Originally Posted by dougalmac
I gotta tell you, I've read some pretty silly nonsense regarding Buddy Rich on a lot of these posts. Buddy was the best drummer to play ever, period. The fact that he had an ego was irrelevant. Buddy knew he was phenomenally talented, and he wasn't ashamed or shy about saying it. Since when is being humble and self-effacing a requirement for being talented at something? You may not like it, but he could back it up whenever he played. I saw Buddy countless times on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. He was always innovative, brilliant, and amazing. Of course he wasn't perfect, he was human. But, Gene Krupa, who defined drums and soloing in the 30's said Buddy "was the greatest drummer to ever draw breath." And Krupa was a master. Buddy had immense respect for Gene, and they were very close friends. As far as different styles are concerned, if Buddy heard any Latin lick or groove, he could have played it. There's a famous story about Buddy's big band being hired to open for the lastest rock band phenom in the 60's at the Fillmore West. The rock band insisted that Buddy open their show, even after Bill Graham suggested to them that they should show deference to Buddy and let his big band close the show. The rock band refused, and Buddy proceeded to blow them off the stage totally. The next night the rock band insisted that Buddy and his band close the show. Now there are a ton of highly skilled, talented drummers out there today: Steve Gadd, Terry Bozzio, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Chad Wackerman, Steve Smith, and the list goes on and on. But I've seen Buddy do things on the drums that I've NEVER seen any other drummer duplicate period. His left hand was unGodly. His independence was freakish. I've watched countless videos and performances of Buddy, and there's just no denying it-there is nobody better on drums I've ever seen. And I mean no disrespect to any of the amazing drummers out there playing today, some of whom I've mentioned here. Their talent and playing ability is phenomenal. But I tell you, Buddy could get up beside any of them on a drum kit, in his prime, and floor them with moves that would make your jaw drop. Buddy was one of a kind, and his like will never be seen again. I've played drums for 37 years, I've run camera on "Austin City Limits" for 29 years, and I've seen just about every major drummer from the 60's through the present day. I've been privileged to see some amazing, unbelieveable drummers and their performances. And without hesitation, I still say Buddy Rich was better than any other drummer I've ever seen. By the way, has anybody noticed that Buddy has more videos on his "Drummerworld" site than any other drummer?
This is the greatest Buddy Rich post ever seen on drummerworld. It sums up perfectly what so many of us older guys feel everytime we see inane comments like all he had was chops, he always played his solos out of time, he was great for his era, he couldn't lay down real grooves, he would suck in a real rock band etc, etc, etc...
Dougalmac may not be aware of the revisionist history seen frequently on drum forums where Rich is still considered great but with disclaimers
, judged almost entirely on four or five videos that I have stated at least a thousand times are not even close to what he actually was.
Day after day we witness teenage fans who argue incessantly, with no regard for idealogical comprehension and/or possess the tools necessary to make such judgements. Instead they rail on that Rich support is a kind of props for an older generation that neither appreciates nor understands the nuances of their misunderstood heroes, as if any comparison does justice to historical accuracy. I have even seen posts where I am told that Rich could not hold his own with DCI drummers, had lousy brushwork, or could not lay down a good groove.
For the last time...from the perspective of American 20th Century drum set playing alone...
Rich could groove any way he desired.
He could play any music he chose to play at the highest possible level, and could perform said task without the need for practice.
He was the fastest.
His cymbal work was the absolute standard.
His brush work was at least as good as Shelly Manne's.
Yes, he would have been great with absolutely any
band of any
style or genre.
No these are NOT opinions. They are quantatative and qualitative assessments based on many years of educational analysis, and thousands of hours of acute observation.
Am I saying that Rich walked on water?
Yes, I am saying that. He was a Mozart like
prodigal freak of nature, whose likes may not be seen again for decades to come.
He may not be your favorite. Check out my handle. He wasn't mine. But he was
the best...and during his lifetime, no one and I mean n-o o-n-e
dared claim otherwise.