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larryace 04-09-2013 01:05 AM

Benny Benjamin
One of my favorite drummers. I know of one photo of him, (opentunes avi) and some songs he played on, and not much else. I just wanted to know if anyone has any info, stories, anything on this guy. I couldn't find much. He doesn't even have a page here. The horror!

rtliquid 04-09-2013 02:15 AM

Re: Benny Benjamin
Yeah, Benny and Uriel were great. If you haven't already, you might wanna pick up a copy of Standing in the Shadows of Motown. I was recently reading an old copy of MD or DrumHead and one of the other Funk Brother drummers (I think it was Pistol Pete) was saying how they would go down into the basement in the morning never knowing if there would be a drumset there or not because Benny would often go in in the evening and take the kit and pawn it to pay for his ... ummm ... vices.

opentune 04-09-2013 02:31 AM

Re: Benny Benjamin
A jazz drummer by trade, at Bakers and other local jazz lounges, and drawn over to Hitsville by Gordy to work in the 'snake pit' with all the other great musicians. H e with Jamerson - basically the guys behind the whole Motown groove (with Uriel Jones and Pistol Allen later on).....the best bottom end ....lol .....and they put the swing into it. Benjamin invented many of the 'pickups' for all those songs. He had serious vices, which eventually led to his demise.

As suggested above check out the Standing in the Shadows DVD (clips of it on YouTube as well).
Skip to about 10:00 for small words on him. It really is a great DVD with interviews of the surviving drummers, Jones and Allen (at the time of filming). There are also some great Motown books.
Like a lot of 60's music, they seem to have unfortunately had drum tracks down in the mix, so the full sound of his work cannot be heard so well.

larryace 04-09-2013 02:32 AM

Re: Benny Benjamin
Hmm, I wonder if that story is true. By all accounts the house set at Motown was a mix of Rogers, Slingerland and Ludwigs. And the guy's name is Pistol Allen. Pistol Pete. Lol. Wasn't he a cartoon? Oh and Standing in the Shadows...I got the DVD. The DVD comes with a 2nd DVD that has interviews that aren't seen on the one everybody sees. Joe Hunter said he liked his corn liquor. I think he died from heroin.

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