2008 Summer Rhythm Chad Smith

Rhythm Summer 2008 Chad Smith Special

 

Contents Page:

It’s been a riotous month here at Rhythm with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ beatsman at the helm. Chad’s picked his best tracks and drum moments, answered your letters and kicked off heated debates with our gear reviewers, plus faced a right Rhythmgrilling for our cover feature.

 

Introduction:

HELLO!

This month I’m taking over…

Hello Rhythm readers! Thanks for buying this special issue. For some crazy reason, the rhythm team has let me take over the magazine for this month. I’ll b answering your letters, telling you what I’ve been up to, suggesting who you go see, talking about my new DVD, asking Geoff Nicholls about Keith Moon, discussing my favourite tracks, and more. Man, you’re gonna be sick of the sight of me by the time you’ve finished reading!

But while I have your attention, I’d like to say a bit about my drum philosophy. Put simply, I want people to want to play the drums for fun, because they love it. There seems to be a trend in the United States towards the importance of technique, how fast and technically you can play. Of course, you have to work hard – there are no shortcuts to becoming proficient at your instrument. Nut you’re not going to want to do it unless it’s fun.

For young people there are so many distractions now, but hopefully if you’re in a band, you’re playing music with your friends and you’re benefitting from the importance of playing with other musicians. Practicing is all well and good if want to get better, but I don’t really practise by myself anymore. Maybe I should, but I get bored easily and I want to have fun. And fun for me is playing with other people, that human interaction. If you’re not in a band, just go put on records and play along to them and pretend like you’re in the band. That’s what I did. It’s a fantasy thing but- and here’s that word again- it’s ‘fun’!

Chad Smith Guest Editor

 

When I’m not drumming…

CHAD SMITH, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS I

I listen to— “Those lovely English bands from the late ’60s and early ’70s. I still go back to them like a favourite blanket when you’re a little kid. I think that music really stands up well. I’d say Zeppelin is the band I still listen to the most. I know everybody likes them, but I can’t help it. They’re my favourite band.”

I don’t watch… “That much television. I watch sports and I watch movies. I’m a big basketball fan – I have tickets to the LA Lakers. Flea and I split a season ticket. It’s kinda killing me that I’m over here [in the UK] right now. I happy to be here, but I didn’t think the Lakers would make it all the way to the finals! They’re playing at the moment, getting beaten by Boston, and Flea’s going to all the games. He’s very pleased I let him have the tickets. As for films, I like Reservoir Dogs, that’s pretty dark .”

I read… “Er, can drummers read?! (We hope so, Chad, or we’re out of a job – PA) I thought they just looked at the pictures! I read a lot of biographies. I liked the Eric Clapton book, and I read some of my wife’s trashy magazines. The guy who picks me up from the airport always has Zoo and Nuts magazines. You get a lot of pictures!”

 

Chad Smith’s Choice:  Great Moments In Drum History 

Michael Shrieve’s drum solo at Woodstock 1969

I started playing when I was around seven and I was inspired when the Woodstock movie came out. A very young Michael Shrieve doing the drum solo on ‘Soul Sacrifice’. I remember there was a split screen thing and he did the raddest drum solo. I thought that was amazing.

The Woodstock Festival of 1969 was billed as three days of peace and music. Nobody was debating the ‘music’ part, but the ‘peace’ was violently shattered on the afternoon of 16 August, as the Santana band hit the final song in their setlist, a frenetic wig-out called ‘Soul Sacrifice’, dominated by the drum solo of Michael Shrieve. Deft and dextrous, technically impeccable, building to mental velocity then dropping back to pet the snare… it was hard to believe the man on the stool was just 19 years of age.

No surprise that when the Woodstock movie was released in 1970 Shrieve’s performance was the pick. “Halfway through, there we are,” he recalled of watching it at the cinema. “I didn’t know whether to shout out ‘That’s me!’ or sink down in my seat. At the end, the whole theatre burst into applause.”

 

MUSIC DVDS BOOKS

CHAD APPROVED!

It’s the greatest DVD of all time! Chock full of entertainment. It’s not actually very instructional, it’s not like, ‘Here’s this beat,’ and me dissecting it. There’s a part of the disc where there’s stuff from when I was a kid, in different bands, that’s some funny shit. I’m playing the world’s biggest drum kit with flames shooting out of my head.

EASTERN RIM CHAD SMITH

Rock’s funkiest monk shines on this jam-packed clinic DVD

Chad Smith is one of rock drumming’s greatest ambassadors, as demonstrated here. The Chili Pepper only had two nights off from the Stadium Arcadium world tour,   and spent them filming two drum clinics in Melbourne and Tokyo! The clinics are filmed in a documentary style and both offer multi-camera angles (including overhead and foot cams) featuring Chad jamming extensively and playing both well-known and more obscure Chilis tracks.

Chad isn’t the most technical player – it’s his superior feel and unique style that make this footage worth watching. But that’s not the reason to buy this release -it’s the host of bonus features and candid backstage interviews and footage that are peppered throughout. A more genial famous rockstar you are unlikely to find. Chad fields audience questions, and recounts some hilarious tales of his youth and his time in the Chili Peppers during the clinics. He even gives away the cymbals on his kit to audience members for guessing the famous fills he plays.

In addition to the clinics are behind-the-scenes views of a Chilis concert, including an impromptu half-hour live improv in Melbourne, for which Chad is joined by fellow Peppers Flea, John Frusciante and Anthony Keidis. All in all it’s a must-have addition to your drumming DVD collection, however hot you think the Chilis are.

MUSIC

DRUM CLASIC:  BLOOD SUGAR SEX HAWK (1991) RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

The four essential ingredients needed for taking over the world While the title could arguably be the recipe for the worst cocktail ever made, Blood Sugar Sex Magik was the album on which the Chili Peppers’ heady blend of funk, hip-hop and rock reached critical mass. It was Chad Smith’s second record with the group and his chemistry with bassist Flea was just coming up to boil. The hits spawned from this record – ‘Under The Bridge’, ‘Give It Away’, ‘Suck My Kiss’ -are the musical equivalent of household names, and no home or party is complete without them. Not that the rest of the album should be overlooked, especially the fat funk of ‘Mellowship Slinky In B Major’ and Apache Rose Peacock’. The influence of session master Bernard Purdie can be heard in Chad’s groove and deep pocket. Anthony Kiedis’s lyrics display a ravenous libido rampaging out of control but Chad and Flea hold everything together with their rock solid syncopation. (DW)

 

CLASSIC TRACK:  ‘THE ZEPHYR SONG’ RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

Chad teams up with drum machine for his classic track!

Where was the track recorded?

“It was recorded at Cello Studios, Los Angeles, where we did Californication and By The Way. The rare thing was that we never really play with click tracks, but we did for that. John came in with these drum machines and I played along. It was all about making it feel good playing along with a machine.”

What set-up were you using?

“A rack, two floors… I can’t remember which snare I was using. That’s the main thing that changes when I record – I used some Gretsch, some DW and Ludwig snare drums. I’m gonna say it was the probably the DW on that track, the one that’s half wood with brass at the top and the bottom [Edge Series]. I’m not really the typical equipment guy, I’m like, ‘If it sounds good…’, y’know? Usually when it comes to wooden instruments, the older the better. It’s the same with pianos and guitars. I was probably using Jim Scott’s kick drum, he was the engineer on the record. It’s an old Ludwig that he found at a flea market. It’s been on a million records – a late-’60s 22″ white-shell, I think. Put it up, stick a mic on it, go. The other thing is to be up on a riser. In most top studios the drums are always on a little riser, six inches or so, to give a natural resonance. That was definitely the case there. For cymbals I had two crashes, a china and two rides on that record. One was a Paiste ride and the other a Sabian, I think. The crashes are usually thinner than I use live, mediums, as they tend not to overpower the drums in the studio. And probably a bit smaller, 18″ or 19″.”

How did you approach the track?

“Y’know, just trying to support the song. I know it’s a boring answer but it’s true! It’s a pretty simple song with a really beautiful melody. It wasn’t supposed to be machine-like, or I probably wouldn’t have played on it at all. So I tried to humanise it, I guess, that was the main thing for me, to try to not make it feel too strict or stiff.” (PA)

 

INBOX WHAT’S BANGING YOUR DRUM THIS MONTH

CHAD SMITH ANSWERS YOUR LETTERS

Pressure Drop

Recently I filled in for the drummer in my school orchestra because he was away at another gig for his own band the night the orchestra was meant to perform. I have been playing drums for about four years now but that was my first live performance. I had about three weeks to learn the song, which only included one practise with the orchestra. The songs weren’t particularly difficult – it was just the timing and what it would sound like on the night. I practised on my kit at home for a while and completely nailed it, even adding extra fills and things in. Prior the event I felt really good and confident about the songs. It was only three songs, which were about five minutes each so it wasn’t that bad. As the light dimmed and the conductor started us off, I began to get extremely nervous and my hands started to shake. I tried my hardest to calm myself down but it wasn’t working! As my part was due to start I played the right beat for about 30 seconds then my right hand slipped and the stick fell out. It was possibly the most embarrassing moment of my entire life. The whole orchestra stopped and gave me the evilest of glares while I just sat there in utter embarrassment. I was just wondering if anything equally as embarrassing has happened to you, and how you stop your nerves. Nigel Gingell, Brighton

Nigel, be as prepared as you can and that will give you the confidence of just staying in the moment and rocking your bollocks off. I’ve dropped my sticks so many times I can’t remember- it’s just part of playing. Make sure you have some sticks handy on both sides of your kit. Glares from other band members just mean they are insecure keeping time without you laying it down for them. That’s their problem… ha ha! Just keep going. Most of the time the audience would never know a mistake. I often try to picture the audience naked. That seems to work for the nerves too: And if anyone does get naked… it’s a bonus! CS

Chairman Of The Bored

I’ve been playing drums for about seven years now. At first it was the best thing since sliced bread and you couldn’t separate me from my kit, but now it just seems to get really boring, in fact more boring every time I play. I have also just purchased a new acoustic guitar and started to teach myself how to play it, and it is starting to become really fun. I try new things every time I get behind my kit and also try the things on the lesson CD you provide with the magazine, which is great and very entertaining, but I seem to just get fed up with playing very quickly. I have thought about buying a new kit and adding funky little percussion things on. Just wondered if you had any advice or ideas that might help make my drumming more enjoyable and entertaining?

James Dyer, Bristol

Well James, try taking up ditch digging or underwater basket weaving and see how much fun that is! Maybe you’ll appreciate what seems to be your true passion, playing music. If you can, add the bass and piano to your repertoire. I see you as Bristol’s answer to Prince! CS

FUTURE OF THE LEFT?

I have wanted to learn to play drums for many years but until now have not had the opportunity. I recently purchased a kit but have a couple of dilemmas concerning set-ups and lessons. Firstly, I am left-handed and I am not sure whether to set it up left or right-handed. Secondly, if I use my kit left-handed I am going to have problems finding someone to teach me to play, as I have never seen anybody advertise that they can teach left-handers specifically. Any advice you can give me will be gratefully received. In conclusion I would like to say keep up the good work, your magazine is a must-have for all drummers whether they be experienced or a complete novice like myself.

Neil Emmeny, Pevensey

Hey Neil, I always thought the left-handed drummers looked the coolest ‘cause it is just different… and what about Jimi Hendrix? Coolest musician of all time. I would just play whichever way feels natural. Maybe Phil Collins or Ian Paice could give you some pointers, they’re not too shabby behind a kit. CS

Pete Rile, adds: “As a fellow lefty, I would have to say that it may well benefit you to learn right-handed right from the beginning. It can make your life so much easier down the line, for example gigging and teaching etc. However, if you wish to stick with left-handed, most good teachers should be able to accommodate left-handed players and you’ll soon get used to reading notation the other way around.”

Sign Of The Times

I am a young and aspiring drummer with big hopes for the future. As of late, I have noticed that many famous and some not-so-famous drummers have been given deals by various drum/cymbal/stick makers. I am soon to be gigging with my band and would like advice and direction on signing with such companies for the near future.

Mike Whelan,age14, London

Mike, keep playing with as many people and bands as you can and you will get noticed and the companies will come callin’. Or start your own tree farm and get some sharp knives! CS

Stick Help Quick!

Could 1 ask for some advice on drumsticks? 5A, SB, 7A- do these numbers and letters denote diameter, length, density or weight? What’s the code – are there 9s or 3s or, for that matter, 1s? As a beginner, I’m trying out different sticks; 1 got some Premier E classics, long, with slim shoulder. Why are OP… sticks so different – quite fat, with immense tips? From limited experience, various sticks don’t sound so different on the drums, but very different on cymbals. Presumably the lesson here is to settle on your preferred stick before spending big money on cymbals? Stick enlightenment please…

Alastair Mackenzie

Mr Mackenzie- usually the lower the number the larger and heavier the stick. Big sticks for more volume (pipe bands), skinny ones for lighter playing (jazz, etc.). Find the ones that work for your style and playing situation. Being comfortable with what is in your hands is crucial as it’s the direct connection from your head to the drums. Experiment with size, weight, length, wood, companies… I often try another drummer’s sticks, sometimes it makes me play differently. Steve White uses mine when he plays heavier rock. It takes a little time, but you’ll figure it out. Good luck and have fun, CS

Stand-In Stands Down

Over the past few months I’ve been playing with a popular Scottish pub rock band called DDW (Dignan, Dowell and Whyte – or ‘drink, drugs and women’, you choose!) Anyways, I’m not D, D or IN, I’m SY. Mr David Dowell of dD Drums in Falkirk has been out of action after getting Hyper-acousis (basically, his ears packed in!). I’ve been lucky enough to play with his band while he’s been out of action, but Davie is on the mend now, which is good news for him but not so good for me! Anyway, this was just to say cheers to Davie (who stocks Rhythm mag in his shop) for letting me be the lucky student that got to do his gigs! Also, awesome feature on Dave Groh! in June!

Scott Young

Moonie Class(mate)

I’ve been reading your excellent mag for three months now and I really enjoy it. Much as I like reading about the big-name rock drummers, how about some articles on the top pro drummers out there who are in the limelight, maybe a percussionist from the world of classical orchestras? By the way,’ was a classmate of Keith Moon at Alperton Secondary Modern School in Wembley, from 1957 to 1962.1 sold him my first drum kit (his also) for £16- a 3-piece Broadway, which I believe was a model from Autocrat. I’m not convinced he repaid all the instalments after borrowing £16 from my father, retired pro violinist Ken Moore! RIP Keith Moon.

Gerry Moore

Classic Moonie, borrows the 16 quid off the dad to pay the son for his kit… ha ha ha. Thank God Mt Moore let him off the hook… I’d say the music world owes a lot to Gerry – CS

 

MAIN ARTICLE

CHAD SMITH MAGIK MAN

CHAD SMITH IS ONE OF THE FEW MODERN DRUMMERS TO HAVE SUCCEEDED IN STEPPING OUT FROM BEHIND THE DRUM KIT TO BECOME A BONA FIDE SUPERSTAR. SO, ASKS DAVID WEST, WHERE’S HE BEEN HIDING?

There’s no rest for the wicked and certainly none for Chad Smith. The Red Hot Chili Peppers may be taking some time off, but Chad’s been keeping his oar in the water and his drumsticks free from cobwebs by playing with friends both old and new. He popped up on Taking The Long Way by the Dixie Chicks, who were coming out of the storm that erupted in the US after singer Natalie Maines made a disparaging remark about President Bush. Chad’s participation in the album was recorded for prosperity in the documentary Shut Up And Sing, charting the Chicks’ lives through the period of controversy. He’s also maintained his close relationship, professionally and personally, with legendary rock vocalist Glenn Hughes, playing on Hughes’s latest release, First Underground Nuclear Kitchen (or FUNK). Rhythm caught up with Chad while he was in London for a guest appearance on the drum throne with Hughes at the Astoria. He’s got a new DVD coming out (check out our review on page 22) and then there’s something called Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats. Over to you, Mr Smith…

How did you wind up recording with the Dixie Chicks? Country is not a style you’re usually associated with…

“Through Rick Rubin. We were doing our record and, as always, Rick’s got nine things going at once. I said, ‘Hey Rick, what else are you doing these days?’ He said, ‘Umm, Weezer and Metallica and this new Dixie Chicks record. They want to do more of a Southern rock thing.’ I didn’t know too much about it other than they were here in London, talked some shit about Bush and they got in big trouble for it. He said, ‘I’m putting the band together, you’d be great, you should come and play.’ I said, ‘Okay, why not?’ After I finished the basic tracks for Stadium Arcadium, I went down and played with them and it was really fun. I don’t do a lot of session work where I don’t know the people, usually it’s my friends or somebody that I know. They were great, nice people and very talented, good players. The funny thing was I’m not into competitions for music or awards, music is not about that, but at the Grammy Awards their record was up for album of the year and so was our record, so I was competing against myself! And then the Dixie Chicks won everything. It’s a good record. It’s a challenge to do different stuff. I try to do other projects that are kind of non-Chili Pepper-esque because obviously I do that all the time. It’s good for your playing, it makes you think in different ways and puts you in situations where you have to try to be creative.”

What’s the story behind Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats?

“Another side project that I have. It’s some friends of mine that I play with from time to time with another guy that I do records with, Glenn Hughes, and Ed Roth and Jeff Kollman, the guitarist and the keyboard player. It’s instrumental music, there’s no singing and it’s a little freer. It’s not like jazz or anything. We went and played in Japan and that was a good time. We’re doing it because we like it. It’s purely out of love and friendship.”

You’ve been busy with Glenn Hughes as well as the Meatbats…

“I played with him here at the Astoria on Tuesday. He’s my buddy, my son’s godfather. We just have a good time playing together. I haven’t been able to play with him very much because he tours for six weeks at a time. He has a fine English drummer, a friend of mine, Matt Goom, playing with him. We did another record and it’s very Glenn. He’s singing great, playing bass really, really good. It’s another ‘keep me out of trouble’ side project.”

How does working with Glenn as a bassist compare to playing with Flea?

“Flea and I have this musical telepathy from playing together for all these years that we don’t even talk about. We just do it. With Glenn, he writes his songs on guitar, whereas Flea writes stuff on the bass so [his stuff is] more bass oriented. Glenn’s bass playing is a little bit different, pretty simple, which I like, but he needs a little more coaxing to come up with interesting things. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. I think it’s because he comes from the song-writing aspect of it – he’s not really thinking like a bass player. I try to help him come up with interesting melodic things on the bass that maybe he wouldn’t normally think of. He’s very talented and we come from that same school of that early 70s rock that I grew up on.”

What about your personal musical journey -where do you want to go next?

“I just want to get better and change and grow and hopefully become a better person and father and husband. All those things will help me be a better musician. I’m really excited about where drumming can go and that’s why I like doing drumming shows and playing with other people, trying to get kids to take up the instrument. The main thing I see with young people is they don’t want to put the effort and the hard work into what it takes to become accomplished on an instrument. They see something on TV, [think] ‘Okay I’ll get in a band, I’ll play the drums,’ and they don’t understand the dedication and hard work it takes. There’s no shortcut. If you love something and you’re passionate about it, you’ll want to play and want to become better. Maybe you’ll play with your friends down the pub or maybe you’ll get lucky and your band will take off – but do it because you love it.”

What do you get out of your drum clinics?

“It’s fun to get real close. We play concerts in big places and you don’t get that real one-on-one. I’m very flattered that anyone would want to come and see me. If I could have gone and seen someone I thought was good – Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker or Ian Paice, John Bonham or Ringo – without their band, up close, watch them play, talk to them, ask them questions, that would have been great. I would have jumped at that chance. Not to say I’m in that league, but now this is a common thing that people do. Drummers especially really like to do them. No one comes out to the bass clinic, do they? We’re kind of weird, but in a good way. I probably have lots of bad habits but if there’s something good you can pick out of what I do, I’m all for it.”

What’s the status of the Chili Peppers at the moment?

“We’d been on tour for a year-and-a-half and we said, ‘Let’s take a year off.’ We hadn’t taken a year off since John [Frusciante] rejoined our group almost 10 years ago. We write songs, then we record, then we tour for a year-and-a-half, then we write songs, so we did that three times. Time for a little break. Anthony was having a baby, John wants to do his solo record and Flea has his stuff going on. Everybody needed just a little break from being Chili Peppers. September’s coming up so we’re going to get together after the summer and see what we want to do. We’re not breaking up, nobody hates anybody or anything like that. We’re just taking a nice healthy break to do other things.”

How has the dynamic in the band changed over the years?

“Musically we still have the same goals – to make new music and change and grow – but we’re different people. It would be really boring if we stayed the same and I was acting like I was 25. Now we have families, and your priorities change. That’s normal. We’re still friends and I do see them a lot, but I want to spend time with my family. Musically some of our best stuff is yet to come. For some reason we have a special thing, the four of us. We’ve changed the chemistry of the band a couple of times. When John Frusciante rejoined for the second time, we were like, ‘This is a special chemistry we have, this band of people. For whatever reason, the music that we make, people like it, we like it and we can’t take that for granted.’ I never thought the Chili Peppers would be a band for more than three or four years. It started off as this joke, jumping around with socks on our dicks. We’re fortunate to keep going and people still want to see us play and enjoy our records. We’re fortunate and we appreciate that.”

[Chad Smith competition not written up]

 

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS ‘THE ZEPHYR SONG’

Lock in some simple grooves on this Chilis classic

This track is taken from the RHCP’s 2002 album By The Way and features a simple drum machine groove throughout. The drum machine starts the track with the drums entering with a hand-to-hand 16th-note pattern on hi-hats after four bars. Four bars later the backbeat is added on beats two and four, with the kick drum entering on beat one and the ‘and’ of beat three after another eight bars.

The only other variation on this is during the chorus, when the right hand moves to the ride cymbal, and the guitar solo/middle eight which features splashy eighth notes on the hi-hat. The main challenge with this piece is locking in with the drum machine and trying to make sure that the snare falls at exactly the same time as the machine, thereby avoiding any unwanted flams.

CHAD SAYS: I play a bit on top of the drum machine in the choruses. The verses have a busier feel that you need to push along, whereas the chorus opens up with big chords and you go to the ride. You can float around more.

[Chad Smith taking to Geoff Nicholls not written up]

 

CHAD APPROVED

If you have your first kit, the thing you want to upgrade is the snare drum. If you were to do that, you should get the Chad Smith snare drum, because it’s better! The strainer, the throw off, the hoops – they’re better. It’s loud, it’s affordable and it’s black. Black goes with anything!

PEARL CHAD SMITH [14”x15”] £288

Like Mr Smith, a funky all-rounder, an unpretentious snare that kicks ass, good looking too, in black nickel-plated steel shell with 2.3-Mother’s Milk Superhoop II’s, minimum contact lugs and Gladstone-style vertical pull strainer. The combination of medium depth and steel shell means a versatile drum, sensitive but also loud.

 

THE TRACKS

Chad Smith

The Chili Peppers signs off by taking David West on a dark and unsettling journey into musical territory best left unexplored. Beware, gentle traveller, grub worms lie ahead…

…that I first bought

`GROOVY GRUBWORM’

Harlow Wilcox And The Oakies

“It’s an instrumental track. It was the first 45 that I bought. It’s a novelty song and halfway through there’s this fast, ‘Wipe Out’-ish drumming, and the only thing the guy says through the whole thing is ‘I’m a grubworm’. It’s very obscure but I played it over and over. I was enamoured with it.”

Hear it: Chad Smith’s record collection or Harlow Wilcox and the Oakies, ‘Groovy Grubworm’, 1969

…that reminds me of high school

`2112′

Rush

“That would be the whole Rush 2112 album. I would listen to that in the parking lot. I used to smoke a lot of pot with my friends who were in my band. I was in 10th grade and they were in 12th grade. I would get too high and never actually go into class, so I got kicked out of that school. How do you get kicked out of school when you don’t even go?” Hear it: Rush, 2112,1976

…that 1 first performed live on the drums

`FIRE’

THEJIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE “My brother played guitar, and we had a band and we would play songs of the day, which were ‘Smoke On The Water’, ‘Rock’n’Roll’ by Led Zeppelin and ‘Fire’ by Jimi Hendrix. I didn’t play that like Mitch Mitchell. I played it like a total hack, the same fill every time. A recording of that is on my DVD, from the Elks Club, 1972. It’s so bad. It’s really horrible. I take any feeling out of it.”

Hear it: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced?, 1967

…I wish I’d play on

‘Supernaut’

BLACK SABBATH

“I always thought that middle drum solo was two drummers. In ‘Space Truckin’ by Deep Purple there were two drum kits and I could hear that, but I always thought it was two drummers in Bill Ward’s solo section. It’s not – it’s just him. There’s some percussion, some congas and shakers, but just his drum set. I could never play that very well, but I like it.”

Hear it: Black Sabbath, Volume 4,1972

…that’s an undiscovered classic, but is widely ignored

`I WANNA BE FREE’

THE MONKEES

“The great Hal Blaine played on all those records. Neil Diamond wrote songs for them. It’s a real sappy song. I used to sing it to my brother, over and over, and he hated it – ‘Shut up!’ That was dear to my heart, since I could annoy my brother [with it]. I could probably still do it to this day.”

Hear it: The Monkees, The Monkees,1966

…that’s my favourite make-out song

`LOVE HURTS’

NAZARETH

“There’s a Scottish band called Nazareth. They did a cover of a song Roy Orbison had a hit with, called ‘Love Hurts’. That was good make-out music. When the lights went out and ‘Love Hurts’ came on, it was time to get under the sweater.”

Hear it: Nazareth, Hair Of The Dog, 1975

…that best exemplifies my drumming

`WU-TANG CLAN AIN’T TA F’ WIT’

WU-TANG CLAN

“I played on a Wu-Tang track, it’s a remix of ‘Wu Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing to F’ Wit’. Tony Morello plays on it and I got to play on it. It makes me feel good when I listen to that, like, ‘Yeah, that’s good!’ It has a good sound, it’s clean and powerful.”

Hear it: Various Artists, Loud Rocks, 2000

…that makes me bust moves on the dancefloor

`SEPTEMBER’

EARTH, WIND AND FIRE

“I’m not going to be on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ any time soon. I’m a terrible dancer. I have decent rhythm. I have to have a few cocktails. I like Earth, Wind and Fire, that’ll usually do it. They’re a great funk band. ’70s funk will get me on the dancefloor. The Meters are too funky. I’m a real dorky dancer.”

Hear it: Earth, Wind and Fire, The Best of Earth, Wind and Fire Volume One,1978

 

 

 

 

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