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The Wrecking Crew--The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best Kept Secret
by Kent Hartman
Great read and Hal Blaine is prominently featured. Indeed, he appears to be the leader of the Crew. This book gave me even greater appreciation for Hal and the entire crew including Glen Campbell, Larry Knechtel, Tommy Tedesco and Carol Kaye. Tommy's son is making a movie about the Crew. RIP Hal.
The Wrecking Crew documentary has been on Netflix--might still be there. Also, a good movie about Muscle Shoals studio and one about background singers. All three are worth checking out.
It's great that Hal Blaine and the rest of the crew are finally getting some respect and attention. So much taste and imagination coupled with chops and general musical know-how!
Glenn Campbell, who may have been a bit younger than some of the others in that Crew, had monster chops. We caught him on that bittersweet last tour, and even though his mind was straying, he still had the muscle memory - his playing was just superb.
Carol Kaye- insanely good, that bass line in "Boots" makes the song.
When you look at the roster of all the famous, big hit records that were actually the Wrecking Crew playing, you realize how much music came from a small group of seasoned players who threw away convention and just 'went for it.' They changed the sound of popular music.
@rpeluso, I know, I’ve been dealing with a bad tooth ;-) . Thanks for the posting, Hal is very special to me, and very important to music. When I learned of studio musicians (in 1968 iirc), he was my first love. The amount of music recorded in Los Angeles in the 1960’s that he is on is astounding; the most recorded drummer in history, they say. Phil Spector would record only with him on the drumset, and the same with Brian Wilson. If we listed the songs and albums he is on, it would fill hundreds of pages.
I studied his song parts for years, simultaneously endeavoring to get my drums to sound as good as his; his musicianship and drum sound set the standard for many, many years. When he left the studios (John Denver paid him a LOT of money to join his band), Jim Gordon, Jim Keltner, Russ Kunkel, Jeff Porcaro, and a few others took his place. They each had their own personality and style, all great of course. I own one of Gordon’s Camco sets, the jewel of my collection.
Hal appeared at a couple of the annual Hollywood Vintage & Custom Drum Shows in the late-90’s and early-2000's, talking for about an hour to a room full of drummers. His advice: "Don’t get married"! He had been a bunch of times, and the wives, said he, took it all; the houses, the cars (including a Rolls), his income. He said were it not for his Musician Union pension, he would be homeless.
Hal retired to Palm Desert, so I kept an eye out for him everywhere I went when I lived there (2008-2016). Also in the neighborhood was ARC’s Bill Johnson, whose winter home was in Indian Wells, a couple miles down Washington Street from me. You don’t see people on the street in the desert, not when the temperature reaches the mid-to-high teens. A hundred and teens, that is ;-) .