An Editor’s Overview
I was ten years old in 1967. Rolling Stone magazine debuted that year, and I’d just gotten my first “real” drumkit. I started playing when I was seven—like most drummers in my age bracket, after seeing Ringo and the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. What a year to start playing along to records, which is how we did it back in the day. I had my record player set up on a table right next to my drums so I could work the needle back and forth, over and over, to learn how to play the parts. I was also playing along to so many hit songs that were on the radio. At the time my friends and I didn’t know that session drummer Hal Blaine was twenty of our favorite drummers!
Travel back fifty years in time, as we examine the music, gear, and lives of world-renowned drummers who ushered in the classic-rock period.
Hal Blaine drove the bus on records for Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, the Byrds, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Johnny Rivers, Sonny & Cher, Jan & Dean, the Mamas & the Papas, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Dean Martin, Petula Clark, and the Grass Roots…to name but a few.
1967 was a year when wild was in. And of the rock bands commanding the world’s attention that year, it didn’t get much wilder than the Who, Cream, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The same could be said for the drummers who made them go—and the kits on which they did it.
MD asked several world-famous musicians to describe the impact that Ringo's drumming had on them and to explain just how it represented the shock of the new.
THE ZOMBIES and THE MOODY BLUES might have originated in St. Albans and Birmingham, respectively, but few groups more fully captured the urbane and artsy edge of the British Invasion’s London HQ—even if one band was on its way up and the other on its way out.
If any drummer in the history of classic rock can say he’s seen it all, it’s him. From defining the role of star journeyman player in the ’70s, penning a classic method book, and pioneering the rock-drumming clinic to setting the bar for rock-star excess that’s still referenced today, the drummer known to many simply as “Carmine” has made a career out of standing out from the crowd.
With the Doors he helped kick rock ’n’ roll into the future, contributing greatly to the soundtrack of history’s most challenging and successful youth movement. Fifty years later, the music is still in high rotation, and as relevant as ever.
The most exciting thing,” photographer Deirdre O’Callaghan says, “is to be around passionate people with a drive to master an instrument. It’s truly magical.” That drive and passion come across crystal-clear in the images and words of the ninety-six drummers included in O’Callaghan’s new hardcover book, The Drum Thing.
By today’s standards, a YouTube Gold Play Button Award is equivalent to a gold record in the recording industry. The plaque recognizes the accomplishment of one million subscribers to a YouTube channel. Twenty-five-year-old Casey Cooper, aka COOP3RDRUMM3R, is the first drummer on YouTube to have earned this prestigious honor.
Deep Purple's drummer riffs on Made in Japan, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Long Goodbye.
A concept will take you far—in this case, across the sea from Israel, through New York City’s labyrinthine underground music scene, and then high above the stage in David Byrne’s Off-Broadway production Joan of Arc: Into the Fire.