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Old 12-27-2005, 11:06 AM
LongSnapper LongSnapper is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Not Detroit, but way too close to it!
Posts: 37
Default Re: Who else saw Buddy Rich live?

I'm relaying this information from another post, but I actually ecountered Buddy Rich twice.

Back in the old days, I worked as a security guard in Detroit during the summer while going to school. My main "gig" was something called the Bob-Lo boats on the Detroit River. However, for two weeks I worked at something called the "Reniassance Center," as it was being completed. I'ts now the home of General Motors.

On a Saturday night, I was working the back of the place watching three parking lots. It was an uneventful job with not a lot to do so I started bringing my pad and sticks with me as I stood in that booth.

I stood with my back to the building, looking out on the lots, and I was practicing my paradidles at the time. Five guys approached me, and one of them said, "Hey! Nice Paradiddles you got there."

As I mentioned previously, they were almost finished with the place, but parts of it were still a mess inside. Come to find out the five of them were inside, took a wrong turn, and were suddenly outside and had no clue how to get back in.

I was very impressed that the guy could actually tell what I was doing just by watching my hands, and he also noticed that I'm a lefty with a traditional grip. He pointed out what I was doing wrong with my right wrist and gave me a short lesson on what to do with my fingers.

Then one of the guys said, "Hey Buddy, we gotta git..."

My eyes widened, and I swallowed air as I tried to say, "Buddy? Buddy? Buddy Rich?"

"Wow!" I exclaimed. "Thank you, thank you thank you..." As I shook his hand with both of my hands.

As I remember, I was about 17 at the time, and hadn't been taking lessons all that long. I knew who Buddy Rich was, but I didn't know Buddy Rich, if that makes any sense.

Then, two years later, I was scheduled to work a Saturday night charter cruise on one of the ships. The entertainment for the evening was Buddy Rich, with what I assume were local musicians playing along with him.

The weather was horrible, and even though the ship could hold close to 2400 people, only about 400 or so showed up. On the 2nd deck, from mid-ship aft, was the dance floor, with a small bandstand just about mid-ship. That's where he set his kit up and the other musicians played out in front.

For the better part of three hours, I stood no further than five feet from him, watching him play.

The end result may not be what you would think. For me it was absolutely devistating. Maybe being 19 years old and a little too self absorbed, perhaps, but I became so depressed and intimidated watching him. You could not see the sticks at times, and his forearms never moved!

I just kept thinking to myself, "I will never be this good... NEVER!"

I didn't realize at the time that arguably no one else was that good either, and that it's okay, and that there's no shame in being less proficient than Buddy Rich!
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