Buddy...I was listening last night, and BAM!

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There's a part in this WSS solo where he misses on a move he tried to make and the camera is on his face, one of the few times where I appreciated that, then anger flashes across his face as it doesn't happen, then he goes for it again and ups the power and speed. The look in his eyes has always stayed with me. The intensity and concentration, he's deep in his head. It's what it takes to get to that level of playing and running a band.

I think the snare on this recording sounds great, the whole set sounds very powerful. And I think Bonzo borrowed a lot from Buddy in his solos.

Wow! awseome one of Buddy's best. Love the cymbal work and left hand early on. Looks like early 70's blue/olive 3plys. A lot of poeple say he sounded best on Slingerlands but this sounds really good. But then I am biased. Is that a regular Supraphonic 5 x 14 or something else?
 

GregR

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I saw Buddy live several times and saw every one of his appearances on the Tonight Show, as well as countless other videos. When I saw him live it was so powerful. Every time I would walk away thinking about giving up drumming. He was so far beyond anything else I had ever seen. That experience will never leave me. It has never happened since, so i will always think of him as the greatest ever.
 

Bleacherman

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In 1973 I was in college and heard that Buddy Rich and his band were coming to Grand Rapids Mi which at the time was a very small city so it really surprised me.

He was playing at a dumpy hotel where another band played for the first hour, then Buddy’s band for the second hour, we were served a steak dinner, then the other band played an hour and Buddy’s band played the final set. All for $40 a couple!!!!

The room was small....maybe 60 people so we were within 20 feet of the drum set. Buddy came out with unbelievable bags under his eyes and talked about performing over 200 shows that year. When he played, it was ok but I said to my future wife “I can do that!”.

HOWEVER! When Buddy came out for the second set he was awake and unbelievable! I couldn’t keep up to just his left hand using both hands and both feet!!! Truly amazing!!!

As far as his personality, he was tired and cranky.....a couple of high school drummers were there and tried to talk to him but that didn’t work out so well. He was demanding of his band but it showed....they were spot on!

I went on to play in college big band battles and tried to use Buddy as inspiration even though he probably would have told me like he said to Johnny Carson “I have a broken watch that keeps better time than you!”
 

FlowTom

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I appreciate Buddy for keeping the great Steve Marcus steadily employed for a bunch of years.
I also admire him for recognizing that the electric bass was an effective means of powering a big band.
 

hawker

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Most times when I saw Buddy playing in the L.A. area, there would be a couple of well-known drummers in the audience. It was crazy to hear, not only the band, but all the gasps of emotion and disbelief from the audience all around me, similar to the way an audience reacts to death-defying stunts at a circus. There are many stories of drummers walking away crying after a Buddy Rich performance.
Reminds me of a story I read in one of the drum magazines of one night in LA. Buddy and the band are there and all the top LA drummers are in the audience. After the set they all go back stage to say hello and pay their respects to Buddy; Vinnie, Gregg Bissonette and a number of others. As things were winding up Vinnie asks Buddy if he can kiss him...a peck on the cheek. Buddy says "yea"...and I can feel the vibe of mutual respect that must have been occurring as the old man (who is still blowing everyone away) is preparing to let a handful of the young Turks take over. I would have loved to have seen it.

I have seen Buddy in person several times but the first two times (late 60s) I was within feet of him all night long. Both times I was so blown away that was just overcome with emotion. I didn't kiss him, but I did shake his hand and he then went back to the drums, grabbed the sticks he has just used and gave them to me. They smelled of Old Spice and I still have them. There will be no one like him.
 

JimmySticks

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In 1973 I was in college and heard that Buddy Rich and his band were coming to Grand Rapids Mi which at the time was a very small city so it really surprised me.

He was playing at a dumpy hotel where another band played for the first hour, then Buddy’s band for the second hour, we were served a steak dinner, then the other band played an hour and Buddy’s band played the final set. All for $40 a couple!!!!

The room was small....maybe 60 people so we were within 20 feet of the drum set. Buddy came out with unbelievable bags under his eyes and talked about performing over 200 shows that year. When he played, it was ok but I said to my future wife “I can do that!”.

HOWEVER! When Buddy came out for the second set he was awake and unbelievable! I couldn’t keep up to just his left hand using both hands and both feet!!! Truly amazing!!!

As far as his personality, he was tired and cranky.....a couple of high school drummers were there and tried to talk to him but that didn’t work out so well. He was demanding of his band but it showed....they were spot on!

I went on to play in college big band battles and tried to use Buddy as inspiration even though he probably would have told me like he said to Johnny Carson “I have a broken watch that keeps better time than you!”
That's the thing about Buddy, he played hard and gave it his all till the end, playing high schools and colleges and dumpy hotels. It didn't matter, he loved big band swing music and he loved to play. I think he easily could have given in and went with be bop, maybe even funk and R&B and probably had become the greatest there to, but he was all swing, all the way. All credit for keeping this music alive for as long as he did and for giving us so much to listen to.
 

Toast Tee

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Excuse my ignorance, and I realize Jszz wasn't topping the charts (at least from the 50's- on). That being said, did Buddy get much radio play, or any of his tunes hit the main stream?
 

Deafmoon

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Joe Morello was every bit Buddy's match imho.
Drumming wise he was, but he did not have Buddy’s quick wit, showmanship or leadership skills. All those bus tapes and bravado aside, Don Menza has said Buddy was the best boss ever because if a band member got any lip from someone other than Buddy, Rich was right up front to set them straight as to what the band could and could not do. He protected his people.
 


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