Re: John Bonham
Sticktrick- You're a clever guy.
Who cares about John's right foot speed? He had a pretty mean right foot- but as stated already I can easily name ten-fifteen other drummers before or during his time who had a faster right foot. Technique, chops, whatever is something that doesn't matter to the quality of the drumming. If there's a technical weakpoint, okay, sure. Not like Bohnam had one. Anyways, his drumming is great- regardless of who has a better right foot (which drummers such as Tony Williams, Art Blakey, Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham, Elvin Jones or Carmine Appice or whoever did have) his drumming stands on it's own as absolutely legendary. Regardless of who had faster hands, faster right foot, shorter hair, nicer clothes or whatever.
The point I'm trying to get at is that technique is only a means to access your creativity. It's not the be all end all. You can STILL create amazing drum parts without having the godliest right foot in the known universe. This is one of the reasons why Bonzo was such a legendary drummer. Technique is really amusical- it has nothing to do with making great drum parts. Look at Steve Jordan. Has he ever played busy music? I'm not sure, I haven't heard it. He's one of the most in demand and awesome drummers today because he has great parts. Same with Bohnam. Was he technically as virtuoistic as some of the above drummers? No. Were the drummers above better drummers than him? Depending on who you talk to, yes or no, but I love Bohnam and he's right up there with those drummers (even further than most) on my favorites list. It doesn't even matter who had more chops to me.
You'll notice if someone said something like "Elvin Jones is a better polyrhythmic player than Tony Williams" I'd probably say something like "Yes, you're right, but who REALLY cares?". Then, a discussion would follow about how he was a better polyrhythmic player than than Tony. I wouldn't ever try to assert that Tony could smoke Elvin, even if Tony was a better rock drummer, had better hands, had better licks, whatever. They're both fantastic, and I love both almost equally at different times. They're different, and they stand on their own- I don't ever feel a need to defend Tony Williams, or John Bohnam. I know what and who those two, or any drummer, are. I know what they aren't as well. I have a feeling that some of these really popular drummers are greatly overhyped by some, and it doesn't do them justice.
J- That's a great quote, everyone in every field should have that attitude, I feel. Just because you're building on someone doesn't mean they're not giants. Their work stands by itself, it doesn't even need defending.