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  #1  
Old 05-08-2011, 08:30 PM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default He's 'MY' drummer

...

Do you blow a gasket when someone refers to you like that? Should you?


About 35 years ago, Mick was looking for Charlie in a hotel, 'Where's my @#%^ drummer, man?'
Charlie entered the room, knocked Mick flat with a well-aimed fist, and said 'I'm not your @#%^ drummer, you're my @#%^ singer.'

A true gent, Charlie, old world values.

Some do, some dont. which one is you?

...

Last edited by aydee; 05-09-2011 at 06:24 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2011, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I've never had the "he's my drummer" tag, or at least, not within hearing range. "He's our drummer" is quite usual as I'm in a band. I don't mind that. I'd say "he's my drummer" would be ok if you're hired to back a solo artist, but out of place in a band context. I think Charlie was right to smack him in the mouth, not that you'd need to be a good shot with Mick!
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

It's a long-standing debate, and always a matter of personal preference or ego or whatever. Some guys resent being called "Bob Martin's drummer" and feel that "Drummer with..." or "Drummer for..." is better, less commital, I don't know.

Sometimes Weird Al refers to me as his drummer, and I don't think anything of it. I refer to myself either as "Weird Al's drummer" or may say "I play drums with Weird Al." Just depends which words come out of my mouth at that moment.

I think getting uppity about it shows a certain amount of insecurity.

Ringo should have punched Mick.




Yes, I'm aware they weren't in the same band.

Bermuda
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

At this stage in my life I'm happy to be playing with anybody - period. I don't care what they call me. Just call me ;)
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I personally think it all depends on the people in question. I would have no problem with someone calling me "their drummer" as long as its not coming from an egomaniacal lead singer. I have a problem with anyone in a group (regardless of instrument) thinking of themselves as more important than the others in the group, so as long as there isn't any negative/superior attitude attached with it, call me whatever you want.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I've never had any problem with anyone saying "he's my drummer" anymore than they've had any problems with me referring to them as "my singer, my bass player, etc"

I don't see why anyone would get upset over it.

Although I do think the Charlie Watts story is pretty rad.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I agree w/ Bo, just call.
I see it as a term of their relationship. They are both right, Mick is Charlie's singer by the same principle. I don't think Mick deserved to be hit for that. You Englishmen, sheesh!

I have referred to people as "my" bass player in the past. I hope I wasn't condescending, it wasn't meant that way.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I'm fine with it, if the person saying it as actually the leader of the project- on my things I refer to people as "my guitarist" or whatever all the time. I don't remember anyone saying it in a co-equal type of situation, or from someone who was also a sideman, but I think I would shut down that kind of talk from them. At least from other sidemen. The more common demeaning things from equals are occasionally acting like I work for them because I'm the drummer, or not condescending to respond when I have to ask what we're playing, because the leader just called a tune with his back to me. That's a peeve of mine.
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  #9  
Old 05-08-2011, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I don't really think it matters at all.
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2011, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

Any excuse to jab Mick Jagger with a right cross is a good one. Although his performance on this year's Grammy's was pretty incredible . . could have only been outdone if Charlie would have got up and landed him a right cross. Timing is everything.

I always referred to the players as my guitar player etc. Probably would be best to say our drummer, our keyboard, usually just refer to the singer as that asshole. People seem to know who you mean.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

On an old jazz forum I used to frequent (now defunct), one of the regulars I got to know - a top-notch drummer himself - told the story of how sat next to Roy Haynes at a bar once and struck up a conversation. He asked him, "So, what was it like playing for Chick?" Haynes replied, "I don't play FOR anybody. I play WITH them." My buddy followed this with, "Well you played FOR Bird, didn't you?" Haynes looked down at his drink and paused before quietly answering, "Yeah, I played for Bird."
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2011, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

The tale is mentioned in Keith's book Aydee......the way Keef tells it, if Mick didn't deserve to get filled in for that minor slight, then he had it coming for many other things anyway.

Personally, I agree with DED, Todd, Delta and others. I'm happy to be anyone's drummer.....much in the same way as I'm happy to refer to them as my singer, my bass player, my guitarist and of course, my fragile little princess to any of the above who may take exception. ;-)
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  #13  
Old 05-09-2011, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I'm whos ever drummer that signs the checks.

Dennis
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  #14  
Old 05-09-2011, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

Call me whatever you want, just don't call me late for dinner.


Seriously, don't you f***ing EVER call me late for dinner.
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  #15  
Old 05-09-2011, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

when i was a teenager i thought it was out of line, now i couldnt care less and i do it myself sometimes regarding guitarists or singers or whoever without even thinking about it. most of the time no offence is intended by whoever does it. its no big deal, dont worry about it.
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  #16  
Old 05-09-2011, 02:54 AM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

It doesn't really bother me...unless the person is really a douchebag. Luckily I haven't had to play in too many bands with them.
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2011, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

It's kinda annoying but not really something to make a fuss about, for me at least.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

Remember, that was during Charlie's bad period when his life was off the rails. As far as I can tell, if Charlie had been himself it's highly unlikely that he would have lashed out like that.

Still, it would be annoying to be relaxing and having some gronk who's drunk and afflicted with ego sickness yelling out like that. Who knows? Maybe Mick carried on like that a fair bit in those days and it was the last straw?

Otherwise, to me it's a non-issue.
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  #19  
Old 05-09-2011, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

Seems like a non-issue to most so far. Fair enough.

For me, and call me what you want, that possessive has always raised my hackles. But I don't play in bands or situations where I'm a sideman and I don't collect paychecks from anyone. If I was okay being a sideman or hired gun that would be one thing; but I'm not, and I've chosen that path on purpose. I'm not subordinate to anyone in the band. I subordinate myself to the music and that's it.

Trouble is, I could let it slide if it ever came from the mouth of someone respectable, but too often it really is used by a personality type that I can't stomach being in a band with - usually the smarmy used car salesmen-type looking to appear dominant and in control.

From my experience, it's the ego and insecurity of the one using it that's in play much more than the person objecting to, and being subjected, to it.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:36 AM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

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Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
.... but too often it really is used by a personality type that I can't stomach being in a band wit...... looking to appear dominant and in control....... it's the ego and insecurity of the one using it that's in play much more than the person objecting to, and being subjected, to it.
I think thats the essence of it.

As for me, I'd be happy to say I'm Chick Corea's drummer or if he said that , even better - I'd probably swell with pride and self importance.
Also, I get the check thing, and the guy who's gig it is thing and a bandleader thing, but Mike's right,, often its the little ego thing which grates away at relationships and causes breakups, breakdowns etc.. I think band histories are littered with stories like this.

...
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I am usually referred to as "the drummer for Michael Carlos" or "for the Michael Carlos Band" (both of which are true). Within the band, after seven months I am still referred to as "the new guy". I fully expect that to last upwards of 35 years.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

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Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
From my experience, it's the ego and insecurity of the one using it that's in play much more than the person objecting to, and being subjected, to it.
I think it depends more on the particular person. Some drummers (bass players, etc) get extremely bent out of shape about this, when it fact it's barely worth the effort. If someone is perceived as the leader of the band and makes the reference, so what? What really sounds awkward is if the bass player says "this is my drummer."

Words are taken so out-of-context and examined for implication these days. If you work in a company, you normally refer to the manager above you as "my boss." Does that sound awkward or possessive? Of course not. Does the manager think ill of it? Of course not. Guys, do you refer to your spouse as "my wife?" Sure you do. Has she ever called you on it? I suspect not. Yet with an overly sensitive musician, the single word 'my' becomes downright inflammatory! Sheesh, everyone is someone's something. People who are hung-up about it are no better than the person who insists on saying it in a controlling way. There's a big difference between a singer saying "I met my drummer back in 1990..." and him walking up and saying "You are my drummer." In that situation, the drummer might have a good argument about that term.

But there's a point where being overly sensitive is pointless, and just looks bad and whiny. Although interesting and perhaps amusing, taking these few words so literally doesn't merit such serious discussion.

Bermuda
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

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Sheesh, everyone is someone's something.
Agree. Hell, I'm happy to have someone willing to fess up to "owning" me :)
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

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Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post

I always referred to the players as my guitar player etc. Probably would be best to say our drummer, our keyboard, usually just refer to the singer as that asshole. People seem to know who you mean.
Well I was drinking some tea while reading untill I got to the part about refering to the singer as that asshole. Just got done cleaning up the tea off of my screen. No worries though. It was well worth the laugh. :)
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

The word “my” itself will often imply a hierarchy. In “my boss”, it’s clear who’s above whom. In a marriage, “my wife/husband” seems appropriate because it’s presumed that it’s an equal partnership just by the nature of marriage. And even with “my friend,” it’s understood that friendships are mutual – unless it’s that used car salesman approaching you with a, “What can I do to get you into this car today, my friend?”

But in a band, whether that kind of hierarchy exists or not is far from clear, and using "my" can be misinterpreted very quickly and easily.

To say “my bass player,” or “my drummer” rings a lot more like saying “my bitch,” or “my subordinate” which is fine if that’s what you are. As Abe pointed out, if Chick Corea wanted to call me “his” drummer, I would probably explode with pride, but I seriously doubt that I would have any input into the creative direction of the band either.

To me, and many others, these words have power if even on a subconscious level.

I worked with Chris Cornell briefly back in the ‘90s when Soundgarden was still together, and through many conversations, he never once referred to Matt Cameron as “his” drummer. It was always, “our drummer,” as in the band’s drummer. Why do I remember this? Because it almost felt linguistically awkward for him to avoid using “my” when it would have rolled off the tongue much easier, but it was clear that he was trying to avoid the possessive because he didn’t want to compromise the sense that the band members were equals.

If Matt Cameron were "his" drummer, then that would imply that he alone could fire him. But since Matt Cameron is Soundgarden’s drummer, then it would take the whole band to kick him out. Or Cornell could just quit. I think that's an important distinction.

I guess it might sound petty to some, but not to me.

Last edited by MikeM; 05-09-2011 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Agree. Hell, I'm happy to have someone willing to fess up to "owning" me :)
I was waiting for you to say that. :)
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I don't think about this kind of stuff much either. I guess I kind of see it as I'd rather them say "my drummer" instead of "the drummer." At least "my drummer" sounds like it as some job security tied to it.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:38 PM
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The word “my” itself will often imply a hierarchy. In “my boss”, it’s clear who’s above whom. In a marriage, “my wife/husband” seems appropriate because it’s presumed that it’s an equal partnership just by the nature of marriage. And even with “my friend,” it’s understood that friendships are mutual – unless it’s that used car salesman approaching you with a, “What can I do to get you into this car today, my friend?”

But in a band, whether that kind of hierarchy exists or not is far from clear, and using "my" can be misinterpreted very quickly and easily.

To say “my bass player,” or “my drummer” rings a lot more like saying “my bitch,” or “my subordinate” which is fine if that’s what you are. As Abe pointed out, if Chick Corea wanted to call me “his” drummer, I would probably explode with pride, but I seriously doubt that I would have any input into the creative direction of the band either.

To me, and many others, these words have power if even on a subconscious level.

I worked with Chris Cornell briefly back in the ‘90s when Soundgarden was still together, and through many conversations, he never once referred to Matt Cameron as “his” drummer. It was always, “our drummer,” as in the band’s drummer. Why do I remember this? Because it almost felt linguistically awkward for him to avoid using “my” when it would have rolled off the tongue much easier, but it was clear that he was trying to avoid the possessive because he didn’t want to compromise the sense that the band members were equals.

If Matt Cameron were "his" drummer, then that would imply that he alone could fire him. But since Matt Cameron is Soundgarden’s drummer, then it would take the whole band to kick him out. Or Cornell could just quit. I think that's an important distinction.

I guess it might sound petty to some, but not to me.
I'm going with Mike against the flow here. Common courtesy applies equally to the music business as everywhere else. Where there is clearly someone in charge in a music business context, then the use of "my" is completely fine, but when you have an arrangement that's purported to be equal, the use of posessive terms such as "my" sends a very clear message. I'm very keen on communicating with sensitivity, a courtesy & mindset that's often overlooked in these competetive times. I'm not referring to being over sensitive or PC, just respect for the feelings & disposition of others.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
To say “my bass player,” or “my drummer” rings a lot more like saying “my bitch,” or “my subordinate” which is fine if that’s what you are.
I think that's reading a lot more into a couple of simple, commonly-used words. If the person on the receiving end of the comment is so sensitive that it irks him, I'd say that's where any problem lays, and not with the person who said it. I've never, ever felt that being referred to as someone's drummer relegated me to a subordinate position or was intended to establish a real or imagined heirarchy.

I've often referred to the guys in Al's band as "Al's guitar player" or "Al's keyboardist". I assign the possessive because it's more natural to say than "He's the keyboardist who, along with myself an others, performs with Weird Al." And does anyone really think that because I'm referred to as Al's drummer, that I somehow belong to him? No, those are just words, the most natural way of saying that we are affiliated. If I say "I play drums with Weird Al" and the person responds "Really, you're Weird Al's drummer?" I say yes. It's the same thing. It's just as likely for the conversation to go "I'm Weird Al's drummer." "Really, you play drums with Weird Al?" Same thing, no hidden meanings or implications, it's just understood and nobody assigns special meanings, unless they're overly sensitive.

There are certainly much more important battles to be fought in the music world. In the scheme of things, this is very benign. Maybe I'm extra secure with myself... maybe I'm oblivious to the real meanings... or maybe I don't care because in this career, I have bigger fish to fry. And yes, those are MY fish. :)

Bermuda
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:04 PM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
I think that's reading a lot more into a couple of simple, commonly-used words. If the person on the receiving end of the comment is so sensitive that it irks him, I'd say that's where any problem lays, and not with the person who said it. I've never, ever felt that being referred to as someone's drummer relegated me to a subordinate position or was intended to establish a real or imagined heirarchy.

I've often referred to the guys in Al's band as "Al's guitar player" or "Al's keyboardist". I assign the possessive because it's more natural to say than "He's the keyboardist who, along with myself an others, performs with Weird Al." And does anyone really think that because I'm referred to as Al's drummer, that I somehow belong to him? No, those are just words, the most natural way of saying that we are affiliated. If I say "I play drums with Weird Al" and the person responds "Really, you're Weird Al's drummer?" I say yes. It's the same thing. It's just as likely for the conversation to go "I'm Weird Al's drummer." "Really, you play drums with Weird Al?" Same thing, no hidden meanings or implications, it's just understood and nobody assigns special meanings, unless they're overly sensitive.

There are certainly much more important battles to be fought in the music world. In the scheme of things, this is very benign. Maybe I'm extra secure with myself... maybe I'm oblivious to the real meanings... or maybe I don't care because in this career, I have bigger fish to fry. And yes, those are MY fish. :)

Bermuda
Jon, I think Mike is differentiating between an act which has a clear and defined leader, musical or business, as in your case with the AY gig and say a group situation.

Ndugu Chancellor was Michael Jackson's drummer but I'm not so sure Ringo was Paul McCartney's drummer.

The difference is subtle and easily ignored if it used for reference only, but if used to imply that the band is 'not much without me', it does take on a different color.

...
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:11 PM
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Jon, I think Mike is differentiating between an act which has a clear and defined leader, musical or business, as in your case with the AY gig and say a group situation.

Ndugu Chancellor was Michael Jackson's drummer but I'm not so sure Ringo was Paul McCartney's drummer.

The difference is subtle and easily ignored if it used for reference only, but if used to imply that the band is 'not much without me', it does take on a different color.

...
Exactly Abe, it's all in the context.

Agreed John, you are WA's drummer. No issues with that. He hires you, so that's a cut & dry situation.

Also agreed, bigger fish!
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:37 PM
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Agreed John, you are WA's drummer. No issues with that. He hires you, so that's a cut & dry situation.
But there are guys who do make a big deal of someone hiring them, and then referring to them as "my drummer" when the drummer thinks he's independent and doesn't want to be linked with an artist that way. And unless something has changed in the music business, there are very few drummers who aren't hired by someone else. I don't care if it's Vinnie, or Gadd, or the guy in the cover band at the local bar.

As for my situation, you are exactly right - Al hires me. I am not a contracted with him, and with each new album and tour, he asks me about my availability. Same with the other 4+ bands I work with in town. I do enjoy being first call with these bands/artists, but I am an independent drummer. But I also have no resentment or infer any underlying meaning when a band or artists refers to me as their drummer.

I understand that in the very literal sense of the words, there's a hierarchical implication. I don't quite understand why that's such a big deal to some. But I do understand that it's just common speech. We can't all run around being lawyers about what people say. I dare say that most of us would be guilty of worse infractions if held to the same standards.

Bermuda
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I think it depends on the context and the relationship you have with the person. The current group im playing with now, I have alot of respect for the three of them and I feel like we have a good relationship. If one of them were to refer to me as their "Drummer", in all honesty, I would feel a sense of pride in that.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

It is all about the context. Our drummer, singer etc. is always preferred in a band context. But in any context it can take on different shades of meaning. I worked with a bass player for a while and when he referred to me as his drummer, he meant it almost as if to say my homie, and he always would say it with a sense of pride, "yeah, he's my drummer. don't you wish he were your drummer." It was even in some sense affectionate. It almost takes on the same context as a friend, my friend. If you are out with six friends you don't refer to one of them as our friend but my friend.

I would think that even in a professional situation it could take on that context. Herbie could refer to Vinnie as "my drummer." The understanding is implied that he is not literally his drummer just that Herbie is proud to be able to say that he is drumming for his band. It's all context, and if someone is not being a hole about it, I don't think it's a big deal.

Talk about two guys on the same though wave. I was writing this before GG posted.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I have no trouble about people saying I'm "their" drummer. My only problem is when they think they own me and can do what they want.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post
...

Do you blow a gasket when someone refers to you like that? Should you?


About 35 years ago, Mick was looking for Charlie in a hotel, 'Where's my @#%^ drummer, man?'
Charlie entered the room, knocked Mick flat with a well-aimed fist, and said 'I'm not your @#%^ drummer, you're my @#%^ singer.'

A true gent, Charlie, old world values.

Some do, some dont. which one is you?

...
I was thinking about that same passage in Keith's book where Charlie Watts clobbers Jagger, Jagger calls up hammered and demands his drummer, Charlie walks in dressed to the nines as Charlie does and clobbers Mick.

I think Keef also said he was going to throw Jagger out the window but he was wearing Keith's jacket and he didn't want to get it dirty. That is a really good book by the way.

One thing I have learned aside from music is that is very dangerous to refer to people in occupations as "my". Owning people has a very negative connotation where I am from. I hear all the time, My staff or worse: My people.

What a difference between my drummer and our drummer.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaajn View Post
One thing I have learned aside from music is that is very dangerous to refer to people in occupations as "my". Owning people has a very negative connotation where I am from. I hear all the time, My staff or worse: My people.
I'll agree that in some situations, using the possessive can be insensitive and offensive. I just don't feel that musical or band situations falls into that category.

When we want to know who the drummer is that performs with a certain artist or band, we tend to say "Who is xxx's drummer?" It's really very innocent. And that's my point, there's really not as much implication on the part of the person saying it, as there is inference on the part of the person hearing it.

With all of the ups & downs of being a musician, there are more legitimate issues than picking apart these few simple words.

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Old 05-10-2011, 02:38 AM
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Default Re: He's 'MY' drummer

I refer to all my bandmates as "boy." I do this as a preemptive retort against being called "my drummer" by someone.

Kidding but I bet you weren't sure for a second there,
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