Originally Posted by drummer-russ
I noticed him not playing his hats on the 2 and 4 when I saw TRS live in 1978 on the Some Girls tour. I toyed with that style here and there. He does not like having to compete for the space with both hands playing crossover. .
I read that this was mostly a trick relayed to Charlie by none other than Jim Keltner in late 60's. Not so much to avoid crossover but for studio use in close micing.
In studio recording it 'can' result in the snare having a clearer voice, its own voice, on 2 and 4, uncontaminated by striking the nearby hihat (on 2 and 4) at the same time.
Charlie adopted it, and never stopped.