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Old 11-29-2011, 07:03 PM
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JRannefeld JRannefeld is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 37
Default Hal Blaine

I had a phone conversation with Hal Blaine last week!!

Here's my story:

I recently started taking some lessons from Austin, TX drummer Ernie Durawa (Texas Tornadoes). Ernie studied with the legendary Roy C. Knapp when Roy was in his late 80's. Roy taught many greats, including Gene Krupa, Louie Bellson, Dave Tough and Hal Blaine.

On one of my first visits with Ernie, he started talking about Hal and mentioned that Hal sends him birthday cards every year. Ernie says to me, "We should try to call Hal sometime." Now, I knew who Hal was and I was aware of his accomplishments, but I didn't know much about the man himself. Honestly, I didn't even know he was still alive (he's 82, now). With the prospect of possibly speaking with Hal on the phone, I decided I should do some research. I read his biography and read several stories and interviews about/with Hal and others in the Wrecking Crew. Amazing what those guys were able to accomplish as studio musicians....

At my next lesson, Ernie pulled out his cellphone and called Hal's cellphone and home phone. No answer....Ernie left a message and we went about our business. The next week, Hal called Ernie back and apologized for missing his call, and said he'd be waiting for us to call him back at my next lesson!

Sure enough, Ernie called him back at my next lesson and Hal picked up. They chatted for a brief moment and then Ernie passed his phone over to me. After thanking for taking the time to speak with me, I started asking a few questions. We talked a little about Earl Palmer, Hal's time in the Army and his experience studying with Roy Knapp. We also talked a little about the Wrecking Crew documentary that is still trying to obtain funding to pay $300,000 in music licensing fees.

Hal was very gracious and it was quite an honor to get to speak with him. At the end of our conversation, his advice to me was to practice, and stay away from those people with the "wacky tobaccky". LOL...

I didn't see a Hal Blaine thread in the Drummers section. It's about time we start one!
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:14 PM
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Ian Williams Ian Williams is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Venezuela.
Posts: 3,270
Default Re: Hal Blaine

Here is one JR!

The back of beyond ...
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:41 PM
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resohead resohead is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 526
Default Re: Hal Blaine

I read up on Hal Blaine and I couldn't believe the body of work he had amassed. I don't see how any drummer could accomplish what he did.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:14 PM
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Pete Stoltman Pete Stoltman is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 788
Default Re: Hal Blaine

A little surprising that Hal doesn't get more attention. He's an amazing musician and I would daresay that anybody who plays in a classic rock cover band has at least several tunes that Hal played on in their repertoire.

Today I was listening to some classic rock stuff and the drum part from "Wedding Bell Blues" by the 5th Dimension jumped out at me. Checked it out and sure enough it was Hal on drums. Cool laid back feel but such confidence and power especially when the horn ensemble comes in. Great track.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:01 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,550
Default Re: Hal Blaine

Hal gets plenty of attention, it just depends where you look. He's probably more visible now than in the last few decades, thanks to the Wrecking Crew documentary, his book, the new Wrecking Crew book, and various awards he's been given lately.

I'm proud to call Hal a friend, and even before I knew I was listening to him on hit records, he was also my mentor. When I'm not applying my WWRD approach to songs, it's WWHD. Just had lunch with him a few weeks ago:

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Old 02-25-2012, 11:04 PM
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Pete Stoltman Pete Stoltman is offline
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Posts: 788
Default Re: Hal Blaine

Nice photo of the two of you.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:27 AM
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Brian Brian is offline
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Location: New England
Posts: 968
Default Re: Hal Blaine

Originally Posted by resohead View Post
I read up on Hal Blaine and I couldn't believe the body of work he had amassed. I don't see how any drummer could accomplish what he did.
Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon (his protege) and Gary Chester...those three are in my top 20 all-time. Half of the top 10 hits of the 1950s - 70s were drummed by those three (sarcasm but a large amount)
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:50 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 15,529
Default Re: Hal Blaine

Looking at all the songs Hal played on, I didn't realize how heavily I was influenced by him until about 2 weeks ago.... (when I saw his list of credits for the first time) The list of songs he played on is literally the soundtrack to my youth. He played on so many diverse songs, but I never had a clue it was the same man. Truly, a living legend.
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