Willie's Drummer, Paul English, died

BonzoBonham

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Paul in MD, 1981. http://www.moderndrummer.com/article/may-1981-paul-english-road-willie-nelson/

PE: See, I play with mallets, brushes, sticks, and I play with wooden brushes that nobody has ever heard of because I made ’em!

SF: What are wooden brushes?

PE: You take some little bitty dowels. Wooden dowels. Take about 15 or 20 and cut them off the length of the stick and glue them all together in a circle. Wrap some tape around them and file the ends off. They’re only about a quarter inch in diameter. Then you have your set of wooden brushes! I used them on “On the Road Again,” ’cause I’m playing 16th notes with a syncopated accent.
How do you feel about Rogers drums?

PE: Well, I love ’em, really. I already had a brand new set of Rogers, and the company gave me another set. Instead of taking them I just augmented the drums I already had. Now I’ve got 7 tom-toms, one bass drum and a few little toys that I play with. A vibraslap, a cabasa, a tambourine, and a Chinese bell tree which I’ve got mounted on a stand. I play it note for note. They’re not ‘true’ in pitch so you have to memorize which note corresponds with the other. Like, I have one of the bells that naturally has a mark on it. And I can count, like, one time I’ll start on that one, on some other songs I’ll start with the one below it, or two above it. I just have to memorize which bell corresponds down.

SF: How about your cymbals?

PE: Well, I’ve always used A. Zildjians. Rogers drums, Speedking pedal, and a Ludwig snare.
Although in Honeysuckle Rose I saw him using a Dynasonic in some shots...
 

Scott K Fish

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SKF NOTE: If you’re reading this interview, chances are you know Paul English is Willie Nelson‘s longtime friend and drummer. This was a phone interview, but I did get to meet Paul a short time later when Willie performed at Town Hall in New York City.

 

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