BBC Documentary about Rock n' Roll - The Drummer

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You cant compare the drummer's jokes with someone ridiculising you sister Larry, it's not the same thing, picking and mocking ONE person is victimisation, however, joking about all the drummers in the world is not, that's the difference.

It's like the "blonde girl" jokes, are all blondes really stupid? ...and a brunette more intelligent?

I'm a drummer, and proud to be one, and I find the jokes about us quite funny, but it's what they are... jokes! No one is putting us down, it has become an "etiquette" about us, the same phenomenon as for the blonde girls :)

And if you're "not ok with it anymore", you'll be grumpy for the rest of your life I'm afraid, c'mon Larry, cheer up, it's only a laugh... but what do I know eh? ...I'm only a drummer :))
No thanks. I think it is a great comparison. I am cheerful in nearly every aspect of my life. This is the way I feel. It balances me. Certain things are worth it. To me, what I love is worth attacking anyone who disses me, or my fellowship. Lets see how cheerful they can be, when they get dissed. They know most drummers just roll over when they get dissed. Not me. If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting. I don't like what I'm getting (collectively). I pick my battles and I pick this. I don't get dissed in my life, but if I do, I am dissing right back, all in good fun, right?

It's about lack of respect. I'm OK being the guy who doesn't accept drummer jokes anymore. Trust me, it's not in my nature to be grumpy, I can't maintain it, but it is in my nature to do what I feel is right, and be passionate for what I feel, and going on the offensive, for my own personal satisfaction, if nothing else. Standing up for my passion, and throwing it right back at them makes me feel right inside, accepting disses doesn't anymore, what can I say.
 

Daisy

Senior Member
I am absolutely with Larry on this one.

You can dismiss "blonde girl jokes" as jokes, because you're not a blonde girl. But blondes get sick of hearing them, and do feel diminished. Ridiculing a race, gender, or nationality does not become acceptable just because it's aimed at a group, as opposed to an individual. Those sorts of attitudes become ingrained because people hear them all the time. Attitudes to drummers are ingrained. Drummer jokes enable people to say what they really think, but with a smile on their face. They "really think" it, because it's what they hear all the time. The result is that a lot of people genuinely do, regrettably, regard drummers as "not real musicians".

I probably have more than my share of "psychological issues" about this one. I had to deal with a lot of work place sexism in the 60s and 70s. It left scars. I can laugh at drummer jokes (in the right place). What I can't stand is people who think that ridiculing me or what I do is funny, and if I don't laugh then I have no sense of humour.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I am absolutely with Larry on this one.

You can dismiss "blonde girl jokes" as jokes, because you're not a blonde girl. But blondes get sick of hearing them, and do feel diminished. Ridiculing a race, gender, or nationality does not become acceptable just because it's aimed at a group, as opposed to an individual. Those sorts of attitudes become ingrained because people hear them all the time. Attitudes to drummers are ingrained. Drummer jokes enable people to say what they really think, but with a smile on their face. They "really think" it, because it's what they hear all the time. The result is that a lot of people genuinely do, regrettably, regard drummers as "not real musicians".

I probably have more than my share of "psychological issues" about this one. I had to deal with a lot of work place sexism in the 60s and 70s. It left scars. I can laugh at drummer jokes (in the right place). What I can't stand is people who think that ridiculing me or what I do is funny, and if I don't laugh then I have no sense of humour.
Hi Daisy

From your comment I'm guessing you're blonde AND a drummer, lol, I feel for you... :)

Now, seriously, do you really meant what you said? do you really think that "people" really think that drummers and blondes are dumb and dumber? It's one thing being annoyed and tired of hearing the same old jokes, it's another to think that it's meaningful by whoever said it, I agree that racism is a disgrace, whatever it's about nationality, religion or whatever, but a joke is a joke... I'm a drummer, I heard my fair share of drummer's jokes... and my daughter's blonde... she's heard all the jokes too, no harm done, just a bit of fun, I do not believe a minute that these jokes are to be taken seriously, there's some exception, fair enough, but generally they're meant as a JOKE...

I've been put down once or twice in my drummer life, and it was not because someone said a "bad joke" about me (or drummers in general), it was indeed a meaningful comment from someone who (obviously) didn't like me as a drummer (or person).

None of the "jokes" in that documentary are discriminating the drummer, they're part of what we are/chose as an instrument/identity, whatever we like it or not... and very often I use them to my credit :) ...wha? *drool*
 

bigbang

Pioneer Member
There is a problem though...drummers aren't a gender , race or nationality.
You guys are really comparing what , people of colour , woman and jews, have gone through...... with ....drummers ??????
 

Longfuse

Senior Member
Honestly, the jokes are no big deal. I saw the whole BBC series when it was aired. None of the programmes resembled anything like a documentary. That wasn't the point. The aim of the show (if indeed there was one) was to gently poke fun at generations of 'grownups' doing the typical rock-star thing (behaving like big kids), as well as to inform...but mainly the former. The programme about bassists had plenty of bass-player jokes. Likewise with the shows that covered guitarists and singers.

The default setting of many British entertainment shows is to gently 'take the p*ss'. It's what we do. Honestly, this is no big deal. Take it as a bit of fun.
 

Daisy

Senior Member
Hi Daisy

From your comment I'm guessing you're blonde AND a drummer, lol, I feel for you... :)

Now, seriously, do you really meant what you said?
No, I'm not blonde. I was working age in the 60s. So obviously ...I'm grey !!

And, yes I do mean it. I don't mean to get all heavy on anyone, but I think there's a wider issue here. I honestly can't see the difference between drummer jokes, and the "Irish jokes" and "Paki jokes" that were the basic fare of comedians in the 1970s. Obviously (to bigbang) there's a difference in scale, but not in substance (not sure I expressed that very well, but I expect you get my meaning. I'm not suggesting we should bring in anti-drummerist laws!).

Any sort of generalised ridicule is demeaning, both to the individual and the group. And I believe it does affect "people's" perceptions. If something becomes common currency, it acquires a sort of false reality, becomes perceived/received/conventional wisdom.

(I make no specific reference to the BBC programme. I saw it when it first came out. I was a little disappointed as I thought it was going to be more "serious" - but as a bit of fun, it was ... well, a bit of fun)
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Thing is, the show referred to bygone days when drummer jokes were common. It would be good if people were interested enough in drummers today to makes jokes about us.
 

mikeyhanson

Silver Member
I don't lump them in with sexist and racist jokes, because I don't see them that way, nor am I affected or resentful when I hear them like I am when I hear the other two. To me, drummer jokes are like lawyer and politician jokes. It's about the profession, not about the person.
The great thing about a drummer joke is that it's usually told by a singer, guitarist or bass player, so there's always a great, if not superior, comeback. The amount of camaraderie that can sometimes bring is interesting as well, as jokes can always lighten a mood if told in a funny way. Sure, it's possible to be mean spirited about them, but that's abuse of the jokes, and not funny.
The ONLY thing I didn't like about that doc were the unnecessary [and constant] animations. The pics and video were great, as were the interviews...even with people I don't otherwise care for.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I guess if drummers were bashed and insulted and ostracised and denied work for being drummers, then the racism comparison would hold. There is only one instance where the the contempt and hatred you find in race and sex based discrimination is comparable to disrespect to drummers - angry neighbours lol

Seriously, people who have been beaten, raped and tortured in genuine discrimination would probably have an opinion about drummers complaining about affectionate jokes ... it's like comparing a broken leg cut with a paper cut.

We're in PC city now, baybee - enjoy the ride!

PS. I liked that show / documentary / memoir more than 99.9% of things on TV. Ossum!! :p
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Yes, the documentary starts off with a few drummer jokes, but if you watch the whole thing, it slowly takes apart the jokes.

And ends with a bass player joke.

So it goes full circle.
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
See, this is what happens when people from the states try to understand things that originate in the UK, the irony is lost mid Atlantic. The self depreciating humour shown in the documentary was great. I need to laugh at myself sometimes, and that's what the contributers were doing. Incidentally, Mark Radcliff, the narator is an DJ and amateur drummer, and his warmth and understanding of the subject, I thought, came through in how it was tackled.

This show wasn't written for drummers, it was written for the general public, who couldn't care less whether a drummer can play a triple paradiddle or whatever. If we choose to have out drum visuals biased towards drummers, then there's always Hudson Music. It was slightly dumb because it needed to be. Neil Peart wasn't mentioned because he's a niche market in the UK- everyone has heard of Bonham, Moon, Starr and Collins. Sure, they could have chosen Peart over Lee or Sorum, but again, while Rush have a large fan base, it's not populist, its specialist.

Now Larry et all who took offence- that's fine, its your perogative to see things the way that you choose to see them. But comparisons with racism? Come on! I've had the odd drummer joke thrown at me (I've made some too) and I tend to deal with it by playing well and understanding I can use all 4 limbs at once and sing too, where as the guitarists in the band struggle to walk and chew gum at the same time....

Really chaps, lighten up, please... for the sake of yourselves if for no one else.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
See, this is what happens when people from the states try to understand things that originate in the UK, the irony is lost mid Atlantic. The self depreciating humour shown in the documentary was great.
I was thinking that too but with globalisation the gap's closing. Any country that produces The Simpsons, Futurama, Family Guy, American Dad and Southpark is not lacking in irony :) ... just that it hasn't fully caught on yet.

Watching the vid a 2nd time. Some great interview snippets - they got better as the show went along. How about Phil playing the audience by slowly walking to the kit before the fill?

My understanding is that fill was based on the killer fill in Zappa's More Trouble Every Day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naFQ7KG_nHg#t=18s and that's how Chester became his drummer.

Loved the pre-solo warnings :)
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
See, this is what happens when people from the states try to understand things that originate in the UK, the irony is lost mid Atlantic. .
Despite being on this side of the pond, I've generally liked UK humor, even as a kid.
Benny Hill, Monty Pylon, Douglas Adams.

So I guess it's why I liked this too. LOL.

"I'm a lumber jack and I'm ok..."
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
No doubt drummers are second class citizens - and we will be until we get equal songwriting rights! A vocalist, pianist, guitarist or bassist etc can come up with a riff and it's treated by the law like gold, but when a drummer comes up with a riff it's expendable. No doubt drums are less influential in most compositions than melody instruments, but not always.

It would be interesting if Jimmy Carl Black and Zappa's estate sued Phil Collins for a share of In the Air because it's based on their fill.

But drummer jokes ... a bit of fun if oh-so-20th century, daaarling.

Another part of a vid I enjoyed - where Tommy Lee is air drumming When the Levee Breaks and then the original is seamlessly fast faded in. Nice tempo, Tommy.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, the documentary starts off with a few drummer jokes, but if you watch the whole thing, it slowly takes apart the jokes.

And ends with a bass player joke.

So it goes full circle.
I agree with this. Presented in a fairly naive style to paint a picture for the non musician masses, this contextualising is typical of BBC "catch all" style. The BBC is a publicly funded broadcasting organisation, & is sometimes a touch too neutral in it's public eyed balanced presentation.

Be thankful that drummers got their own program in this mini series. To justify that, there had to be a headline, & I think they dismantled the drummer joke ignorance perception adequately. Bass player, keyboard players, etc, had to share a program that concentrated on the "other" band members you never really get to hear about!

Jules Holland's quote said it all early in the program. He states, you can get away with an ok guitarist or keyboard player, but the drummer has to be first class. Well said Jules :)
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
This show wasn't written for drummers, it was written for the general public, who couldn't care less whether a drummer can play a triple paradiddle or whatever. If we choose to have out drum visuals biased towards drummers, then there's always Hudson Music. It was slightly dumb because it needed to be.
Totally agree... and for the "general" public likely to watch this documentary, it painted a realistic picture, without entering into (boring) details, such as technique, etc. ...but they did talk about drum solo!!! ...lol

(I liked Tommy Lee's comment "where are they going?!?... its the best part of the solo")

Another part of a vid I enjoyed - where Tommy Lee is air drumming When the Levee Breaks and then the original is seamlessly fast faded in. Nice tempo, Tommy.
Yes, me too ....very cool, I was impressed :)

Jules Holland's quote said it all early in the program. He states, you can get away with an ok guitarist or keyboard player, but the drummer has to be first class. Well said Jules :)
Agree, it echoes Sting's comment "A band's only as good as its drummer", I thought it was accurate :)

No, I'm not blonde. I was working age in the 60s. So obviously ...I'm grey !!
Haha, me too, I think it's called "salt & pepper" hair colour :)

I saw it when it first came out. I was a little disappointed as I thought it was going to be more "serious" - but as a bit of fun, it was ... well, a bit of fun
There you go!!! ...fun is the word :)
 

Daisy

Senior Member
I know what fun is. I also know what bad manners are. Good manners are rooted in consideration for others. Casual, repetitive piss-taking is not good manners. No "hatred" and "ostracism" involved, no "political correctness" - just bad manners.

Jumping at an easy target for a cheap laugh at their expense ... I don't see what's funny.
 

mikeyhanson

Silver Member
I don't see what's funny.
What I see that's funny is that they're NOT TRUE. That's what makes all those kinds of jokes funny. Drummers are so frequently the Together ones in the band, so much so that I think I could probably count all the truly deserving of the drummer jokes on one hand, if that. Every single profession has jokes like that.

Another thing I liked about the doc was that all the people interviewed had anywhere from a little to plenty self-deprecating humor, and they could roll with the barbs. Roger Taylor knows, even though there are jokes that say so, that it really doesn't take he and 99 of his drummer pals to screw in a lightbulb.

We are drummers. It's not an ethnicity. It's not a skin color. It is ability to play a musical instrument. I can screw in a lightbulb myself, and I know that. I also know that my drums can speak for themselves, and often do. And I always hear the best drummer jokes from fellow drummers.
 
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