Fred Astaire was THE MAN!!

DrumWild

Senior Member
The man truly had rhythm in his step, as well as an excessive amount of hyper-awareness of his personal space. He doesn't look for a drum. He just knows it's there. And he's not on a throne, which would serve as an anchor for our own awareness of personal space -- an anchor into reality. So he always knows where all of the drums are, and he always knows where he's standing, moving, and stopping, and all of those relationships update in real time, no latency.

I could try some of those sweet moves. But I just know that I'd kick a hole through a drum, or break my ankle hitting it wrong, kick something over, miss and over-extending into a serious injury. It's a big list. I'm just saying that my attempt of this is something that would most definitely not go well, and would end most tragically.

Even with all of that physical, rhythmic stuff, he's still got to subconsciously dedicate energy into being charming. Or maybe that's all natural. He's working really hard, and yet he's got us convinced that it's all so easy for him. I have to actually stop and think about it, to have any awareness that he's got human limitations.

He's got my respect.
 
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Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Yes, I love Fred Astaire.

Here's something kind of cool:

In 1957, my Dad was called in to enhance a Fred Astaire dance routine in the film Silk Stockings. The MGM Orchestra had already recorded the music but Fred wanted drum accents and added drum riffs. So my Dad edited the sheet music and played the drum part overdubbing the original orchestra part.

Here is the dance routine from the movie with my Dad on drums. He played the overdubbed drum accents and riffs to go with Fred's dancing: https://youtu.be/7u5vO7LSmUs

I still have the sheet music. It was called Part 2 because they were adding more drums to the sound track.
It's hard to see the pencil revisions my Dad made in this particular picture of the sheet music.





Here is my dad with Fred in 1957.






.
 
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JustJames

Platinum Member
Awesome stuff, OP and Jim!

Notice the 'low hats' in that vid...

Remember: Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels!
 

beatz808

Junior Member
awesome performance. i enjoyed watching it. i can't believe the control he had to not kick through the heads.
 

single-ply

Senior Member
Yes, I love Fred Astaire.

Here's something kind of cool:

In 1957, my Dad was called in to enhance a Fred Astaire dance routine in the film Silk Stockings. The MGM Orchestra had already recorded the music but Fred wanted drum accents and added drum riffs. So my Dad edited the sheet music and played the drum part overdubbing the original orchestra part.

Here is the dance routine from the movie with my Dad on drums. He played the overdubbed drum accents and riffs to go with Fred's dancing: https://youtu.be/7u5vO7LSmUs

I still have the sheet music. It was called Part 2 because they were adding more drums to the sound track.
It's hard to see the pencil revisions my Dad made in this particular picture of the sheet music.





Here is my dad with Fred in 1957.






.
Very cool Jim. Great connect to Astaire! So the overdubbed hits are the housetop marks on the original part? Not 100% sure what I'm looking at.
 

single-ply

Senior Member
Oh, it's clear to me. Perhaps I should've watched the clip before I asked question!

Still, very cool that your dad did that! Kinda sounds like MGM's answer to Bill Haley and your dad gave it what it was lacking in the original recording.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Cool history Jim.

Definitely won’t see that with our computer generated tracks these days. Actually, not much talent commingled out of Hollywood anymore. Just taking the old stuff, throwing it in a blender and apply some CGI magic and voila!

Never knew Fred Estaire killed it on drums too. That’s awesome!
 

MJD

Silver Member
Yes, I love Fred Astaire.

Here's something kind of cool:

In 1957, my Dad was called in to enhance a Fred Astaire dance routine in the film Silk Stockings. The MGM Orchestra had already recorded the music but Fred wanted drum accents and added drum riffs. So my Dad edited the sheet music and played the drum part overdubbing the original orchestra part.

Here is the dance routine from the movie with my Dad on drums. He played the overdubbed drum accents and riffs to go with Fred's dancing: https://youtu.be/7u5vO7LSmUs

I still have the sheet music. It was called Part 2 because they were adding more drums to the sound track.
It's hard to see the pencil revisions my Dad made in this particular picture of the sheet music.





Here is my dad with Fred in 1957.






.
This is an interesting tune as it's the only "rock" song that Cole Porter ever wrote and shows the difficulty that generation of hit-makers had in adjusting to the new sound at that point in their careers. After writing countless hits for 40 years "rock" stumped them because where they had been slowly building up the sophistication and learnedness of American pop music for that period of time all of a sudden the were being asked to write something with less sophistication than American pop music had when they started their careers. They end up making fun of it because, lets face it, it was too simple and unsophisticated to warrant their attention or energy. A cultural artifact if ever there was one. Also i love seeing the handwritten sheets. Very cool.
 

pgcdrum

Junior Member
Very cool, brings back fantastic memories watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies with my mom. We both would get up and dance, thank you, special times, and I can't dance.
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
Yea this shows up here every few years, or maybe just one other time, Im a little crispy. Amazing video and a real eye opener to the mans' talent. THE MAN indeed!! Thanks for posting, never get tired of watching.


Hollywood....your Dad was THE MAN as well, love your stories of him and pics, sooooo amazing. As far as drumming goes, your Dad could beat up my Dad any day of the week and twice on Sundays!! Total stud
 

mikel

Platinum Member
A true legend and the most rhythmic dancer I have ever seen. He looked like he was dancing even when he walked.
 

philrudd

Senior Member
That dude was a serious athlete. Try wiggling your knees like he did and popping up to kick a bass drum dead center.
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
Great, thanks a lot PhilRudd I just kicked a hole in my bass drum head and then fell over, causing a domino effect knocking over my entire kit. Taking your comments with a grain of salt from here on out. You did that on purpose, not my kind of forum, Im outta here!
 

philrudd

Senior Member
Great, thanks a lot PhilRudd I just kicked a hole in my bass drum head and then fell over, causing a domino effect knocking over my entire kit. Taking your comments with a grain of salt from here on out. You did that on purpose, not my kind of forum, Im outta here!
That was irresponsible posting on my part. I'd best include a disclaimer next time. I accept all blame.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
That was irresponsible posting on my part. I'd best include a disclaimer next time. I accept all blame.
LOL. Yeah, like if we post videos of our playing we should add a disclaimer:
"This was performed by a trained professional, don't try this at home".


.
 
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