Hal Blaine passed

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Today is a sad day for me and thousands of other drummers with the passing of Hal Blaine.

Hal had a lot of friends, and made each feel like they were the most important person to him. I was lucky to call him a friend for the last 27 years or so. I doubt I was high up on his list of close friends, but he did call me at home when my father passed away in 2000. I always got a birthday card from him. In the last several years he started sending emails instead, and always a day early. I didn't have the heart to tell him that he was a day off!

Hal was a huge drumming inspiration, even before I knew it was him on so many hit songs I loved. My wife and I were going to visit him in May, maybe we'll just go to his favorite deli and have nosh in his honor.

Here's a pic of me visiting him at home in 2017. He was such a nice man.

Rest In Peace Hal

Bermuda
 

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Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Yep. He cast a very long shadow. Boots that will just never be filled on that scale again.


Sad for fans everywhere.

Even harder for a mate. Keep your chin up Jon.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
What a bummer, man. He was one of the greats, even though it took me a long time to realize that. Looking back, I realize now that he showed me more about what it is to be a drummer than did anyone I idolized growing up.

He certainly had a long a storied career, and despite setbacks in his life managed to keep his sense of humour and positivity throughout it all. And his encouragement to all of the young drummers he encountered can't be forgotten. Truly one of the greats - as a musician and as a person.

You're fortunate to have known him, bermuda.

RIP Mr. Blaine.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
If you were going to say that there was one drummer who's been heard by more people than any other, it's Hal. What an indelible mark he's left on drumming, the music industry, and the world. I bet he's already whipping the other musos in heaven into shape!
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Sometimes words just fall short of the stature and contribution of an individual's character, talent and life.
To say that Hal is a legend is fitting, but even that seems to fall short of his true greatness. You will be missed but not forgotten.

Godspeed Hal. Thanks for the music.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
So sad. Rest in peace Hal.

I learned more licks and fills from him than any other drummer.
Because I learned how to play listening and playing along to the old Rock and Pop songs from the 60's and 70's.
I never even knew it was him playing on all of those recordings until many years later.


.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Wow, the man was a musical encyclopedia of pop drumming.
RIP to a giant of that bygone era.
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
As far as a career, he could be my most envied drummer, driving from gig to gig, affecting the culture, making great money. But even he had to work as a security guard for a while after all that dried up. It's a shame he lost so much in the divorce(s?) too. Still, when it was going, it must have been something else.

Never to be repeated again either.

Thanks Hal, you drummed to the soundtrack of my youth.

I didn't know it was you at the time lol, which made it all the more surprising when I found out.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Aside from all the great music he created, what a rich and incredible life, and to have affected so many people in such a positive way.

To think he nearly lost this long life at young age in a carnival fire.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I think the fact he owned the most recorded musical instrument........ever speaks volumes. That will never be beaten or gotten close to.

Worked his arse off in the 50s/60s/70s but stayed humble. Let his playing do the talking. The ultimate hired gun! Most of the time paid at union scale.

As with all of the session guys the full body of their work is never appreciated whilst it's happening because it would pop a lot of PR bubbles. I can't imagine what it must be like playing on that many hit songs/albums and watching other people take the credit for it.

I would loved to have listened to some of this guys stories that he wasn't able to tell in the documentaries.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I think the fact he owned the most recorded musical instrument........ever speaks volumes. That will never be beaten or gotten close to.

Worked his arse off in the 50s/60s/70s but stayed humble. Let his playing do the talking. The ultimate hired gun! Most of the time paid at union scale.

As with all of the session guys the full body of their work is never appreciated whilst it's happening because it would pop a lot of PR bubbles. I can't imagine what it must be like playing on that many hit songs/albums and watching other people take the credit for it.

I would loved to have listened to some of this guys stories that he wasn't able to tell in the documentaries.
I'm going to make a point to watch "The Wrecking Crew" again this week. I know that on one of the interviews he gave he mentioned the union scale thing, but there was a point in his career where he was regarded with such reverence for his golden touch - they called him "The Hit Maker" - that for people who really wanted him, he was getting somethings 3x or 4x union scale on some of his sessions. He made A LOT of money during his studio career heyday, and he joked that he made his ex wives rich.

Rest easy Hal - you definitely earned it.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Wow Bermuda he looked to be in pretty good health in 2017-so he was 88? Did he still have a drum kit set up? My condolences to family and friends (so that includes you Bernuda). I never knew his given name was Harold Simon Belsky. Incredible discography history. Sad day and great loss.

Look at this pic-classic different kick and concert toms. Note his pink shorts-I love that.
 

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barryabko

Senior Member
I first met Hal over twenty five years ago at NAMM. I turned the corner and was amazed to see Hal's famous "Monster Drum Kit" that was used on countless iconic songs in the 60's and 70's! I stared at that kit for quite a while and then turned to leave and was even more astounded to see Hal himself walking up!!! I thanked him for all of the joy his drumming gave to me and we then talked for over twenty minutes. He was so gracious and treated me like we had known each other forever.

Over the years, I had the pleasure of seeing and talking to Hal several more times - most recently again at NAMM.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Incredibly sad news...

He was incredibly gracious when I met him at a clinic years ago.

I'll post more later tonight, but here is a comment I've posted here in the past..

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I had the pleasure of meeting Hal Blaine a few years ago at Donn Bennett's shop when I lived in Seattle. Hal gave a clinic there that turned into part storytelling, part stand-up act. The guy is really funny.

I got to speak with him for a while after the clinic and he could not have been more gracious.

An interesting note that Donn told a few of us once was that he went down to Hal's place and they were waiting to pick up Hal's car from this mechanic shop. This place had on of those Muzak deals playing overhead in the waiting area. It was playing a bunch of tunes from the the 60's. Some of us call them "oldies"... It didn't take long for them to both notice that during the waiting period, EVERY song that played had Hal Blaine on the drums.

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