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Old 05-28-2016, 02:36 PM
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Scott K Fish Scott K Fish is offline
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Default Morello: ‘You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm’

Morello: ‘You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm’



SKF NOTE: "Scott Fish?" Joe Morello said, shaking my hand. "You're everywhere. Like tapeworm." It was 1979-1980. As a freelance writer I had interviewed Joe Morello in 1979 for a Modern Drummer feature interview, later moving to Saratoga Springs, NY..

This was a tough transitional time in my life, personally and financially. I had given up on my lifelong dream of making a living as a professional drummer and had no backup plan. Age 28 and starting life over.

So when I read in a local newspaper Joe Morello was playing in Schenectady, NY, I scraped together the money to go. The venue might have been the Van Dyck Lounge.

An indication of my state of mind at the time, I can't be sure if Morello had a trio or a quartet. Neither do I recall anything about Joe's drumset except for his natural wood snare drum. I was surprised to not see Joe playing his signature Ludwig 400 Supra-Phonic snare drum.

When Morello's group took a break, I went up and re-introduced myself. "Hi Mr. Morello. Scott Fish. I interviewed you for Modern Drummer a while back."

Shaking my hand, cocking his head to one side, Joe said, "Scott Fish? You're everywhere. Like tapeworm." I asked Joe about his snare drum. He said it was an Eames snare drum and he asked how it sounded.

"It sounds a little choked," I said. Joe was making adjustments to the snare several times during his group's first set. To my ears, the drum did not sound as good as Morello's Ludwig.

Joe nodded, telling me it was a new snare drum built for him by a "a kid," who I later learned was Joe MacSweeney.

"How does the group sound?" Joe asked me. "It sounds good," I said, "but you could bring the mic on the acoustic piano up just a bit. It's hard to hear when he solos. The volume is fine when he's comping, but not when he's soloing."

I went back and rejoined friends at my table. A few minutes later, Joe Morello is standing at my table with the club owner. "This is Scott Fish," Joe says, introducing me to the club owner. Joe asked me to repeat to the club owner what I said about the piano mic volume. So, I did.

It seemed to me the club owner was not pleased with this meeting, not sure why he should care what Scott Fish thought about the club sound system levels. Had Joe Morello not been standing there, my sense was the club owner would have told me to get lost.

"Just a little bit," I assured the club owner. "It sounds great, but instead of being able to enjoy the whole group while the pianist is soloing, I have to strain to hear the piano solos. And that takes away from hearing the group sound."

During the second set the piano volume was indeed a bit louder. Just right.

Looking back, that Schenectady night was a unique convergence in the world of drumming. Not long after, I was offered and accepted the newly created Managing Editor's spot at Modern Drummer. Joe MacSweeney went on to a great career building legendary Eames drums and drumsets. And Joe Morello's career continued expanding as a performer, a teacher, and as one of the Last of the Red Hot Drummers.

Scott K Fish Blog: Life Beyond the Cymbals
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Old 05-28-2016, 03:52 PM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default Re: Morello: ‘You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm’

I really like these endearing stories you share with us Scott. I remember seeing your name in M.D. magazine every month in high school.
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:23 PM
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spleeeeen spleeeeen is offline
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Default Re: Morello: ‘You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm’

Another gem Scott and inspiring to hear a bit about your own personal and professional journey.
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Old 05-28-2016, 06:54 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Morello: ‘You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm’

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott K Fish View Post
...and had no backup plan.
This is my favorite part.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:13 PM
Wave Deckel Wave Deckel is offline
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Default Re: Morello: ‘You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm’

Thanks for sharing. :-)
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:41 AM
Groov-E Groov-E is offline
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Default Re: Morello: ‘You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm’

Just adding my voices to the other : thanks for sharing, always an excellent read.
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:14 PM
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Les Ismore Les Ismore is offline
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Default Re: Morello: ‘You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm’

"You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm"

Hmmmm, wonder if that's an example of Morello's humor?

Maybe his timing was right on when he said it.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:30 AM
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Default Re: Morello: ‘You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm’

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Ismore View Post
"You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm"

Hmmmm, wonder if that's an example of Morello's humor?

Maybe his timing was right on when he said it.
Joe was really quick with witty responses. His wife came to drive him home after a day of teaching (he was legally blind). While walking to the car, she said, "watch out, there's a puddle in front of you." He said, "It's ok, I can swim." For some reason (probably his delivery and tone of voice), small things like that would have us cracking up.

Jeff
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Last edited by jeffwj; 05-30-2016 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:01 PM
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Scott K Fish Scott K Fish is offline
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Default Re: Morello: ‘You’re Everywhere. Like Tapeworm’

Good morning -- Thank you everyone for your kind words.

Les Ismore: As JeffJW says, Joe Morello had a quick, top notch sense of humor. And, yes, his tapeworm greeting was said in jest.

Best,
skf
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