Virgil Donati

I must admit,I used to love going to The Grainstore Tavern here in Melbourne every Tuesday night to watch Loose Change play.

Have the vinyl record still here.

And a cd of Serious Young Insects which had Simon Hosford tearing it up on guitar.

Love that cd.

He's an institution and a fellow Melbournian and Aussie so I will always love the bloke despite the bugger being light years better than me .

Just enjoy.

He plays for us to enjoy.

That's what it's all about.

P.S. I really love the dynamics he uses with the hihat,the opening and closing and in between.He makes any hats he plays sound lovely.
 

marthy

Senior Member
Well the man is very rare. Can u guys mentioned another metal drummer that plays with traditionell hand grip instead of match grip?
 

JME

Junior Member
He's like a percussive computer! Although I reckon he needs more sunlight............
 

Ekim

Silver Member
I love Virgil, but I can see why many don't.

It's all just taste anyway.

I can't imagine anyone else ripping on the kit in Planet X, though. I just wish they'd tour more, I haven't seen them live in A FREAKING DECADE!!!!!!!!! (That was an awesome show, too!)
 

DangerousDave

Senior Member
A friend sent me a youtube link of Southern Sons and that was it. I became a fan instantly. The music was so good and the fact that made it better was that Mr. Donati was at the helm :) To bad they split.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
I've ordered his "Double Bass Drum Freedom" and can't wait for it to arrive!

EDIT
I have it now. Haven't started working on it yet but I've read one third of it - great material for countless practice hours. Really tricky stuff the more you progress into the book. I like his symmetrical approach to the feet, encouraging to practice left foot lead, but also switching between main and x-hat / cross-handed vs. open style. Exactly to my taste.
 
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Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
A friend sent me a youtube link of Southern Sons and that was it. I became a fan instantly. The music was so good and the fact that made it better was that Mr. Donati was at the helm :) To bad they split.
lol. This brings back memories. Saw them twice......never cared for the band or their music, but couldn't wait to see Virg do his thing on both occasions. It's rare I go to see any band I'm not into just to see a single member, but that is the drawing power of Donati I guess.

And to think I was reading in another thread recently where someone said he was too complicated to just "lay it down"......obviously they never saw Southern Sons. :)
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
Hey guys. I'm the one that put in the other thread that Virgil "couldn't lay it down." That was not my opinion, I was just relaying what a guitar player that had played with Virgil a few times told me. That was his opinion. That was also a long time ago. Virgil would have been in his 20's at that point. Just like the rest of us, I'm sure he overplayed when he was younger. I don't think I've ever heard Virgil play anything other than little solo clips on YouTube. I don't have an opinion on his groove playing one way or another.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Hey guys. I'm the one that put in the other thread that Virgil "couldn't lay it down." That was not my opinion, I was just relaying what a guitar player that had played with Virgil a few times told me.
Fair enough. I just reread the post. I note he was talking in the context of a country gig. Never heard Donati play country so perhaps he was unsuited. Can't imagine it as he's a pretty well rounded player.....even back then. Was sought after on the local scene for many years before he cracked it internationally because of it.....much of it around the time frame your guitarist was talking about. But still, I wasn't there so who am I to doubt him.

But yeah, lay it down simply he can certainly do. I've heard too many recordings of Oz artists where Virgil played the sessions to believe otherwise. Straight 4/4, top 40 pop/rock....not a polyrhythm or other complicated pattern to be found. :)
 

Arky

Platinum Member
I can't believe some of the comments I've read in this thread.

Virgil is god.
+1
It's a shame such a superb drummer is bashed - and in his own thread. Why don't those grumblers just save their time & energy and stay away from this thread?

He's playing at a level 99.9 % of us will never be. Arts - and music being an element of it - is always subjective. It's just so pointless to elaborate in detail why person x doesn't like what person y does. Go find drummers you like more and praise them on the respective threads.

If I were Bernhard I would apply a firmer hand. He shows A LOT of patience with some guys here.
 

uniongoon

Gold Member
Forgive me, I have been playing drums most of my life, I am 48 now. I dont think I have heard Donati play, unless maybe the bootleg Steve Vai tape I have is him. I have read he is 50 years or so old, and still commits to an insane practice schedule. Sounds like he traded his life for the pursuit of the instrument which is the ultimate sacrifice. I just reserved to tickets, Mar 26/2012 for his drum clinic and Mar 27/2012 for a band show with holdsworth and haslip. It is at cosmo music in Toronto and i think it is a venue which only seats about 250. So this is going to be unforgettable and intimate. I have been a Holdsworth fan since Metal Fatigue, (mid 80's???). I heard of this on this site around New Years and the store just announced it now, I phoned and reserved faster than an exlax induced bathroom run. So now I have 6 weeks to gather some Donati material and get familiar with his playing.
 

JohnW

Silver Member
To Uniongoon:

You've opened up the floodgates; I think you're going to get more material on Virgil than you bargained for :)

And to the thread in general:

It's a dangerous area to tread whenever the term "Greatest Drummer in the World" gets bandied about. And this isn't in response to anyone on here specifically, it's just my own thoughts. But in the pantheon of Greats, Virgil has his place.

He takes it to another level, not just in complexity, but in depth of feel while he's playing those complex patterns. I would love to see a trio with Virgil, Vinnie and "Smitty" Smith trading fours.

-John
 
Forgive me, I have been playing drums most of my life, I am 48 now. I dont think I have heard Donati play, unless maybe the bootleg Steve Vai tape I have is him. I have read he is 50 years or so old, and still commits to an insane practice schedule. Sounds like he traded his life for the pursuit of the instrument which is the ultimate sacrifice. I just reserved to tickets, Mar 26/2012 for his drum clinic and Mar 27/2012 for a band show with holdsworth and haslip. It is at cosmo music in Toronto and i think it is a venue which only seats about 250. So this is going to be unforgettable and intimate. I have been a Holdsworth fan since Metal Fatigue, (mid 80's???). I heard of this on this site around New Years and the store just announced it now, I phoned and reserved faster than an exlax induced bathroom run. So now I have 6 weeks to gather some Donati material and get familiar with his playing.
Hi there!

I met Virgil back in 1996 and since 2000 I've been involved with his website. He's a great guy, really down to earth and I think you'll have a great time seeing him for the first time. Be prepared to catch your jaw :).

If you have 6 weeks, I'd recommend the 2 Joel Hoekstra albums 'Undefined' and 'The Moon Is Falling', Virgil's own On The Virg 'Serious Young Insects' and Planet X 'Moonbabies' to get to know him a bit. Joel has put all his stuff on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/joelhoekstravideos

Serious Young Insects can be heard here: http://www.last.fm/music/On+the+Virg/Serious+Young+Insects

and Moonbabies is on Amazon.

Have a good time!
Regards, Jeppe Morgenthaler
/virgildonati.com
 

uniongoon

Gold Member
Thanks, After reading the previous 7 pages, I gathered you were an involved fan of Virgil. I only watch videos on my work computer because we are on a wireless service at home and it is too easy to go over our allotted usage, criminal internet providers, but I will check the links and Virgil's site and let you know how it hits me.
 

richkenyon

Silver Member
Virgil is a real pioneer on the drums. If there is a criticism I've heard it's that he can focus on showmanship to the extent where the playing suffers - a drum student of mine (that I respect) told me of a gig he went to where Donati lost the beat because of showmanship antics.

It's a shame because it gives people the opportunity to overlook what a massive talent he is. I was knocked out by his playing when I saw him with Vai.
 
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