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Old 12-12-2015, 12:54 PM
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Scott K Fish Scott K Fish is offline
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Default Neil Peart on Tony Williams’s ‘Fred’

Neil Peart on Tony Williams’s ‘Fred’

SKF NOTE: My friend and music writer par excellence, Chip Stern, had a very good, albeit short-lived, idea for a drummer's magazine. I did some writing for Chip's magazine, but I don't know that any of it saw the light of day.

Leonard Feather had a longstanding Down Beat magazine feature called Blindfold Test. Feather’s concept: play a handful of unannounced recordings for a musician and get their objective reaction.

Chip used the Blindfold Test concept, calling it Trading Fours, as part of his drummer magazine.

Recently I found an August 1989 manuscript of a Trading Fours I did with Neil Peart. I think this exchange took place in Neil's home.

In honor of Tony Williams’s birthday, I thought this would be a perfect time to post Neil’s thoughts on Tony’s classic song, Fred.

Click Here to Listen to Tony Williams's 'Fred'


Song Title: Fred. Drummer: Tony Williams. Album Name: Believe It. The New Tony Williams Lifetime. Columbia PC 33836. Released: 1975

Scott K Fish: [During the listening Neil asked if it was Billy Cobham.] Why did you think it was Billy Cobham?

Neil Peart: The first explosive fill reminded me of Billy. And the type of rhythmic feels too. But, wonderful drumming, for a start. It’s spectacular. The kind of stuff that always blows my mind. And the flaws in it just kind of humanize it; to make you feel closer to it. You don’t feel so intimidated by incredible, superhuman perfection.

SKF: Do you think you know who it was?

NP: Tony Williams was my second idea — just because of the sprawling fills. I’m not a big student of that music because of not being such a big fan. But one thing I always thought with Tony Williams is that he could make a fill sprawl all over the place time-wise, and then (snaps fingers) come back in. Which is enormously effective, from a drummer’s point of view, to hear that pulled off.

Scott K Fish Blog: Life Beyond the Cymbals Click Here to Read Full Neil Peart Interview
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