John Coughlan

LiveandDangerous

Junior Member
Genuinely can't believe there isn't a thread here, original drummer of the mighty Quo. Piledriver, Dog of Two Head, On The Level, Rockin All Over The World, his drumming is heard on arguably some of the finest all out rock songs ever written. I'm interested in whether people think he's a great drummer? I'm far too young to have seen the Frantic Four lineup live but having watched videos, they are a damn tight band, it is physically impossible not to tap your feet and dance to them. Arguably Coughlan is the person most responsible for the Quo sound, his thudding backbeat is so recognisable as Quo the second you hear it. Are there any Quo tunes that have a more complex drum pattern?
 
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iCe

Senior Member
First of all... Coghlan ;)

Very cool to see this! I grew up with Quo because my dad is a fan of the band. I was born in 1984, so i never got to see the original line-up live. First time was in 1992 and then 2000. Went with my dad to the reunion gig in 2013 and 2014, so luckily i experienced the original line up live (although they weren't running on stage live in 1976 hehe). Stopped going to Quo after the supposed to be farewell tour in 2016; doesn't sound the same now since Rick is gone.

One of the influential drummers when i started out drumming in 1999/2000, together with Pete Kircher (because he's on the the first 2 live VHS tapes). Learned how to drum by playing along the tunes on tape and cd. Like you said, solid backbeat and great groove. Also great music if you want a bit more up to beat shuffle. The drumgrooves on the earlier songs are more interesting to me then the later works, but Quo isn't know for technical prowess and complex stuff (compared to let's say Rush or Pink Floyd). But what i see a lot of drummers doing wrong; the shuffle. The drive and power from some songs come really from playing a solid shuffle on the hi-hat and not (what i see a lot) straight 8th notes.

What is challenging, are the longer tracks or the tracks with multiple sections/grooves/feels;

Railroad
Big Fat Mama
Slow Train
Mystery Song (the complete song with the swing intro)
Come Rock With me/Rockin' On
Breaking Away
And ofcourse the greatest Quo song of all time;
Forty Five Hundred Times

I love playing 4500 times because;
a) it's a great song
b) it's has a huge instrumental part referencing older material (Is it really me?/Gotto Go Home)
c) is a great workout for the right hand; playing a shuffle for 80% of the time at various tempo's is a killer, especially if you play the 20 minute live at the nec version

And finally; John is responsible for getting me on to splashes and tambourines hehe
 

Pootle

Well-known member
Well In the Army Now was the first album I bought on tape when I was around 9 or 10 years old!

Saw the Quo live about 10 times between 1990-2015 and saw the Frantic Four play during the first reunion tour. No doubt that Coghlan had a great shuffle and feel on the early albums, very distinctive and gave Quo their sound. His drumming on the Hello, Blue for You and Rocking All Over the World albums were a major influence for me and to this day I always enjoy cranking up the volume on Roll Over Lay Down for that groove. I think he had a better natural shuffle than say Mick Fleetwood who was also touted at the time.

I don't think any of the dummers since have got close to Coghlan but saying that Quo are a different band to what they were in the 70s. I did like Jeff Rich though, very 90s, plus I loved his OTT drumkits with cages and 1,000s of cymbals!

Last saw them play December 2015 but like ICE, I haven't been since Parfitt died just not the same.
 

iCe

Senior Member
I don't think any of the dummers since have got close to Coghlan but saying that Quo are a different band to what they were in the 70s. I did like Jeff Rich though, very 90s, plus I loved his OTT drumkits with cages and 1,000s of cymbals!
Oh yeah! I always wanted that kit and still love the one Jeff used on the 'Rocking through the years' live gig (1989 i believe).

Speaking of drumming... perhaps I'm going to do a drum cover this afternoon
 

Pootle

Well-known member
His white Tama kit in the cage, yeah that was very cool. I reckon he must have been paid pretty well with the Quo as he always seemed to have some much gear. I think I loved his Premier more, the cage was incredible. You've probably seen this 100 times before but this version of the Roadhouse Blues medeley is awesome, so tight

Yeah, going to work on that Coghlan shuffle this afternoon!
 
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iCe

Senior Member
Haha yes you could say i've seen it at least... 4500 times :cool:

Back to topic, i love this solo! Especially the 'splash solo' around 2:56

 

LiveandDangerous

Junior Member
First of all... Coghlan ;)

Very cool to see this! I grew up with Quo because my dad is a fan of the band. I was born in 1984, so i never got to see the original line-up live. First time was in 1992 and then 2000. Went with my dad to the reunion gig in 2013 and 2014, so luckily i experienced the original line up live (although they weren't running on stage live in 1976 hehe). Stopped going to Quo after the supposed to be farewell tour in 2016; doesn't sound the same now since Rick is gone.

One of the influential drummers when i started out drumming in 1999/2000, together with Pete Kircher (because he's on the the first 2 live VHS tapes). Learned how to drum by playing along the tunes on tape and cd. Like you said, solid backbeat and great groove. Also great music if you want a bit more up to beat shuffle. The drumgrooves on the earlier songs are more interesting to me then the later works, but Quo isn't know for technical prowess and complex stuff (compared to let's say Rush or Pink Floyd). But what i see a lot of drummers doing wrong; the shuffle. The drive and power from some songs come really from playing a solid shuffle on the hi-hat and not (what i see a lot) straight 8th notes.
Yes, an oversight spelling his name wrong, that's very much my bad! If the thread title can be amended by a Mod or whoever then please do!

And I agree. One of the things I love about Quo is the rawness. Technically a lot of their songs would, at first glance, seem simple. But there are few bands that are as tight and have as much feel as they do, or at least did in their heyday. I read once that the band would keep mistakes in when recording if that particular track felt right to them, had that something that all musicians strive for - a groove. Otherwise it just sounds like a drum loop and frankly who wants to listen to that?

Listen to something like Gerdundula and it's very different to a lot of Quo tracks, but it's got a great shuffle to it. Likewise I don't know about anybody else but I've always preferred Quo's Roadhouse Blues to The Doors, especially when they let loose on it live.

In terms of other Quo drummers, I am not a slave to the Frantic Four and I really like a lot of the more keyboard based, catchy tunes from the 80s and beyond so Jeff Rich is responsible for a lot of that. In fact one of my fondest memories at any gig is the first time I saw Quo live around 2013 and they finished with Burning Bridges, the entire stadium bopping in unison, absolutely magical. I reckon being the drummer in Quo must be one of the best/most fun gigs to have. Some people sneer at Quo but when your music can make thousands of people bop, dance and headbang you are doing something right.

I am only recently catching up with the newer albums and 2011's Quid Pro Quo has been on heavy rotation in my house.
 
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iCe

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The only mistake that pops to mind now is that if you listen closely to 'Softer Ride' on the Hello! album, in the intro you can hear a door being closed. Roughly around 0:19 mark. At least, that is what my ears tell me what I'm hearing haha

Gert-und-Ula (inside fan joke :sneaky:) is a great song indeed! Heard live a couple of times and just very amusing to watch how they fool around and play eachother's guitar while walking on stage haha.

Although I like most of the Quo catalog, my heart goes out to everything from 'Dog of Two Head' until 'Never Too Late'. After that it gets a bit too pop oriented, but I still like all those songs. Guess indeed that after John walked away their sound changed. Although they're not as raw as the earlier work. That being said... i think some B-Sides after 1986 are one of the best songs and can't believe they're cut from the albums.
Anyway, i have some friends that were really interested in a Quo gig after hearing all my enthusiastic rabble and went with me to check it out. And they we're blown away. People jumping, singing along, how tight the music is...

And Burning Bridges is indeed a great song to jump on to, just like 'Hold Your Back'. It's impossible not to do that haha
I always dreamed about being the drummer for Quo and when Leon Cave got the job i jealously thought 'darn it, he's my age, could have been me!' haha

Since a year and half or so I've picked up to guitar just to jam to some Quo songs. I have Rick's DVD and every once in a while i pick up the guitar to play some songs. Really crappy though, but it's really a great feeling when i nail a part. I even got a second guitar, so i can tune it in a G-tuning for songs like Rain, Mystery Song, Hold You Back and Down Down. If i put effort in it (like play everyday), i would become proficient in it, but that means pressure and takes the fun out of it haha
 

LiveandDangerous

Junior Member
Certainly Quo is my favourite for discipline when I'm practising, holding down that backbeat on Roadhouse Blues for seven minutes plus is a great workout.

Did Coghlan do much other work of significance after Quo? I read about the Diesel project but haven't heard much of their stuff.
 

iCe

Senior Member
Certainly Quo is my favourite for discipline when I'm practising, holding down that backbeat on Roadhouse Blues for seven minutes plus is a great workout.

Did Coghlan do much other work of significance after Quo? I read about the Diesel project but haven't heard much of their stuff.
From what I've read/found so far is that he didn't really was musically active after leaving Quo, besides his own 'coverband' John Coghlan's Quo for the last years. I do follow him on Facebook and most of the times it's posts about JCQ.
 
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blinky

Senior Member
Certainly Quo is my favourite for discipline when I'm practising, holding down that backbeat on Roadhouse Blues for seven minutes plus is a great workout.

Did Coghlan do much other work of significance after Quo? I read about the Diesel project but haven't heard much of their stuff.
I saw Diesel 25 years ago or so, didn't leave any impression other that he was a very good blues/rock drummer.
 
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