1980s Drummers Steve Felix and Derek Blevins

SKF NOTE: Here are two more drummer photos I’m putting in the public square. Derek Blevins with Jon Butcher Axis is on the left in that band’s photo. I confess I’ve never heard much of the JBA.

The Bus Boys’ first album was a hoot. I still like their song, American Worker. Drummer Steve Felix is also standing on the far left in the Bus Boys’ publicity shot.

Posted in Drum/Music News, SKF Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Kenny Clarke – When Technique Becomes Meaningless

Photo found on baterasjazz.blogspot.com

SKF NOTE: A Q&A between drummers Art Taylor and Kenny Clarke.

Art Taylor: How important do you feel technique is for playing the drums?

Kenny Clarke: I think any musician needs just enough technique to express himself; I don’t think he should go beyond that. It becomes meaningless if it goes beyond his feelings. It’s always good to have a little technique to spare, but I don’t think you should become wrapped up in technical things as far as music is concerned, because music comes from the heart! It has nothing to do with technique at all as we know it.

Source: Art Taylor, Notes and Tones: Musician-to-Musician Interviews (1977)

Posted in SKF Blog | Tagged , , ,

Mick Avory – Give The People What They Want (1982)

SKF NOTE: As a kid, I always loved The Kinks’s music. Their rockers as well as their ballads. And I owned several Kinks albums, from their first LP to either Arthur or Muswell Hillbillies. Then my limited funds were spent more and more on jazz and blues albums.

But a few years ago I heard Ray Davies’s solo album, Working Man’s Cafe, on the radio, liked the songs very much, and starting buying and listening again to his solo albums, and reading his autobiography, Americana: The Kinks, the Riff, the Road: The Story.

Here’s a publicity shot of The Kinks (1982) for their Give The People What They Want album. The three original band members in this photo are, L-to-R, Dave Davies, Ray Davies, and drummer Mick Avory. Keyboardist Ian Gibbons is next, followed by bassist Jim Rodford.

Posted in SKF Blog | Tagged , , , ,

Drummer Derek Hess – Rossington-Collins PR Photo Circa 1980

SKF NOTE: Scanning from my stack of old publicity photos, pictures of drummers. I will add these photos as often as I can. Also, if I get more background info on any of these photos I will add that info to my original post.

I was fortunate to see this band in concert when I interviewed drummer Derek Hess for Modern Drummer magazine. Here’s that back story.

Posted in Drum/Music News, SKF Blog | Tagged , , ,

Dizzy Gillespie – We're All Supposed to Inspire Each Other

SKF NOTE: Drummer Art Taylor’s Notes and Tones: Musician-to-Musician Interviews, which I bought when first published in 1977, remains an interesting read and source book. As time goes by, whenever I open “Notes and Tones,” I find something new, interesting, and instructive. This snippet from Mr. Taylor’s interview with Dizzy Gillespie is a case in point. Mr. Gillespie shares his wise perspective on creating a unified band.

Dizzy Gillespie: “One time a funny thing happened to me. I said to Teddy Stewart, the drummer, ‘You’re supposed to inspire the soloist.’ He said, ‘Have you ever thought that the soloist is supposed to inspire me?’ I didn’t say nothing else. It’s true, we’re all supposed to inspire each other to great heights.

“If you have a group, the group is like a painting, a masterpiece. Each one of the instruments represents a specific color, and the diversity of the colors makes it beautiful. You’ve got five pieces, and none of them sounds alike, but they must have unity.

“So you take red, orange, blue, green or purple: Each color in its diversity is supposed to be beautiful. Each one has a role, and when one of the colors overlaps onto another, you have chaos. Therefore, each one should be thinking in terms of the whole, in terms of the beautification of the diversity of the instruments.

“Paintings don’t clash, like a purple going over into another color. They stay what they are, but it’s the whole picture that makes for the togetherness. Unity.”

Source: Art Taylor, Notes and Tones: Musician-to-Musician Interviews (1977)

Posted in SKF Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Buddy Rich: ‘Just in Time – The Final Recording’

SKF NOTE: Previously unreleased Buddy Rich? Always welcome.

“My dad chose setlists for the two nights that I hadn’t heard before. He…shied away from the tried and true and went to places musically that were very different. [T]hankfully, his last recordings were caught on tape for all of us to enjoy forever. It has taken thirty-three years to finally get these recordings out. An absolute labour of love that I never gave up on. At times it was quite a struggle, but in the end, it was all about the music.’ Source: Cathy Rich

Order album on Amazon

Posted in Audio, SKF Blog | Tagged , , ,

Freddie Gruber – A Great Teacher Shares Some Life

A great teacher shares some life
Scott K. Fish, Special to the Piscataquis Observer • November 22, 2019

Freddie Gruber was a great drum teacher. If you have a great teacher in your life, no matter the subject taught, then Freddie Gruber won’t be a total stranger.

I was thinking yesterday of meeting Freddie Gruber in 1982. Excerpts of my interview with Freddie are posted on YouTube and my blog. The years 1980 to 1983 were fun and instructive. Through my job with Modern Drummer magazine, the staff and readers were creating new, in-depth material with familiar drummers.

We were also discovering drummers with great careers who had stayed under the music publicity radar. Some played exclusively in recording studios or in orchestra pits for theater performances. For years, most music buyers showed no interest in knowing specific musicians playing on albums. The soundtrack of “West Side Story,” for example, had composer Leonard Bernstein’s name, but not the individual musicians playing that incredible music.

In the early 1980s, the MD editors and writers were starting to find and interview those kinds of unsung musicians.

Full story

Posted in SKF Blog | Tagged , , , ,