- 13 posts total
- 13 posts total
I have no misunderstanding of Jim Gordon's style. I have been studying drummers for 50 years and am a rank amateur myself. I "get" him, but find him ordinary. It is, as you said a matter of taste. So for that matter is The Band. I am very familiar with Music From Big Pink, and it has never touched me. I don't even own it.
On the other hand, I still listen to, and am moved by Cream's works, especially Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire. Jack Bruce was an amazing musician, and he brought out the best in Eric I believe. It was an interesting time, and they were at an age when artists often do their most daring work.
I don't need to learn anything else about The Band. I have given them a fair audition, and as a matter of personal orientation, they just don't do anything for me, even though I respect their work.
I watched a few more of the videos tonight, and one of them contained this quote from Bobby about Jim Gordon:
"What a great, great drummer. A magnificent drummer. At one time we (Delaney & Bonnie, with whom Bobby first worked with as a trio) had a pretty serious band, and Jim Gordon was the engine that drove that whole thing."
Yes, Jim plays "like" a studio drummer. In fact, JUST like a studio drummer, for the studio is where he did most of his playing. Another studio drummer beloved in the same way as Gordon is Roger Hawkins, also a Southern boy (Alabama). Hawkins was the house drummer at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, and is heard on Aretha’s Atlantic recordings, and on Boz Scaggs’ debut (along with Duane Allman). Jim Keltner (Dylan, Lennon, Ry Cooder, Bill Frisell, Randy Newman) said in a Modern Drummer interview that he wished he played more like Hawkins. Easier said than done ;-) .
Jim Capaldi, himself a wonderful drummer, loved both Gordon and Hawkins, and at one point hired both to play in Traffic---at the same time! Now THERE’S a band I would like to have seen and heard live!!
The Rock drummers I have seen and heard live include a lot apparently preferred by most here to Gordon and Hawkins (and perhaps Keltner), including Keith Moon, Ginger Baker, and Mitch Mitchell. But the "best"---and by a country mile---was Earl Palmer, the inventor of Rock ’n’ Roll drumming. Listen to his playing on Little Richard’s "Keep A Knockin" to learn from where Bonham "borrowed" his intro to Zeppelin’s "Rock And Roll".
Throughout the 1990’s Earl’s Jazz trio played at Chadneys, a restaurant in Burbank (directly across the street from the NBC studio in which The Tonight Show is filmed) two blocks from my then house. I and numerous other drummers sat at the bar and listened to him play, some traveling from far-off lands. He played like no one else, impossible to duplicate. Bonham tried, but failed. Earl played slightly ahead of the pocket ("leading the charge", as they say), Bonham way behind. Sluggish, like Charlie Watts, though not as severely.
It’s funny that you should mention Charlie Watts. I’’ve always thought that he was just terrible; and that was even in his prime! Listen to his performance carefully on one of the Stones best songs form Sticky Fingers, "Sway". He actually stumbles at one point, and I can’t understand why they didn’t do another take. Of course, for their music, he was usually good enough.
I will check out Earl Palmer on youtube. Thanks.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Here is that of Eric Clapton:
"I was in absolute awe of these people (the three musicians who comprised The Dominos---Bobby Whitlock, Jim Gordon, and Carl Radle). And yet they made me feel on the same level as them. We were kindred spirits, made in the same mold."
"To this day I would say that Carl Radle---the bass player---and the drummer Jimmie Gordon are the most powerful rhythm section I have ever played with. They were absolutely brilliant."
"WHEN PEOPLE SAY THAT JIM GORDON IS THE GREATEST ROCK ’n’ ROLL DRUMMER THAT EVER LIVED, I THINK IT’S TRUE. BEYOND ANYBODY."
I didn’t manage to see and hear Jim Gordon live, but his playing on records is one of my gold standards. And his recorded drum and cymbal sound is the best I’ve ever heard. I did manage to acquire one of Jim’s Camco drumsets, left in a storage locker when he was committed and sent away. It’s not for sale. ;-)