The Memories Come Flooding Back…

i was listening to El Estepario Siberiano speak about his experience as a drummer, and reaching the point between just doing it as a hobby, and doing it because he wanted to be a DRUMMER. He showed his experiences over the course of six years (beginning at the age of 16) and he spoke about how horrible he was as a drummer at that age. Obviously in six years’ time he got much better (and even saying that is an understatement), but from my vantage point those videos he showed were excellent.

And while i am definitely doing this as a way to have fun (as well as a means to counter a mental health crisis as much as i can) listening to him was inspiring. Whether it’s playing an instrument or organizing, in order to get better at anything you must be open to making mistakes and learning from them. You have to be accepting of the fact that there’s no easy or quick solutions to being ‘good’ at anything.

But before any of that there must be a first. i asked myself… what song have i not done before that i can try out?

‘Hedgecore’. Operation Ivy. Because why not? The one other song i have played to by them was ‘Hoboken’.

And because i hadn’t done it before i didn’t even do any fills here. Aaaaaaaaaand i mess up a few times. i think i did it only two times before it got filmed here. Dave Mello’s style is NOT easy- at least for a basic drummer like me.

Maybe in six years i’ll finally get this one (smiles).

The first song i ever learned on the drums from The Clash (Operation Ivy’s obvious inspiration) was ‘Clash City Rockers’. i had the U.S. pressing of the first album on vinyl, and ‘Rockers’ was the first song on that edition- i didn’t hear the UK edition until some months later. i was aware that the song was pitched higher, but that (nor the not that great production) didn’t stop me from enjoying the song.

i end up having an unintentional duet with Topper Headon here.

Time for a bass break… i wanted to post me playing bass alongside some stuff, but unlike the drums i haven’t set anything up in terms of a mic (in order to capture some decent direct sound). i did plug the Spark amp directly into the computer, but it was a plug and play situation (meaning, whatever background noise is there, you’re gonna hear).

But in the meantime in between time, i felt like playing a little ‘Boris The Spider’, which is one of my favorite things to play on the bass right now. i’m not that great, but what is it?

I’M HAVING FUN! i played it very much not how John Entwistle plays it, and i wasn’t playing along with the record. The bass line more or less follows the vocals, so it’s a little easier to play (for a basic… wellllll… you know what i mean).

Back to drums… The first Prince song i ever heard was ‘Soft And Wet’ (yes i was one year old when that song came out, but it’s strange, the things one remembers at that early an age). The first songs i remember in TOTAL though (even though i was about to turn 3), was ‘I Wanna be Your Lover’ and ‘Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad’. i remember when he was on American Bandstand with the (first incarnation of the yet to be named) Revolution. He had a blowout and some speedoes on. It was the first time i ever recall someone trolling (as the kids say) on the teevee.

i remember how they used to play the full version of the song on the radio (with the jam), despite the video (and any subsequent compilation entries) being only 3 and change minutes. ‘Mountains’ (from Parade) was the first song where i began to appreciate Prince, but ‘I Wanna be Your Lover’ was the first song where i thought he was cool. i think it was the jazz phrasing in the verses.

And finally… i remember seeing Ministry live around the age of 15. It was one of the most brutal pits i have ever been in in my life. i loved it. ‘Thieves’ came on- anything else you were doing before then, you could forget about it. i know they got pegged under the ‘industrial’ label, but to me they are a metal band with ‘industrial’ references (that is, if you don’t count the first three albums). i mean, they ended up even touring with Slayer on Slayer’s farewell tour. If the music wasn’t sample-laden they’d probably be called a thrash band.

i know much of the focus is on Al Jourgensen (for obvious reasons, and to a lesser degree Paul Barker) but i used to always watch drummers Bill Rieflin and Martin Atkins. Rieflin was the anchor to keep things steady, and Atkins was the jolt. i met Rieflin very briefly some years before his passing, where i told him he was a great drummer. He said ‘thank you.’ That was all.

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