Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart on Returning to Planet Drum
He’s reissuing his classic 1991 solo album, but he also talks about playing with John Mayer, Walter Cronkite and President George H.W. Bush.
December 16, 2016 10:25 AM
By Brian Ives
Q. What’s the secret to playing with another drummer?
Mickey Hart: It’s trust. It’s a certain kind of love you have to have to give yourself up to a common beat. You have to listen deep, that’s the most important thing: to listen. Deep listening. You have to try to come up with a unified sound. If you don’t really listen, you’re just beating stuff up. It won’t work. A lot of drummers can’t play with each other because they’re egocentric, or they’re not really listening and hearing what the other person is doing. Or they’re not trying to add to it and become a giant organism, to breathe together.
…I love [Grateful Dead drummer Bill] Kreutzmann, and we have a great conversation going over all these years. We made it work, it’s special. We don’t exactly know how we do it, and we never sit down and analyze it, we don’t talk about it. Ever. We just do it. We give each other signals, a wink, a nod, but we’re also telepathic. It feels great when it works.