We’re we ever really THAT naive?

1988fxlr

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Whatever one thinks of Kiss, that seems like the ideal first rock show. It's why I took my kids to see the Flaming Lips when each of them was old "enough". Spectacle, celebration, joy, fantasy (with the added benefit of the DIY aspect of a Flaming Lips show). Explosions and swear words!
Same idea is why I made sure my younger cousin’s first real concert was Motley Crue. There are better musicians in the world but few better spectacles
 

RayB

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I grew up in NYC, so there wasn't much innocence in my youth. We were exposed to everything, so nothing much surprised us, we were jaded to it all pretty young. We saw all the great acts up close and we probably took it all for granted.

I sometimes wish I had that Innocence!
I grew up in NY, too, and saw so many great drummers that I took for granted.
But of all the great rock, jazz and Latin drummers I was fortunate to see, and I would add the great orchestral percussionists who were "around", there was one time when a drummer absolutely blew me away and changed my whole perception of drumming.
Jo Jones was in his later years when I saw him up close at the West End Cafe, NYC, in the mid-1980s. He had a beat up looking hi hat stand with a wing nut clutch. The top hi hat cymbal looked a little bent. He started playing his famous hi hat groove. I've heard many great drummers play the pattern. I NEVER heard anything like this. It felt like a breeze blowing through me. There was nothing percussive about the sound, it was gentle and flowing. But the groove was right there, so strong while being quiet as a whisper.
I can't really count the number of superb drummers I've seen before and after the night I saw Jo Jones. It's still stands out as the most amazing drumming I ever saw. How he created this beautiful, graceful sound just hitting hihat cymbals with a stick! And he gave the ensemble this luxurious, limousine ride, it wasn't just "keeping time". He was creating time: Jo Jones was Father Time.
Shook me up, and at the time I'd been playing drums for 25 years and was a working drummer. It went beyond anything I thought I knew about chops and time and what the hell I'm doing back there. It was so simple but a complete symphony. Easy as breathing in and out, This is the highest level of drumming or playing ANY instrument. I'll never forget this level exists.
 

Houndog

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I grew up in NY, too, and saw so many great drummers that I took for granted.
But of all the great rock, jazz and Latin drummers I was fortunate to see, and I would add the great orchestral percussionists who were "around", there was one time when a drummer absolutely blew me away and changed my whole perception of drumming.
Jo Jones was in his later years when I saw him up close at the West End Cafe, NYC, in the mid-1980s. He had a beat up looking hi hat stand with a wing nut clutch. The top hi hat cymbal looked a little bent. He started playing his famous hi hat groove. I've heard many great drummers play the pattern. I NEVER heard anything like this. It felt like a breeze blowing through me. There was nothing percussive about the sound, it was gentle and flowing. But the groove was right there, so strong while being quiet as a whisper.
I can't really count the number of superb drummers I've seen before and after the night I saw Jo Jones. It's still stands out as the most amazing drumming I ever saw. How he created this beautiful, graceful sound just hitting hihat cymbals with a stick! And he gave the ensemble this luxurious, limousine ride, it wasn't just "keeping time". He was creating time: Jo Jones was Father Time.
Shook me up, and at the time I'd been playing drums for 25 years and was a working drummer. It went beyond anything I thought I knew about chops and time and what the hell I'm doing back there. It was so simple but a complete symphony. Easy as breathing in and out, This is the highest level of drumming or playing ANY instrument. I'll never forget this level exists.
Are there any recordings that you can hear this on ??
 

gbow

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HA! Back in my childhood, I hung around and played with a bunch of guys who are now iconic players. From Muscle Shoals to S. FL. all over the SouthEast.

Times were different back then, we all just thought of them as other guys around the scene, and really they were. Never occurred to us to take a photo, get an autograph, or anything. Heck they were just a bunch of country boys like I was.

I'm still not into the autograph or "make a scene" thing. I spent several hours in a nice conversation with a former President of the US one time. Everyone asked, "did you get his autograph?" I said, "well no, why would I, he didn't ask for mine!"

But I do wish I had taken photos back then. Just remembering all the great studios and people I worked with. I really don't have any photos of it at all to speak of.

gabo
 

cashmanbashman

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My first was a Bad Company show in Rapid City SD. I was a kid and really went for the Damn Yankees who opened and Hi Enough was on MTV a ton. Ted Nugent had his bow onstage and shot a cardboard Saddam Hussein to the crowds delight. I fell asleep 1 song into Bad Company.
 

Freewill3

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My first concert was Rush on the Power Windows tour when I was in 7th grade. I remember not asking, but telling my parents I was going, talk about naive! :D They acquiesced when my friend's older brother agreed to drive/chaperone. It was the first of many amazing concert and drum clinic experiences to shape any young, enthusiastic mind. Seeing Vinnie, Alan White, Steve Smith, Billy Cobham, Nicko McBrain all up close, just listening and learning to what made them all so great. Did anyone else catch the Terry Bozzio/Sonny Emory clinic back in the 80's? That was spectacular!
 

John DeChristopher

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That's a great story @notINtheband . It reminds me of the first time I saw the Rolling Stones in June 1975 at the Boston Garden. I was 14 1/2 and had been to a few concerts before that (Elton John, The Beach Boys and Aerosmith), but seeing the Stones was surreal for me at that age and time in my life.

After Billy Preston finished his opening set and the house lights came up, I saw Charlie's black nitron SSB Gretsch kit and lost my mind. I remember telling my friends that "it couldn't really be his drums" and when the Stones came out, I thought "That can't really be them. There's no way I'm in the same room as the Rolling Stones." It's hard to explain the feeling, but based on your story, I think you know exactly what I mean.

How lucky are all of us to live at the time we live in, and to have seen the bands we've seen... I thank my lucky stars every day.
 

notINtheband

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Yesterday a friend sent me the 1977 demos that Van Halen recorded for Warner Bros.
As I listened to them I was transported back to that time and my first exposure to early Van Halen, the album covers, the glossy photos in fan magazines, the vinyl. There was a very unique electricity generated that I hadn’t felt since those impressionable days.
It struck me and I commented to my friend, that I don’t believe new generations will discover that early Van Halen in any form like we did. That innocence that existed and made the discovery so unique and so strong just doesn’t live today. Of course it shouldn’t be expected to either. But I just felt a sense of sadness that newer generations may never feel that same electro vibe I did then, and relived yesterday.
The Get Back documentary makes me hopeful it can happen with the Beatles music. But I just don’t think the Van Halen phenomenon will translate.
 

RayB

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Are there any recordings that you can hear this on ??
I'll try my best to list some recordings that demonstrate the great hi hat work of Jo Jones.
I must point out when Jo Jones made classic recordings with the Count Basie Band in 1937, there weren't any microphones on the drum set. You hear the way his drums sounded in the room but you may not hear every detail the way you would in modern recordings. I'll try to include some later recordings where the drums are more prominent.

The Basie band that came out of Kansas City in 1937 had one of the greatest rhythm sections you'll ever hear. Jo Jones, Walter Page on bass, Freddy Green on guitar, and Count Basie on piano. In fact, they were called, "The All-American Rhythm Section" and changed the feel of swing at that time. Basie was very accomplished at stride piano but he pared it down to a minimalist approach in his band. He don't play much, but you get the whole picture and there's a lot more space in the groove. Jo Jones said Walter Page taught him what time was. His bass playing wasn't fancy, but for creating a solid foundation...Freddy Green was playing acoustic guitar, but even later on when he switched to electric, he rarely soloed. In every way, his rhythm comping sets up the entire flow of the section. Jo's hi hat follows his strumming and sounds like it's being strummed, not hit with a stick. It's often said that Jo Jones took the clutter out of drumming. He let the rhythm section breath, giving soloists so much freedom to create their own rhythmic patterns. Not for nothing, those early recordings feature Lester Young, one of the greatest tenor sax players, Buck Clayton on trumpet, and other distinctive soloists in every section.

One more point: Lester Young (Pres) was a beautiful, lyrical soloists. He floated across the bar lines, created his own melodies within the song. It is essential that Jo Jones stayed right in the middle and not follow Pres' rhythmic suggestions or accent or comment in any way. If you think that's easy, try accompanying some of Lester Young's solos. Later in his career, Pres found it difficult to play with bop drummers who he felt were too loud, too busy and too prone to dropping "bombs" on the bass drum. Jo Jones was also on the Billie Holiday records where she was accompanied by Lester Young. I maintain these may be the greatest small group jazz records ever made.

One O'clock Jump/Count Basie, 1937
Topsy/Count Basie, 1937
Jive at Five/Count Basie, 1939 (Jo is playing brushes on his trap case)
Lester Leaps Again, Count Basie Kansas City Seven, 1944 (his great hi hat fully on display)

Back In Your Own Backyard/Billie Holiday, 1939
I Must Have That Man/Billie Holiday, 1937
The Man I Love/Billie Holiday, 1939
The Very Thought of You/Billie Holiday, 1938

Ben Webster and Associates/whole album, 1961
The Dixieland All Stars/whole album, 1959 (NOT a dixieland record)

*Polka Dots and Moonbeams/Count Basie at Newport, 1957
(This is Jo with the later Basie band, a bigger, louder outfit than the 1930s version. Note the first cut on the album, "Swinging at Newport", has Sonny Payne on drums. Then they announce Lester Young, who plays a beautiful version of Polka Dots and Moonbeams, with Jo Jones taking over on drums. I find it fascinating how Jo changes the whole ddynamics and feel of the band. They become softer and supportive of Pres' playing, and it's all under Jo's control. One of the master big band drummers at work)

Whew, this was a bit of work. But Jo Jones deserves his props, especially in the Drum Forum temple of Buddy, Bonham and Peart. Those guys were great, of course, but I urge every drummer to get into Jo Jones, too. FATHER TIME!
 


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