Joe Morello Drum Clinic Mid-to-Late 1970s – Part 1

SKF NOTE: Relying solely on my sketchy memory, I taped this Joe Morello drum clinic at the Long Island Drum Center. As of this writing I am unable to pinpoint the clinic date. I’m guessing it was in the mid-to-late 1970s. My thanks in advance to anyone who can provide me the actual date.

There were several well-known drummers at this clinic: Jim Chapin, Butch Miles, Mousey Alexander, and Sam Ulano. Chapin, Miles, and Ulano — and maybe Dom Famularo — were trading fours and eights before Morello’s late arrival.

This audio begins with Joe Morello arriving with his Yellow Labrador guide dog Matthew.

Morello talks briefly to clinic attendees and plays a bit on one of the onstage drum sets. Soon, Dom Famularo announces a short break so Joe can remove his jacket, relax, and give LIDC time to prepare a drumset for Joe.

Joe returns and talks some more with the crowd. He notes drummer Mousey Alexander is in the house, and tells a story of Mousey’s kindness to Morello when Joe was a new young drummer trying to make his way in NYC.

Morello then says he will “play a little bit and then get into the clinic.” He explains how he likes to “try to develop a theme” when he solos — and he demonstrates.

Joe talks about “the type of drumset I use,” using the out-of-tune drums provided him as an opportunity to show drummers how he tunes his drums.

This Part 1 ends with Morello tuning his snare drum, demonstrating the pros and cons of loose snare drums vs tight snare drums. With a loose snare drum, Morello says, the snares do a lot of the work. But, “I like to hear my mistakes,” he says, and then plays an intricate Bolero on drums which, to my ears, is the highlight of this tape.

I will post Part 2 soon. The tape quality on the flip side of this cassette is bad in spots. Let me see what I can do to make the sound better.

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