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larryace

"Uncle Larry"

How does Alex do that intro?

The intro sounds exactly like a Harley idling.

I understand that what I thought were bass drums (the very first thing you hear) are really Simmons drums. I can't verify it though.

I wanted to pick the collective brain here.

I'm trying to figure out if any of it was overdubbed, it sure sounds like it.

Any known facts to share?
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I can't even imagine the brothers coming up with this song. All the parts of this song are challenging-it's almost like the two of them were trying to outdo the other. But what I read is different. State it took four bass drums to produce idling motorcycle sound. https://ultimateclassicrock.com/van-halen-1984-track-by-track/
So pretty much eliminates anyone doing a "Cover" because whose going to gig with 4 bass drums LOL.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
This drum intro is mentioned in Rick Beato’s Top 20 Drum Intros. He thinks AV used Simmons pads for the kick & toms, but doesn’t elaborate. I stick with the belief it was done live in the studio, ‘cuz after all, he’s gotta play it live in concert.
Funny thing about that - it doesn't seem that he played that intro live. I can't say that he never did, but live recordings from 1984 that I have heard don't include it.

I can't even imagine the brothers coming up with this song. All the parts of this song are challenging-it's almost like the two of them were trying to outdo the other. But what I read is different. State it took four bass drums to produce idling motorcycle sound. https://ultimateclassicrock.com/van-halen-1984-track-by-track/
So pretty much eliminates anyone doing a "Cover" because whose going to gig with 4 bass drums LOL.
I wonder where this writer got the info? It would be interesting to have the definitive account of how it was recorded.

In any case, my opinion is that it was a studio creation. That's just how it sounds to me, and the fact they played the song live without that drum intro supports it.

(Of course, now someone will come up with a recording of him playing the intro live in '84, lol. If so, that's great! More power to him. I think Alex is a great drummer, no matter how the intro was recorded.)

EDIT - turns out *I'm* the one who found a video of him playing it live! Looks like he's playing the intro on floor tom.
 
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Mustion

Senior Member
I thought I read somewhere that it's a couple different tracks layered which gives it the aforementioned revving Harley sound (what an apt description)
 

brentcn

Platinum Member

How does Alex do that intro?

The intro sounds exactly like a Harley idling.

I understand that what I thought were bass drums (the very first thing you hear) are really Simmons drums. I can't verify it though.

I wanted to pick the collective brain here.

I'm trying to figure out if any of it was overdubbed, it sure sounds like it.

Any known facts to share?
I have heard the master tape files from the session, in person, in a post production studio. As you might expect, the engineer at the session had come across the master files illegally. The recording starts off with the simmons pads, playing the alternating herta licks and whatnot, then the drum tracks (the bass drums, played with feet) come in over that. The simmons pads were on a separate audio track; it would appear that the bass drums were recorded on top of (i.e. along with) the simmons track. After the simmons track and bass drums go for a bit, the tom notes appear on the drums track. The simmons track ends when the cymbals enter, and the guitar solo begins.

Obviously, the simmons track was recorded separately from the drums tracks. It was likely recorded first, and then the double bass and toms were laid over it. Sorry to destroy the mystique...
 

TxGroove

Junior Member
If you listen to the start of it it sounds like there are two tracks blended together. Then it turns into just one normal flow. Thats how i hear it
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
That article I quoted makes you wonder do they just make up stuff in in these magazines/journalism. LOL. Brenton's explanation seems way more plausible than 4 bass drums-why not 6-good grief. I'm surprised it didn't state it was Bernard Purdie on drums in the recording-he could add that to his credit like The Beatles LOL.
 
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