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  #1  
Old 02-18-2015, 07:43 AM
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Default Is Don Henley relevant here?

I had to ask the question because the musician side of me says he and Glenn Frey wrote alot of my own soundtrack when I was growing up. I mean, the Eagles have probably outsold most bands we talk about here, but for some reason I get this impression that nobody considers Don Henley an actual drummer.

You'd think we'd see his name as much since everyone argues about Ringo being a good drummer so much. Or Neil Peart for that matter, right?

I think if there was ever a guy who played for the song, Don has got to be up there as much as Ringo. His drumming is not flashy, and I don't think he ever took a solo, but would the Eagles sound be the same if he didn't play the drums?

Just by virtue of the songs, I'd say he was an influence on me. He's kinda' like the mold for David Robinson from the Cars - very deliberate playing for the song, which I also like about David Robinson. The Cars would be very different if they had a drummer who spiced up what he played every night. The Eagles, although boring in a live sense, really gave the audience what it wanted to hear, does that make their drummer irrelevant on this forum?

Just thinking out loud. Again.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

I struggle to think of a time when Don Henley wouldn't be relevant.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
I get this impression that nobody considers Don Henley an actual drummer.
I remember a thread on this very topic actually. Some knucklehead suggested that perhaps he wasn't. As I recall, the suggestion was pretty quickly dismissed..........as it well should have been.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

I've always considered Don to be a great drummer and singer. When I say great I mean that he made great music, not that he could out drum all the others. When you're the drummer for a band that is selling millions of records, probably many times over, you must be doing it right. I've be playing Witchy Woman with my band, and if you listen close the drums grow with the song. Each verse is a little more involved. I think it's well played. I think he was the right drummer for a great band.
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

I love Don Henley. Life in the Fast Lane has a great drum part, plus he's the lead singer at the same time, which is not easy to do at all.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

Don is a fantastic drummer and we are all very lucky to have a catalog of tunes that we can all go learn from .... and I mean LEARN

Don is fantastic not in a clinician playing acrobatics way.... but in a transparent way

and by transparent I mean he is so wonderfully playing what is appropriate and melting into the music that you don't even realize he is there and can simply enjoy the brilliance of the song

Henley is the truth and any smart drummer would listen to how he approaches music
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

No particular fan of The Eagles but I've got to say, if you're going to do it, do it like Don Henley.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

I think he's hugely relevant. I agree with your assessment about the way he played for the song. His drumming is absolutely void of ego. Probably had a lot to do with the fact he was writing and singing the material, so he was focusing on delivering his vision for the song and not worrying about playing cool drum licks.

I was admiring his time just the other day when an Eagles song came on the radio (I think it was I Can't Tell You Why). So solid, so tasteful. Hey, if you provided the rhythm for one of the most popular and influential bands of the rock era, you must have been doing something right.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

I think of Don in the same way I do Max Weinberg. Except Don did the writing. Max plays the parts with no flare but solid rhythm and that's his job. Don may have a little more flash if he wasn't trying to sing as he played. But he does his job well as Ringo did and Max does and that is his role. I'm sure if he or Max were to do other things the playing would be a proficient as needed. Max did more than just keep the beat on Late Night.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

I remember Modern Drummer getting a ton of hate mail back in the '80s after running a cover story on him, so this isn't exactly news. It was a crock then just as it is now. Don was the man. Who cares what some pontificating drummy drummers think?
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post

Henley is the truth and any smart drummer would listen to how he approaches music
Amen to that. Don is the musician I'd most like to be. I care not that he's off the "hip" radar as a drummer, & I'm pretty sure Don cares even less. To me, he stands fully as one of the best drummers in the last several decades even without his other attributes. Add his other skills to the list, & he's close to peerless.

I think it's no accident that those involved in writing some of the strongest songs of modern times, are also some of the strongest song drummers of modern times.

Some of his later solo works feature drumming well worth checking out too. I especially like the way he integrates programmed drums into his songs. Deferring to obviously programmed drum parts tells you everything you need to know about how big a part ego plays in his drumming choices. I think few could be that objective.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2015, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

Agree with all the sentiments here. He did what needed to be done for the song. And that makes him a great drummer.

Watched extra's on the Bad Co.: Merchants of Cool DVD. Simon Kirke is considered one of the greatest drummers in the world. He is. Not flashy. But he hits the right drum at the right time for the song. Love his playing.
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2015, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

It's really a shame that the crop of transparent drummers, (great description Ant btw) including guys like Henley, Ringo, Watts, Rudd, Keltner...it seems like they need to be defended from time to time, which to me is backwards.

We need drummers from all disciplines to show us all of the possibilities of the drum set. No one drummer can do all that. All drummers have their strong points. One of Don's strong points is that he doesn't feel the need to make the drum set stick out. He's mature and he gets it. I for one appreciate that, I don't like in your face drums either. Leave it to the technicians to drop your jaw, I'd rather have chills up my spine. He's a team player. Imagine Carmine Appice as the Eagles drummer. *shudders*
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

I've always thought he was a great, tasteful drummer

His style, and the ability to sing well.........reminds me a lot of Levon Helm..........both great drummers and songwriters
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by longgun View Post
I've always thought he was a great, tasteful drummer

His style, and the ability to sing well.........reminds me a lot of Levon Helm..........both great drummers and songwriters
Good God I forgot about Levon. I wasn't a Band fan, but Mr. Helm is one of the greats too! My apologies.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

There was a point in the 80's during Don's solo career when I had to remind my classmates that he was the drummer from the Eagles, the same way I had reminded them that Phil Collins was the drummer from Genesis.

Those who would say that Don is not relevant are likely those who do not understand the concept of drumming for the song, those infamous style over substance characters. He's never going to win any prog or fusion polls. But he doesn't need to. He defined groove and character for a generation of musicians, not just drummers. He deserves some respect.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

I tried to remember Levon Helms name earlier im my post only to say he fit the same mold. thanks for bringing him into the mix of great drummers.
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  #17  
Old 02-18-2015, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

So, how by all that is holy, do the drums on the studio version of "Heartache Tonight" sound so dreadful?

DH has a writing credit, the Eagles are credited as producers and yet the drums sound dire.

FWIW, I like the Eagles and I like Don Henley's drumming.

Off to see them next month. Yay!
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

Saw the Eagles few years back at the Wells Fargo Center, a big indoor venue in Phila. Joe Walsh was with them. They had another drummer on a different set at first. Don came out about 3 or 4 songs in. I felt bad for the first drummer. Joe was clearly getting on him about something. The guy sounded fine to me but Joe was clearly unhappy, yelling and gesturing. Joe kicked ass that night, he really made the show for me, but I still think you shouldn't do that stuff onstage.

When Don came out it was like he was the main attraction, but not pompous or anything. He sang and drummed as smooth as he does live as on record. There are choppy players and there are players who go for smoothness. Don goes for smoothness and seamlessness...and his drumming just caresses you as it goes by. His voice is smooth too. It all fits really well. He's got his own thing going on. He's no hot dog and that's just fine with me.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

I'll go out on a limb here and say that Don Henley is one of my absolute favorite singers.
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:53 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

The Eagles Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 was named best selling album of the century. With the current state of the music business and sales that record may never be broken. I have nothing but respect for Henley as a songwriter, lyricist, singer and drummer. He wrote, contributed to, and sang songs that could stand on their own two legs. His playing never got in the way of the music or the story of each song. As one part of the Eagles, Henley developed and maintained a loyal multi-generational fan base over several decades. We should all be that fortunate. Respect.
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  #21  
Old 02-19-2015, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
So, how by all that is holy, do the drums on the studio version of "Heartache Tonight" sound so dreadful?
Ever try playing it? Not so so simple as they sound, especially the bits at the end.

I love Don Henleys' drumming, it totally fit the band.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

Don Henley has a own page on Drummerworld - so what can we ask for more recognition - lol?

http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Don_Henley.html

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Old 02-19-2015, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

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Originally Posted by Vintage Old School View Post
The Eagles Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 was named best selling album of the century. With the current state of the music business and sales that record may never be broken. I have nothing but respect for Henley as a songwriter, lyricist, singer and drummer. He wrote, contributed to, and sang songs that could stand on their own two legs. His playing never got in the way of the music or the story of each song. As one part of the Eagles, Henley developed and maintained a loyal multi-generational fan base over several decades. We should all be that fortunate. Respect.
Agreed!
Henley is always fun to listen to, simplicity with a sense of well placed musicality to his beats. Reminds me you don't have to fill in all the time or play too many notes/too fast.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

He should be.

But I think a big part of why isn't by so many drummers is Don himself largely gave up on playing drums. He used drum machines on most (all) of his solo albums, and even with the Eagles reformed, he has spent very little time behind the kit.

It's hard to talk about someone being a drummer when that person doesn't particularly care about being a drummer.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
So, how by all that is holy, do the drums on the studio version of "Heartache Tonight" sound so dreadful?

DH has a writing credit, the Eagles are credited as producers and yet the drums sound dire.

FWIW, I like the Eagles and I like Don Henley's drumming.

Off to see them next month. Yay!
That's probably because that isn't a real snare on that cut. It's a Senair snare drum. Apparently one of the first electronic snare drums. Supposedly, Henley liked it and decided to use it for that tune.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

The Heartache Tonight drum part was sampled (or at least copied) on the Haim track The Wire.
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  #27  
Old 02-21-2015, 11:56 PM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Amen to that. Don is the musician I'd most like to be. I care not that he's off the "hip" radar as a drummer, & I'm pretty sure Don cares even less. To me, he stands fully as one of the best drummers in the last several decades even without his other attributes. Add his other skills to the list, & he's close to peerless.

I think it's no accident that those involved in writing some of the strongest songs of modern times, are also some of the strongest song drummers of modern times.

Some of his later solo works feature drumming well worth checking out too. I especially like the way he integrates programmed drums into his songs. Deferring to obviously programmed drum parts tells you everything you need to know about how big a part ego plays in his drumming choices. I think few could be that objective.
I guess I have to disagree, not because I dislike Henley, but because I think sometimes praise can go a bit too far :-P

Is a bassist who plays competently and stays in the pocket "one of the best bassists of all time"? Well, probably on a bass forum ... but to nobody else.

Henley was a competent drummer, and that's about where I stop. And that's not a slight! Being competent is actually a good thing.

He was a very good musician but that's because he did stuff other than drumming ... in addition to his competent drumming.

But if all Henley ever did was drum nobody would be raving about him, just nodding coolly at him for doing a good job. The David Robinson analogy is perfect. As drummers, both competent people who played for the song.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

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Originally Posted by AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken View Post
I guess I have to disagree, not because I dislike Henley, but because I think sometimes praise can go a bit too far :-P

Is a bassist who plays competently and stays in the pocket "one of the best bassists of all time"? Well, probably on a bass forum ... but to nobody else.

Henley was a competent drummer, and that's about where I stop. And that's not a slight! Being competent is actually a good thing.

He was a very good musician but that's because he did stuff other than drumming ... in addition to his competent drumming.

But if all Henley ever did was drum nobody would be raving about him, just nodding coolly at him for doing a good job. The David Robinson analogy is perfect. As drummers, both competent people who played for the song.
Again, this is only my opinion (FWIW), but judging Don purely on his drumming, he's right up there for me. It's not the notes, it's his approach to the instrument in the context of a song that I find so impressive. In that regard (& isn't that one of the most important regards), he's a lot more than competent.
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Old 02-22-2015, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

There's "drummy" drummers and there's "song" drummers, and every shade in between. Don, is a song drummer. Ringo is a song drummer. Levon Helm was a song drummer.

If there was an award for ego-less drummers, guys like these would win it.

Not implying that nothing tops being ego-less. However, I do believe it should be recognized because it really is needed for a lot of deep lyric based music.

That kind of music needs a drummer who is more concerned that his drum part is soothing the song, as opposed to a drum part that is mainly pushing the agenda of the drummer.

I'm a big fan of story-songs and want a drummer on those kinds of tracks that is ego-less. Don is perfect for The Eagles.

Now put Don Henley in Deep Purple and he might not cut it for that band.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:23 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

On the weekend I got to see the Eagles playing live.

They were better than I could have hoped for. I would have liked to see them stretch their legs a little, and play some different arrangements of their songs. I own the 1979 (?) Eagles Live double CD (and I used to own the vinyl of that set too), and everything sounded pretty much as it sounded on those recordings. But most of their fans want to hear exactly what they know and love, and that is what was served.

The sound quality was gob-smackingly awesome. It was an outdoor gig, plenty loud but not a hint of harshness to the sound, which I appreciated. From where we were sitting, about 1/3 of the way back, the sound was perfectly set up with no echo between the different speaker constellations.

And yes, Mr Henley's drumming was excellent. My only gripe was that the drum kit he was playing (DW with Paiste) had matt black shells with matt black hardware. I would have liked to see something that stood out better under lights.

I don't think Don Henley played a single thing that I could not have played, but (and it is a HUGE, Kardashian sized but), there were lots of wonderful touches and subtle clevernesses that I would never have thought of playing, and that is why Don Henley tours with the Eagles and I post stuff here!
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Old 03-09-2015, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

I'm just reflecting on this and the truth is, Don Henley is more relevant than I ever realized. Even though I never cared for his drum sound, Don Henley was probably the single largest influence on my playing growing up.

In my very early years, my high school rock band played almost nothing but Eagles and Bruce Springsteen. The first song we ever played in public was Hotel California (and I sang it). That was quite an impressive display in my small town for a bunch of 7th graders.

We instantly sprang into small town super-stardom. Learning and playing Eagles tunes continued for another 5 years. Must have played 25 Eagles tunes. Like others have pointed out, it really was about playing for the song, the music…not ninja drum chops. I am so glad his style has had such a lasting influence on me.


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  #32  
Old 03-09-2015, 06:58 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

I think I read in another thread here how someone said Steve Jordan was competent and groovy, but someone like Thomas Lang can "do it all". I wanted to instantly respond with how absurd that comment was, but it's an opinion, I suppose. The thing with the 'drummy' drummers is that you don't always see them working. Guys like Jordan, Keltner, and even Bermuda, seem to be working all the time. It's always a great lesson when I get to see Bermuda play, because he's laying it down for the song and keeping it solid for the band, and the man works a lot outside of Weird Al.

I guess Henley doesn't have to get gigs with anybody else, but that's what I'm aspiring to. I just want to sit and groove good music with the band. Unfortunately for me, I spent an inordinate amount of time dedicating myself to all that crap we all do when we're young, so I've lost a lot of time ;)
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Old 03-09-2015, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

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...I spent an inordinate amount of time dedicating myself to all that crap we all do when we're young, so I've lost a lot of time ;)
Cue Take It To The Limit!
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

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Cue Take It To The Limit!
......and I was unaware I made such a reference ;)
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

[quote=larryace;1329884]It's really a shame that the crop of transparent drummers, (great description Ant btw) including guys like Henley, Ringo, Watts, Rudd, Keltner...it seems like they need to be defended from time to time, which to me is backwards.

THIS...and I will add, as others memberd did, Helm, Fleetwood, Molina, all great drummers.
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: Is Don Henley relevant here?

Until recently I would have thought this thread was a joke. I used to feel if I'm going to consider someone a great drummer they need to "show me something".

But with more experience I've realized it takes real talent to play for the song and not just play something impressive.

Last edited by bud7h4; 05-17-2015 at 12:39 AM.
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