SKF NOTE: Among my interviews with drummers, a few are the only known interviews – at least full length interviews – with a few drummers. Jim Gordon is one. Frankie Dunlop is another. And Fred Below is a third.
Fred Below is arguably the father of Chicago electric blues drumming. Mr. Below recorded with Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, the Aces, Little Walter, Chuck Berry, and other pivotal blues musicians. The interview took place on July 9, 1982 and was published in Modern Drummer‘s September 9, 1983 issue as, “Fred Below: Magic Maker.”
I was at my MD desk in New Jersey using a suction cup mic on a telephone land line and an audio cassette to record this interview. Mr. Below was on a land line at his Chicago home.
Even the best interviews have dead air, small talk, and uninteresting talk. For that reason I’ve posted mostly excerpts from the Below interview. This is the first time I’m publishing the entire interview with all wrinkles intact.
I will publish the rest of the interview as time permits.