‘Have fun, play drums,’ was the motto of HAL BLAINE, the man who personified rock drumming, and defined the term ‘session drummer.’ In the golden age of the 45rpm single, he performed on hundreds of hits, including 40 reaching #1, and 150 Top 10 hits during the 1960s & 70s. Hal’s unique drum sound, and technique, (along with sidemen known as ‘the wrecking crew’) were featured on songs by, The Beach Boys, The Ronettes, Johnny Rivers, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Byrds, Dean Martin, The Carpenters, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Herb Alpert, and scores more.
In 1969, when I was a 12 yr. old, upstart drummer, I received a Hal Blaine album. At the time I lived in an apartment on top of an Italian restaurant, and I would play along with Hal, banging ever so proudly on my 1961 red sparkle Slingerland kit. Just listen to the drum intro of “Turn Around, Look At Me” by The Vogues, so ever melodic. That was Hal Blaine, backbeat master, and innovator. Thanks for teaching us all how to listen and groove!