Originally Posted by mattsmith
I once read where a forum drummer who I respect as a musician, tried to make the case that Buddy Rich was something you outgrew when you got older and more experienced. Of course he was self righteous about a number of things, his precious opinions being but one.
In fairness to your rant, Buddy Rich currently suffers from a fanboy base every bit as fanatical as Bonham's or Travis Barker's. And in trying to talk to them, a person would assume that Rich grew angels wings when he died and merely ascended to heaven. I was once even flamed on the Rich website for having the gall to believe that Rich had been the greatest drummer who ever lived for only 7 years of his illustrious career. And here I was trying Rich covers on the Internet. To say to them that Buddy Rich was anything less than a savior incarnate is considered blasephmy. I also think their total blindness hurts Rich now more than it helps.
Also to your credit you mention the names of great drummers alongside Rich. Personally I like three of those guys better than Rich myself. OK if you're not on the Rich bandwagon, people can at least say, Alright there's something to what he's saying, and at the very least he's not bringing up Jordison, Bitner etc.
But man you screw up when you use a phrase like SMOKE to describe what these other guys would do. SMOKE indicates losing challenges at the most, and the most extreme disrespect at the very least. In both cases neither apply, and demonstrate that you haven't studied Rich enough to know what you're talking about. And don't talk to me about some Johnny Carson show on youtube, or a video of West Side Story #2 vs. West Side Story #76 blah, blah. Have you heard for example all the Pacific Jazz releases and the first 3 RCAs, and I'm not talking about watered down compilations? Frankly man, I was already a little suspicious of where your argument was going when I saw that you typed in that old All he plays on the snare is rudiments argument. If you believe that you might want to go back and listen.
Have you really compared the difference between drummers in those old Tommy Dorsey and Artie Shaw bands, and how they changed when Rich guided them? You seen that Harry James stuff in the mid 60s? I would be willing to bet anything that you haven't, or you wouldn't say something like you just said. See I think it's way too easy to compare the greatness of the other guys you mention to Rich when Rich had to answer to at least a half dozen sylistic periods of music just to stay relevant. This is the pitfall of a 65 year career, back when all of music changed an average of every 8-10 years. Nowadays you can get away with playing the same way for most of your career, all talk of drum evolution aside. This is especially true of American jazz that has changed very little in almost 30 years.
Most important, none of the drummers you mentioned would or would have repeated what you just said because they would have found it an uneducated stance. In fact every one of those guys are on record as idolizing Rich to the point of bowing down. Even Billy Cobham said as much even after Rich had ripped him in public. And if we're gonna take away points for being an A hole in the music business, then Rich is in a very long and pretty fancy line.
So where does that put your opinion, other than your having the right to say whatever you like regardless of the facts?
Just like the [Rich is the only God of Drums/ claim, the devaluing of Buddy Rich as a spiritual center of drumming is just revisionist history, and slamming him is just guys trying to sound cool. And if you think you have to outgrow him enough to flat out dislike him as a player, then I say too bad for you.
I admit that "smoke" was not a good term, I respect buddy rich, and he has influenced a lot of my favorite drummers. but I simply do not care much for what I've heard of his drumming. My teacher and I watched a video called "The Lost West Side Story Tapes", It was pretty cool. But it didn't blow me away like some of Joe Morello's solos did.I have yet to see something by Buddy Rich that really impresses me. It gets rather tiring having people tell you, that a drummer that you have yet to be impressed by is the "The Greatest Drummer of All time".
I also said that Buddy Rich being an A hole was irrelevant to his drumming, My favorite drummer is Stewart Copeland. But he also seems like an A-hole, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying his drumming. I just have yet to see something I like from Buddy Rich.
What music/videos would you suggest to get me into Buddy Rich?
 Im also not "slamming" Buddy Rich, nor am I trying to look cool, Im not saying things like "He really sucks"or "All his music is terrible" .Im just saying I don't see the hype with him.