in my band for 2 weeks. While he praised John Petrucci and John Myung for “sticking to their guns” (his words) and staying with the music they loved – progressive metal and amazing musicianship – he wanted to make money. He joined my band because he joined a jamming session I had one night with my drummer and two friends on bass and vocals and liked my ability to spontaneously come up with cool rock riffs and also my improv skills on lead guitar. It was a great jam and he got excited about the possibilities. Then, when we started our own jams/rehearsals he suddenly wanted to play mostly cover songs. I have never played a lot of cover songs. I always played 80% – 90% originals with occasional covers – usually a couple songs from bands like Santana, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Michael Schenker, Scorpions, the Beatles and a few blues songs. He said he paid his dues with Majestic and wanted to quit his 9-5 and make a living in music. I understood what he was saying, but wasn’t willing to do that.

              I sometimes went in the opposite direction. One band I started was a freestyle instrumental Funk-Rock band. I would start playing and everyone would join in when they felt it. A kind of Jimi Hendrix meets James Brown and beats up Chick Corea. 😂 😂 (I actually made myself laugh with that). Seriously, though, it was awesome. Some nights we’d even invite people to freestyle vocals. It was a lot of fun, but I only got paid $10 or a sandwich & french fries for a night of playing. 🙂 And I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The problem was keeping the rest of the band happy. Most people want to make a lot of money and get recognition. Obviously, I wanted that, but the music came first. I cherish the memories of hundreds of jams in which a one second glance could cue a rhythm change with a drummer and bass player or a drummer and guitarist if I was on bass. It’s beautiful. You can feel the music running through your body like energy. I played shows in front of 15 people and loved it.

              Shit. Sorry about that, I went off on a tangent. I’ve never met the guys in Dream Theatre and though I’ve hung out with some of these great musicians a few times in clubs I never played with any of them. I wasn’t good enough.

              I also had a close friend in the eighties and nineties (Cookie) who worked for Ritchie Blackmore for many years. I went to Ritchie’s house in Huntington, L.I. once, but Ritchie wasn’t there so Cookie didn’t let me in – not because of me, because one of our friends that was with us is crazy and Cookie didn’t trust him. (Plus we had magic mushrooms with us) 🙂 Cookie knew Bobby Rondinelli since high school and I think was instrumental in Rondinelli joining Rainbow.

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            • Hahahaha! I can see clearly now—“the rain is gone“… oops, sorry! Tangent! I can see that you and I would be FANTASTIC drum-buddies, music-buddies, concert-buddies, B.S.’ing-buddies of all things percussion, skins, instruments, and all their Maestros (with or without spirits, Green-fairies, and libations) perhaps for the remainder of our living years! Why? Because neither one of us are capable of running away from each other fast enough! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

              Hey, if you’d like—and you trust me you bloody FOOL! 😄😈 I don’t always bite—then shoot me an email via my Contact Page here or at professor.taboo@gmail.com! I’d like to know a bit more about this infamous/famous AshiftinConsciousness that has somehow snuck (sneaked? snuckered?) by my highly acute, night-vision FLIR all-seeing eyes, ears, and vibratory sensors in the field of percussion, bands, and extra-terrestrial visits. Okay? 😉

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            • P.S. My bands were called “Heretic” for a couple years and “The Fugitive Mind” for a long time and I used the name “Fat Chance” for one gig when I used an inexperienced vocalist who I didn’t trust. It was a good thing. He got stage fright and to get over it he got shit-faced drunk. He screamed the lyrics like it was metal (it was melodic hard rock) and he forgot lyrics – even though I wrote them out for him and allowed him to tape a cheat sheet to his microphone stand. 😳

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            • Man!!! That is so awesome! When I was a senior in high school, I had to make a hard, painful decision: Was I going to pursue soccer/football as my lifetime career or was it going to be drums, in rock-n-roll, metal, bits of jazz, funk, etc. Mom was a BIG part of this decision, or at least the brainstorming, King Arthur round-table discussion/debating/comparing with Dad (ex-Marine Corp) being primary Mediator. HAH!!! Mom did NOT want me to pursue drums and rock bands because that meant way too many drugs and women—not to mention fuckin’ drummers overdosing everywhere and breakin’ up bands like Led Zeppelin. Dummies. 🙄 So… thanks to those horrible role-models for aspiring teenage graduates, I pursued soccer/football. The U.S. Marine Corp was not so attractive to me with all the gory blood-n-guts and loud mouthed Sargents screaming in your face.

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            • My dad was also a Marine, WWII, the Pacific Theatre. Mom was an elementary school teacher.

              I hadn’t even taken playing music seriously in high school. I was too busy listening to it, getting high and trying to find a girlfriend. Like Steven Tyler sang in “Walk This Way” – “I was a high school loser, never made it with the ladies…” 😆

              I got very serious a few years after high school. I spent hours at a time learning the guitar. I had some advantages that I was born with – long thin fingers with excellent dexterity, an excellent ear and something inside that allowed me to hear my own guitar voice even while listening to music. By that I mean I could listen to a guitar solo by Jimi Hendrix or Carlos Santana and, at the same time, hear my own solo going off on a journey, then coming back home to the recorded solo. Strange, huh? I thought everyone had that quality. It wasn’t until years later I discovered I was very fortunate.

              Those advantages allowed me to make up lost ground, so to speak, considering my lack of discipline in high school. A few months after being shown riffs by friends I was showing them things they hadn’t been able to do. I was told to practice scales relentlessly, but that bored me. Instead I jammed to albums by John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and B. B. King, then rock bands like Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. I didn’t become a “shredder” but developed a visceral, expressive, melodic style with occasional bursts of speed, used tastefully.

              I was told by everyone there was no way I could make a living in music and that I should scrap the dream and either go to college to get a white collar job or start swinging a hammer or digging ditches.

              I started swinging a hammer, but continued dreaming I’d play music on stage. I wasn’t even locked into the fantasy-driven idea of becoming another Jimmy Page. I just wanted to make a simple living in music. I went to school for audio recording in the East Village, but couldn’t keep up with payments. I couldn’t get a student loan for it. It didn’t fit properly into the Capitalist machine.

              I have no regrets about not “making it” since I actually achieved MY dream of making music with other musicians and performing on stage. It was beautiful. Sadly, years of construction destroyed my hands and wrists so I can barely play any longer, but I plan on working my fingers back into shape (if I can avoid certain types of work) and going back to making music and putting it down on disc.

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    • What impresses me most in music is how an entire band can come together – almost as if they are one being. It’s beautiful.

      That is a wonderful sentiment and concept Ashift! Thank you. 🙂 The Trio from Toronto had some incredible talent individually and as a whole. Their only common criticism was Geddy’s voice. Lol

      Your list of drummers there is a fine one too. Haven’t heard of all of them, but the ones I do know—never seen in concert—definitely deserve high acclaim for their skill and craft, for sure!

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      • While a couple of them aren’t household names, I believe all of them are pretty well known. Obviously, everyone knows the legendary John Bonham.

        Tommy Aldridge was in Black Oak Arkansas, The Pat Travers Band, Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Yngwie Malmsteen, Motörhead, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy and a couple other rock bands. I saw him in concert with Ozzie Osborne three times in the early eighties, twice with Randy Rhoads on guitar.

        Terry Bozio was in a Frank Zappa’s band for years and also played with Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger (solo), Black Light Syndrome (another amaaaaazing instrumental band with amazing musicians I highly recommend), Steve Vai and other bands, including Missing Persons in the eighties with his wife Dale Bozio on vocals.

        Ian Paice is from Deep Purple, Bill Ward from Black Sabbath.

        Joe Franco is another Long Islander who I first saw in the same band in which I first saw Randy Coven in a small rock club as a member of The Good Rats in 1984. He told me one of those nights that he’d gotten a great gig with legendary Canadian guitarist Frank Marino (an influence on Alex Lifeson). I saw the show and was seriously blown away by both of them. He also played with Twisted Sister, Widowmaker (Dee Snider Of Twisted Sister), Leslie West, Fiona, Vinnie Moore, Blues Saraceno, Jack Bruce & Steve Walsh (of Kansas).

        Bobby Rondinelli, also of L.I. (I know I sound very parochial 😆), is one of the greatest drummers I’ve ever seen. He was on three albums with Rainbow (Ritchie Blackmore’s band after Deep Purple) and also played with Quiet Riot, Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, The Lizards, Leslie West, Axel Rudi Pell and had his own band Rondinelli with his brother Teddy on guitar and his sister on vocals. I also saw him locally in bars on L.I. (in between famous bands) in a band called Pyramid with amazing guitarist, George Cintron, who I believe was in Trans Siberian Orchestra for a short time.

        There you have it – a long but hopefully somewhat interesting history of great drummers I’ve seen live. 😆 I hope I didn’t bore you.

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        • HAH! You haven’t bored me one bit. I have four deep passions and obsessions in life—some call one or two vices or addictions. I won’t argue them. 😄 Those four are…

          • Football/soccer — European or South American
          • Fine spirits and wine — reds, especially Malbec
          • My Alternative Lifestyles of SSC BDSM and Open/Swinger Lifestyle
          • Drums/Percussion — modern and indigenous around the world

          And those four are never in any particular order, frequency, or priority. It varies. As the astute two gentlemen of some fame Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain once put it in two different delicious ways…

          “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” — Oscar Wilde

          and…

          “I haven’t a particle of confidence in a man
          who has no redeeming petty vices whatsoever.” — Mark Twain

          And I pay the utmost homage as much as I can to those exquisite truths made by gentlemen who would certainly know! 😁

          Liked by 1 person

      • Sure. I’d send you some of my music for the hell of it, though there’s a good chance you wouldn’t really dig it. I recorded everything on sixties technology and low quality even for the sixties – an analogue 4-track machine with 3/16 inch tape for the recording medium. A house fire destroyed virtually everything recorded with the bands. So…

        A few years after hanging up my guitar (Carpal-Tunnel Syndrome and long work days due to limited income) I spent a couple years recording a mix of old and new material, but not being a drummer I was forced to use a drum machine. I know, I know, you hate drum machines. But I had no choice, it was a drum machine or no recording. And by recording music instead of playing live I could do it on days my hands didn’t hurt too much. After a few songs with preset beats I started making my own beats. I also added my own bongos and played all bass, guitar, keyboard and vocal tracks myself. (I can’t sing for shit so I did a weird cross between Frank Zappa speaking poetry and rap vocals. It was all I could manage.) Plus, I occasionally added violin, wind chimes, coffee maker, cookie tin, samples from movies and creative use of digital delay. I’m talking a real Frankenstein here. Very few people like it. A few people like my lead guitar work and even more like my lyrics.

        I wasn’t given a little box with “reply” in it on that comment on my iPad. I had to reply to a different comment.

        Liked by 1 person

        • (bear with me a bit while I pretend to be a smart ass full of sketchy compliments for a warped sense of humor…)

          So… 🤔 a few people like(d) your lead guitar work and millions like(d) your lyrical prowess despite Carpal-Tunnel Syndrome and holding a pen? So… you composed your lyrics sort of like Stephen Hawking wrote best-sellers? But you are not drooling are you? Not yet? 😉 🙃

          Lol…totally joking with you man.

          Liked by 1 person

          • A few local friends enjoyed my lead guitar work, but most hated my vocal style so much they never actually “listened” to my lyrics. When I posted a few songs on YouTube I got a few compliments on my lead guitar work but more on my lyrics. When I say a few, I mean a few. 😆 Once I joined Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park and posted anti-Capitalist videos, attempting to explain what the people wanted, I was banned from YouTube, not only from my own channel but from commenting on any videos.

            Like

          • Here’s a drummer I came across in recent years and forgot to mention, professor. He’s from Germany and lives in San Diego. His name is Marco Minnemann and he’s amazing. This is a clip of him in the band “The Aristocrats” with one of my favorite guitarists (who I believe is from another planet), Guthrie Govan – absolutely amazing stuff, though Marco shows an arrogance I don’t particularly car for. You WILL like this amazing drummer, though, whether you enjoy the music or not. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed! “Straight” (straightforward, clear) is mostly good with instructions in parachuting or wing-suit gliding before you JUMP. Straight (honest, uncomplicated) is probably good when you explain to your wife exactly how your wedding ring came off and was lost. And straight (flat, smooth) is good with LPs and 45’s on your turn-table player when setting the perfect mood for an important romantic dinner evening to propose from one knee—no wobbly records!

      However, there are many times where “straight” would NOT be good! Like snow-skiing for the first time you THOUGHT you were still on the Green Slope after that turn when instead you have arrived on the steep Black Slope with moguls ahead of you. 😬 Oh SHIT moment! 😨 Straight (down) NOT GOOD!

      Liked by 1 person

        • Haha! 😄 “Straight” good then. “Straight” not good there! Straight is relative Sir…

          …as they say at a Drag Queen Show! Ever been to one? I have! Dude, it was crazy GOOD! I’m not B.S.’ing you. There I saw one Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader—at S4 (Station 4) on Cedar Springs Rd. in Dallas—and Ashift, I could not stop gawking at her because she looked STUNNING!!! I mean like easily centerfold material and Playmate of the Year stunning! 😵 My best friend I was with (a hot Lesbian herself) busted out laughing and told me “He’s a regular here. He always gets hit on by Neanderthals like you.” 🤣🤣🤣

          It begs the question, Is it really all that good, all that perfect and so massively egotistical to be boringly Straight… Heterosexual, while also being generally stupid about the real world, all the time, in all circumstances? 😉 😛

          Liked by 1 person

          • Living in (and sometimes near) NYC I have seen many drag queens. They feel comfortable walking around most areas of the city, but particularly the East Village. They are common enough so that they are only stared at by tourists. 🙂 I’ve also been left in awe at the sheer beauty of some of them.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not a drummer and, though I know great music, I’m not an expert on drum work. While I don’t care for business music designed with the “lowest common denominator” mindset and with making money being the prime motivational force, I realize that music shouldn’t just be for musicians to show off to each other, it should sometimes be fun. It’s great when you can have both: awesome musicians playing music that is fun.

    Here is a short clip of a band I’ve enjoyed for decades, Frank Zappa. In this song, Punky’s Whips, Frank Zappa expresses himself beautifully on guitar while his band plays flawlessly and one of the drummers I mentioned in a previous comment goes nuts – while having a ton of fun. Terry “ The Animal” Bozzio. Check it out. I hope you enjoy it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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