Its those drums! They just never stop pounding pounding pounding in my head!! Its the beat!
One thing is that a lot of the musicians I like are real old school. Its one of the reasons I question why people make an argument for vinyl. The physics of playing a record make it impossible to properly duplicate the sounds of drums and force the sizzle of the cymbal to be downplayed.
Now a days drum kits are the most heavily miked insturment but throughtout the 70's it was the general practice to hang a speroid mike over the drummers head and that was considered enough. Partially that was the fault of vinyl records and the RAIA eq curve (which had to be observed if a mastering engineer expected to ever work again.)
There was a major "scandal" in the late 70's caused by the mastering of Von Karajian's recording of Berlioz's "Requiem". The horn section is magnifenctly used by Berlioz and Von Karajian got his horn section to play it splendidly.
The mastering engineer was also blown away by the great playing the the fabulous recording of it. He decided to try and get the sound on the tape into the vinyl. He let the horns go just exactly up to the RAIA specs (Yes, the creeps who sue grandma's and children used to have other functions like setting the standards for record pressings - They were too busy trying to get a tax, paid directly to them, on blank cassette tapes at the time, to make up for the lost income of people recording badly mastered records . . . to ever improve or desire to improve the sound of vinyl)
It was released with this little flare up. Duetche Grammaphone had to recall all of the records as it made even the most expensive cartridges and turntables skip. If it didn't skip the sound was horribly distorted. With the sonic limitations of the RAIA curve in mind you also have to remember that most mastering engineers are not artists. It's a job to them. They need to make sure the recordings will play on most home equipment and on the radio. They just need it to sound like something. There aren't any rewards for being adventurous. Even today this temerity is shown in the way most pop music is mastered - the eq curve set to max so that it can rip through the cheapest ghetto blaster. Now you ignore dynamic range to get the most volume on the radio and on MTV.
Back then it meant you buried the drum kit if it was on mono or moved it to the far right if on stereo (which caused an odd moment in music - amatuer bands started to play on stage trying to duplicate the stereo mix so the drummer was always at the far right of the stage, the bass player to his left etc)
Nobody objected. The checks kept clearing.
All that in mind, understand, my favorite drummer is Hal Blaine.
Blaine was the drummer on Phil Spector's Gold Star recordings. He played the drums on Jan and Dean's records including the masterful "Dead Man's Curve". Blaine was tight and percise and kept a meticulous metronome like beat, which is not to he ever played mechanically. He filled the beat with tighter faster flourishes than you can imagine but, and this is where I think he's a genius, he never let musicianship get in the way of the song.
He kept the beat to keep the music flowing and to keep the kids dancing.
Sandy Dennis was a star drummer. His songs were always about his drums. I don't rate that except when it came to the floor toms this guy could make time stop and switch to his cadence. He is the only guy who could make a bit of the trap kit actually swing out and sing in it's own solo voice.
D.J. Fontana has to be on the list. He was Elvis Preley's drummer on the early RCA hits. You can make the argument that he and Dickie "Be Bop" Harrell invented the rock drum style. Scratch that. There's no argument. Until those two came along there was no such thing as a drummer.
What I liked most about Fontana was that we met in Tiny's in Naylor's once. He went and found some Elvis tracks, his tracks, on the juke box (anyone remember those) and would comment in a loud voice to everyone and anyone. "I don't know about that singer but can you believe those crazy drums!"
Fontana's other saving genius was his lesson that, "a drummer ain't no good unless he can play the drum section of Wipe Out . . . with just his hands . . . on the hood of a '57 chevy."
Dickie "Be Bop" Harrell was 15 when he joined Gene Vincent's Blue Caps. He combined the delicate stick work of the bop jazz musicains with a manic driving beat. Sometimes he'd get himself so excited that he just had to scream, a blues like death rattle that always came in on the beat.
Keith Moon was the drummer who justified my existence! Fills all over the place; flourishes just because they could be jammed in! I only wish he'd been more famous than Ginger Baker who I still dislike.
That's enough about drummers I think only I remember. They're old cause I'm old and they are what fired my imagination.
I've been bothered lately by pain in my right shoulder. Nice it's not in my left for a change. Ten months ago I was throwing a baseball in the low 80's. On Friday I threw the stick for my puppy about 50 or 60 times, that was enough to wreck my shoulder for the past 3 days . . . It makes me feel pathetic.
Odder is that it makes me nostalgic for that time 10 months ago when everything was horrible and things were desperate.
I miss the desperation I guess. I'm not making enough money now but I have food and the bills are paid. Some how none of the food tastes as good as a 25 cent box of macaroni and cheese tasted when it was the only food I'd have for a week.
Its not desperation I want back, its the reflexive ability to appreciate the little I have and had.
The only thing I have like that right now is my puppy.
None of that doesn't mean that I still don't feel for a friend. They lost their job in an ugly bad way and when it looked like they would strike lucky in a new job right off the bat, they got dejected for being honest . . .
Possibly a good thing even if it doesn't feel that way now.