Buddy and Louie talk Gadd and Bonzo

drummingbulldog

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Buddy was a crabby old fart. He hated rock & country music. It is well noted. I think he was jealous of all the attention Bonzo & others got & openly bitched about it.

Buddy was imo the best drummer ever as a soloist & a big band guy. Rock had made big band a memory just like hip hop & electronic music has done to rock now.
 

CSR

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Buddy worked so hard for decades making music, on the road 9 months a year, and running on the edge of bankruptcy in order to keep his big band on the road. He resented the three-chord rock musicians with no training who had been playing for a couple of months who would fill arenas and make millions on one simplistic album. (No, I’m not saying all of the rock groups were like that.). He reputedly admired a few rock drummers...Bobby Columby comes to mind.

He didn’t like the musical simplicity and lack of sophistication of the country music of the day.

He was an older musician who grew frustrated at times. He had a right to his opinions. I don’t like rap, hip-hop, metal, country music, or a lot of Indie music myself. We all have a right to our opinions.
 

swarfrat

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I know the buddy crew just don't understand this but is is possible to fire people without being an jerk. Buddy and Beefheart were just unprofessional about how they managed the tight ship they ran.
 

DavedrumsTX

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The thing is, everyone knows where they stand with you.

B.R.: Well, I try to let everybody know that you're either my friend or you're my enemy. That way, you don't have to tolerate an enemy as a friend. They know; you know. It's the same thing with my band, I come in, and I tell `em when the band sounds rotten. See, there isn't anybody in this band that I can't live without. Just so they know: they get paid, and I expect my money's worth just like I expect my money's worth when I go to a restaurant or a theatre. When you're paying a musician the salary that he's asking, he thinks he deserves it, you think he's worth the price, and you pay it, and you find out that you're not getting the total talent of the person, then it's not good enough just to say: "What's wrong?" It becomes important enough to tell 'em: "Either you do it right now, or get on a boat or a plane and go home." Because there are enough players around the world who want jobs, and who are willing to work extremely hard. And that kind of perfection is needed to keep what Louie's doing and what I'm doing alive.

When an audience goes in to see you, they're so inundated now with the rock thing and the showbiz presentation of it—you know, the makeup, the trick lights, the smoke going up, bombs bursting, that music takes a back seat to all that. So, when you do any straight music, unless it's perfect I think the audience might be disappointed. In fear of that, I make sure that, before we go on, my band knows exactly what I expect—every performance, every tune, every bar. Unless they meet those standards and requirements, I look for somebody else. But I'm very fortunate, because the people that I have with me do just that. They try; if it's not always perfect, at least I know that they're trying, and that's all I can ask.

L.B.: Well, that goes for the playing thing. We discussed another important thing, too. You listen to records today—and, believe me I'm not going to put down a certain kind of sound, but, if you're a session player and you go in to record, you have to adjust to the engineer. He doesn't adjust to you any more. Plus you've got the factor of a producer saying: "I want you to sound like this guy or that guy." And everybody sounds alike. There's only a few young guys like Steve Gadd, Harvey Mason—those guys have true identity. But, you know, when we were coming up, you could say: "Hey, I know that's Buddy playing drums"—I mean, there's never a question about him, anyway, because who's got that kind of facility? There was Davey Tough, Shelly Manne, Big Sid Catlett, Gene—all those cats had a definite sound, an individuality that you could respect. Today, there are very few.

B.R.: They were not only identifiable by their sound, but they never played like anybody else. If you were listening to the various bands of the time, every drummer played his own thing, although he may have listened to everybody else in the world. The great thing about creativeness is that once you've listened to everybody, and you've taken two bars from this guy, a bar from that guy, as you grow you seem to leave those things at the side of the road and you evolve into your own person. With today's playing—a young guy hears somebody that he likes, whether it was originally Ringo Starr, with the triplets off the tomtom, or whether it was Steve Gadd today—they listen to the other people, and they play exactly the very same thing. Every drummer that's recorded in the past ten years has done that same fill: diga-diga-digadigadigadum.

LOUIE BELLSON: Yeah. That's why we both cite guys like Steve Gadd and Harvey Mason —because I know they've done their homework. They've paid their dues —and they get an identifiable sound, you know.

B.R.: Also, I think their ears are more open. Because I've heard Steve Gadd not only play the rock things, but some straightahead jazz too. He can play. He can play his ass off, man. I was sitting with Alan Ferguson and Jack Parnell the other night; they said : "Have you heard the new Chick Corea album?"—and it's got Steve Gadd on it. I respect Steve because he can be interchangeable; he can play with Chick Corea.


B.R.: Listen, I had a surprise one time. Kathy, my daughter got me out to see Led Zeppelin, when they played Madison Square Garden. I wasn't too anxious to go, but I went, to please Kathy. We sat fairly much in the front; and for what seemed to be the first year that they were on there, I endured it—not a change of tune; not a change of a melodic line, but the heavy organ, the heavy guitar and the drum. The finale was a drum solo—and he had maybe two million dollars' worth of drums up there; I think Carl Palmer's the only other guy I've ever seen with so many drums. He started playing, and during the course of his solo a cat came out in a loincloth, with a torch; he started dancing, and the drummer was playing the tom–toms, or whatever he was doing. Obviously he had asbestos in position, because this cat set fire around the set of drums. Now, I don't know what that does for a drum solo, but it scared the hell out. of me—I thought the joint was on fire! I'd no idea what was going on. But when you have to sort to that, you're saying in essence to the audience: "I don't really play that well, but look how brave I am."


I met Louie in 1976. He was the one who turned me on to Steve Gadd, even though Steve’s playing was all over the radio. I just didn’t know who he was.

On a related note, I used love how Louie would call Rush, “The Rush Band”. When I met Louie he was endorsing Slingerland, the Slingerland rep at the time didn’t know who Neal was and he was playing their drums! Lol

I met Louie several times after that and he was always so kind and thoughtful to me. He set the bar for professionalism, musicianship and kindness. Such a beautiful human being.
 
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Houndog

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I have some strong opinions , so I respect a guy willing to put his out there whether or not I agree .
 

JimmySticks

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I know the buddy crew just don't understand this but is is possible to fire people without being an jerk. Buddy and Beefheart were just unprofessional about how they managed the tight ship they ran.
There are plenty of nice stories about Buddy to, but everyone keys on the bad ones. Bad sells I guess, and let's face it, you become a target when you're number 1, and Buddy was easily #1. No drummer can match his life or his dedication.
 

Houndog

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There are plenty of nice stories about Buddy to, but everyone keys on the bad ones. Bad sells I guess, and let's face it, you become a target when you're number 1, and Buddy was easily #1. No drummer can match his life or his dedication.
We are going to disagree on the # 1
I’m going to say Neil matched his dedication and technical prowess , easy .
 

studrum

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I know the buddy crew just don't understand this but is is possible to fire people without being an jerk. Buddy and Beefheart were just unprofessional about how they managed the tight ship they ran.
I'd say it was a different kind of professionalism. I wouldn't have liked it, I admit.

Anyone who's ever felt the cold hand of a "professional" HR department changing their life will know what I mean. All the perfectly coded language...
 

charlesm

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Can you imagine the transformations in music that Buddy witnessed just from 1950-1970? He went from king of the mountain to "what the hell is going on here??", I'm sure.

From my perspective, I find it difficult to understand how anyone who loves music can't see the moments of greatness in any genre or important player. But when you're coming through eras of earthquakes of cultural shifting as Buddy did, when the changes are completely new, with no retrospective or ironic lens at work, you can understand how he could've been a bit bewildered and defensive about it all.
 

Vistalite Black

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It's notable that when Buddy Rich died, "hot-tempered" was the lead phrase in his New York Times obituary. The anger expressed in the Bus Tapes became a large part of the reputation of the guy almost all of us agree is at the top of the list of the first century of drummers.

NYTimes: Apr 03, 1987 · Buddy Rich, a hot-tempered musician who drummed his way through vaudeville shows and big bands, died yesterday at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 69 years old.

BUDDY RICH, JAZZ DRUMMER WITH DISTINCTIVE SOUND, DIES - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
 

drums1225

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We are going to disagree on the # 1
I’m going to say Neil matched his dedication and technical prowess , easy .
Neil was my biggest inspiration and an obsession of mine from 1980-1989. There's no shot he had anywhere near Buddy's technical prowess. Not even remotely in the same universe.
 

CSR

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Confession: I’ve never listen to a single Rush song, and I only know Peart because he organized and played in the Buddy Rich “Burnin’” concerts. There....I ashamedly said it.

Now I’ll go flagellate myself in private contrition. I know it’s a major sin for a drummer.

Next week, I’ll confess never hearing that drummer with Zappa, whom I’ve never heard either.
 

Houndog

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Neil was my biggest inspiration and an obsession of mine from 1980-1989. There's no shot he had anywhere near Buddy's technical prowess. Not even remotely in the same universe.
You got to be kidding me , he lived right next door ....
 

boomstick

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Sad when a guy who has nothing to prove tries to prove something.
 

Squirrel Man

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Confession: I’ve never listen to a single Rush song, and I only know Peart because he organized and played in the Buddy Rich “Burnin’” concerts. There....I ashamedly said it.

Now I’ll go flagellate myself in private contrition. I know it’s a major sin for a drummer.

Next week, I’ll confess never hearing that drummer with Zappa, whom I’ve never heard either.
Do you go to the same church that Larnell goes to?

:p
 

old_K_ride

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Vistalite Black's anti-Buddy Rich attitude sounds familiar to anyone who has been on this forum for very long. He makes snide remarks about Buddy based only on the negative, ill-informed posts from other internet drum forum members, and chooses instead to idolize a drummer that went on a 12 hour drinking binge, choked on his own vomit and died at the age of 32.
Buddy was the highest paid SIDEMAN ever a few times before he launched his last big band.$1,500 per week in 1945?! F me! He was making 1G as a child star. BR was a certified superstar in the big band glory days and after as a featured artist on Jazz at the Philharmonic tours...I do cringe sometimes when I read Buddy going off on rock guys...it was unnecessary to say the least...but he was cruel to some jazz guys as well...Randy Jones & Billy Cobham both got roasted in print by him...call it his underlying insecurity...whatever...trashing a guy 34 years after his death says much about those who engage in it imo.
 


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