John Densmore: Random Thoughts on Drumming

Day of the Drum
by John Densmore / Founding member of The Doors

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– We drummers all know that our mother’s heartbeat was the first instrument we heard. As a race, we’ve all been trying to get back to that womb. That’s why rhythm makes us move… dance.

– Sound is everything to a musician.

– As we were leaving the festival, my mind flashed back to the first time I was here, when I got to see a very old Jo Jones, the drummer who invented playing brushes on the snare drum — the drummer who freed up the bass drum and relied on the hi-hat for time. Revolutionary rhythmic thinking. Papa Jo was definitely in his 80s, but was swirling his brushes around on his snare, the way he first taught all of us percussionists back in the ’30s. I’m proud to be in the tradition of the drum….

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