Questions and origins of a fill...THE fill. I need your help. A musical think tank.

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hurst2112

Junior Member
I'll try to be brief but I know I won't be.

I was skimming through Spotify today and played a favorite KISS track of mine, Makin' Love. I then followed my music path to some Rush (my favorite band, hence the username). I listened to 2112. I quickly realized that both albums were released in 1976. I then realized that 2 of the coolest drum fills were recorded that year. Peter's 8 tom fill on the outro chorus of Makin' Love and Neil's 8 drum fill on the 2nd half of 2112's Presentation (although we know he has about 4 of these big fills on the record). Neil's fill was released before Peter's. Since they toured together, they probably played those fills on the same night, many times. That got me thinking. I posted this to twitter and to facebook. I've had some FB dialog with some of my friends but it hasn't been enough to answer my question:

Who was the first drummer to play this fill on record?

Here's the criteria:

#The fill has to involve more than 4 toms. It can include a snare but it HAS to have more than 4 toms. I'll accept timbales or bongos in the fill.

#The fill has to be at least 1 measure long and no longer than 4 measures. Billy Cobham fills that are less than a measure can't be included. It needs to be a drummer saying 'this is my transition...'

#It has to be part of the song structure. This leaves out Nick Mason's 'Time' intro, 'In A Gadda Da Vida' drum break (although the jury is still out about other fills in the song). It can't be 'The Black Page' or other song featuring percussion or a drum breakdown. I'd prefer it to not be an ostinato pattern or rhythmic beat.

#It can be any rhythm or meter. If there's a song with a fill that is 5 quater notes on 5 different drums, and it's before 1975 (note below), it counts.

#It has to be a studio recording of a song


I'm trying to find the EARLIEST version of this fill. There has to be a guy who had the nuts to put it on record for the first time. In the course of FB-ing my friends, I've come up with several good discussions that have led to 'past 1976', 'he only played 4 toms', 'that doesn't fall under the rules', etc. It's been great to have several friends start playing music we may have not listened to in years, just to find the earliest song and wait for someone else to find an even earlier version.

Over the last 8 hours, I've concluded that the earliest recorded song to fit all my rules is Rush's 1975 'Bastille Day' (IMO a 7 drum fill). The fill in the half time outro. I'll admit, I was at work and couldn't listen to several suggestions or thoughts that I have had about earlier submissions. Some of the 'What about Moon and Palmer?' questions I was looking forward to checking out this weekend. I'm almost confident that 1975 is (at least) MY earliest date based on my Rocklopedia brain database.

Let's have some fun. It should at least get a good discussion going. I don't want to debate if it's the BEST fill. It's a total rock, more is more fill that some of us 40-something drummers gravitated towards. I really think that it will at least stir everybody's music fandom and have us all listening to songs we may have not otherwise bothered to listen to in the next couple weeks. I look forward to songs that don't make the criteria and the discussions as to why.

Thanks for participating. Rock on

daryll hurst
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
If you're talking about a run down 8 toms, that would be Hal Blaine on Al Wilson's "The Snake", released August, 1968. Although it was 16ths and not triplets, that was undoubtedly the first time an 8-tom fill was recorded. And in Hal's case, that would have been 7 concert toms and a floor tom. :)

Bermuda
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I think the Chinese paigu players have been doing runs on toms for eons. Is it a coincidence that the first tom-tom's were Chinese tack head toms? I think not. They probably have inscriptions carved in qin dynasty tombs in rocks that describe paigu drum rolls.

There is a nice roll down the tom-tom's at 33 during the intro to leaping tigers flying dragons.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Hey Joe is full of tom runs, but doesn't fit the rules because of number of toms Mitch Mitchell used. This is simply not fair. Mitchell was a monster who could seamlessly fit huge tom rolls into everything. Go listen to Hey Joe (1967) and explain why those fills aren't big or ballsy enough. Same with My Generation (1965), the whole album. Again, tons of huge fills. Maybe not as many drums, but still full of massive fills. They should count too.

And not as early as the two I mentioned, but Black Sabbath's War Pigs (1970) is chock full of massive tom runs also, and predates Rush and Kiss (but not The Snake).
 

hurst2112

Junior Member
Hey Joe is full of tom runs, but doesn't fit the rules because of number of toms Mitch Mitchell used. This is simply not fair. Mitchell was a monster who could seamlessly fit huge tom rolls into everything. Go listen to Hey Joe (1967) and explain why those fills aren't big or ballsy enough. Same with My Generation (1965), the whole album. Again, tons of huge fills. Maybe not as many drums, but still full of massive fills. They should count too.

And not as early as the two I mentioned, but Black Sabbath's War Pigs (1970) is chock full of massive tom runs also, and predates Rush and Kiss (but not The Snake).
I chose the rules because of the 2 fills I heard that started this. Obviously, they aren't the best fills but I always like how gaudy and pompous long run fills could be. That's why I chose more than 4 toms.

Yeah. We could spend all day talking about best fills on 4 or less toms. Definitely quality in the 60s there.
 

hurst2112

Junior Member
If you're talking about a run down 8 toms, that would be Hal Blaine on Al Wilson's "The Snake", released August, 1968. Although it was 16ths and not triplets, that was undoubtedly the first time an 8-tom fill was recorded. And in Hal's case, that would have been 7 concert toms and a floor tom. :)

Bermuda
Dang. I wish it could have went a little longer but I did tell myself "Somebody is gonna know for sure if you post here."

Thanks for the answer. I did think of Hal when I posted on Facebook but wasn't familiar enough with The Snake.

Now to fill in the list of drummers from 68-75 who fit the category. 😁
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Now to fill in the list of drummers from 68-75 who fit the category
Well, there's Hal, and then that other time it was also Hal, then Jim Gordon did a thing, then Hal. Oh yeah, Hal did it some more after that. Then Gene Simmons heard it and made Peter Criss play it. :)
 

hurst2112

Junior Member
Yes to KISS spot.

For Rush, 5:49 fill. But the one you pointed out is great too and would count under the rules. 😀
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
Not caring too much about who recorded that first fill, but listening to that KISS track again (could be 25 years ago since i heard the last time) proves again that there were not many rock bands better than KISS from 1974 till 1977..

Really awesome track that is..
 

hurst2112

Junior Member
Not caring too much about who recorded that first fill, but listening to that KISS track again (could be 25 years ago since i heard the last time) proves again that there were not many rock bands better than KISS from 1974 till 1977..

Really awesome track that is..
They did write some great tunes. Not the best recorded but that's another debate.

They had tons of cool riffs and lyrics.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Ah I get it if you follow the lyrics. "He found an ancient symbol", and on the cover of the album is a pentagram, signifying the paigu which are a row of five drums tuned pentatonically, it makes perfect sense.
@2:38 the fun starts
@0:49 gets it started with tom roll.
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
Are you a drummer?
I was. Why?
My question was because I can´t understand what is the reason behind concentrating on that, when before and after just in one tune there are tons of drummers that played dozens of more interesting fills than those outlined? (there are other reasons, but would make my message too long)

What is comming next, "Who was the first drummer WITH GREEN EYES that played a one bar fill on a a 4 pice set?"

That stuff is for "the people" not for REAL musicians...

 

hurst2112

Junior Member
Wow man. Not for real musicians. Alright.

I worked in recording studios in the Minneapolis area for 10 years. As an engineering, not a drummer. I worked on some major label stuff but mostly local and regional. Big range of talents and personalities.

You would probably be amazed how many of these conversations were brought up all the time. You know why? Because music lovers are passionate and think about these things.

It's an iconic drum fill that triggered an emotion and thus had me and a group of friends thinking about music history. I posted that passion here and got some responses that seemed to be in favor...and yours. I could sense a couple days ago that you were setting up for something with your questions.

If you think I'm not a real musician, or people who think of these things is not a real musician... that's fine. I suspect you and I perceive music differently. I'll certainly choose my way.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
What is comming next, "Who was the first drummer WITH GREEN EYES that played a one bar fill on a a 4 pice set?"
First one I can think of is Mike Gibbins with Badfinger, but there must have been one before him.

Many of the fills he did copied Ringo. Rather, they copied Paul copying Ringo. :)

Bermuda
 

hurst2112

Junior Member
First one I can think of is Mike Gibbins with Badfinger, but there must have been one before him.

Many of the fills he did copied Ringo. Rather, they copied Paul copying Ringo. :)

Bermuda
I met Mike at my hometown's yearly music fest. I was in a band that was performing on Sunday (local bands) and we had backstage passes all weekend. Local restaurants were catering in food. Saturday was broasted chicken from The Villa. My guitarist and I sat with Mike during lunch. He was shirtless, ate about 6 pcs of chicken while telling Joey 'I want the drums on the floor. We're a 3 piece.' (Drums were on a riser. Joey walking around the tent telling him 'Don't panic Mike'.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
That stuff is for "the people" not for REAL musicians...
I think Hurst2112's question was perfectly legitimate, and I further believe that your observation, above, puts that question in an interesting perspective. It's easy to name hit song after hit song that was made memorable by a drum pattern that "REAL musicians" might consider simplistic or "showy." But those drum parts helped to define those songs just as surely as a simplistic - but memorable - guitar hook.

GeeDeeEmm
 
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