“Oakland Stroke.” The groove is completely original, innovative, and funky AH. It fits the song perfectly, and it sounds 100 percent like Garibaldi. He has so many amazing grooves, but to me, “Oakland Stroke” is his crowning achievement. It’s to Garibaldi what “Funky Drummer” was to Clyde Stubblefield. Whenever I meet someone who’s never heard TOP, I play them “Oakland Stroke” first.
“Soul Vaccination.” There’s a lack of a backbeat throughout the whole song, yet it still has a pocket feel.
The beat he programmed on an early Linn drum machine that eventually became [the Time’s] “777-9311.”
“Oakland Stroke.” Pure genius.
“Ebony Jam.” The groove is so simple, yet so genius.
“What Is Hip?” Classic, feel off the charts, the pocket ridiculously deep, and the band is so tight you’d think they were glued together.
“Soul Vaccination.” There is so much going on in that track that most drummers have no idea of the genius of the construction and how ahead of its time it was.
“Oakland Stroke.” Learning to play that helped me identify exactly what elements in my playing I wanted to improve and has provided hours and hours of meaningful, musical practice that’s immediately applicable.
A Michael Collins
“Can’t You See.” I love all the punches with the snare and horn section.
“Vuela por Noche.”
“Oakland Stroke” and “Soul Vaccination.” If it wasn’t for Dave Garibaldi, my left hand wouldn’t exist—all of the ghost notes!
Slim Jim Phantom
“Squib Cakes.” It represents Garibaldi’s way of bridging jazz and funk.
“Clever Girl.” Not his most technical, but that groovy halftime is unbeatable.
“So Very Hard to Go.” It shows that David could play a simple torch song but still make a groove like crazy, and it was TOP’s biggest hit. And for all the drum nerds, the fill at 3:26 will soothe your over-the-barline beating hearts.
“Oakland Stroke,” because no matter how many times I drill that groove, I could never in a millennia play it like Dave.
Joseph Wesley Arrington
“Soul Vaccination,” because the groove is so creative and hard as hell to play as smooth as he does.
“On the Serious Side” has always been one of my faves—broken up and funky, and there’s no real 2 and 4 in the pattern. So cool how it all works together with the band.
“Down to the Nightclub” because it seems to be the easiest, which it surely is not.
“Squib Cakes.” When it breaks down to just the organ and drums it’s such an emotional rush of energy.
The photo on page 51 of our October issue shows Hal Blaine with Brian Wilson, not Dennis Wilson.