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Aloha guys, (tanx for that link surfer)
True Buddy Rich story I call: Grandma was right.
When I was around 15 years old visiting my grand mother I
walked into her living room and I saw her watching television.
On the screen was the Buddy Rich band.
We were watching for a few minutes
when very lightly under her breath she muttered softly to herself:
“Look at them”. “Every one of them just fulla dope”! “Just fulla dope”!
I did not say anything at the time but I remember thinking to my self:
You are wrong grandma.
These are not the ‘go Gene go’ reefer smoking jazz musicians of days gone by.
These men are now trained,learned,professional musicians.
Not anything like what you remembered from your days.
Fast forward ten years.
Grandma has passed and I am in a band that pours 90% of
its profits back into the band.
Because of that we had one of the best sound and lighting systems (for a bar band)
in Toronto at the time which meant we got calls for use of our gear
outside of our performing.
One day we got the call to do sound and lights for the great Buddy Rich Band.
Well Grandma was right.
Not Buddy Rich himself but because they were now across
the Canadian border, ever other member of that band at some point asked me:
Where can we get some smoke"? Where can we get some smoke’?!
Of course I helped them out and that’s when I finally realized:
Grandma was right.
Tidbit: Buddy Rich’s playing was so frenetic and energetic that the dias he set his kit up on was bolted TO THE FLOOR
I don’t seeing remember that set-up but what I do remember is:
1-We were at the old ‘Victory Theater’ which had great acoustics.
2-Buddy had played there many years earlier and knew the room so
we were welcomed to mic anything in the band any way we wanted
3-NOT ONE MIC WAS TO COME ANYWHERE NEAR HIS DRUMS!.
4-Our drummer knelt behind him for the entire concert holding
one of his drum sticks at the proper angle just incase Buddy dropped
one. He never did.
4- The first oil embargo had recently happened so the entire trunk
of his Mercedes was fitted with and extra gas tank. As was the
bus in which the band rode. (This was a big deal back in those days)
Since we were there for the sound check/rehearsal I
took note that Buddy could not read music.
The way it worked was the band would play sans Buddy and he just would sit and listen.
Then they would play the arrangement a 2nd time with Buddy
and he nailed it flawlessly. All the shots/hits/stops etc.
Oh yeah. Cheech and Chong opened.
(but I did not care for them because I was into Firesign Theatre at the time)
Firesign Theater! Now that shakes up some memory cobwebs.