Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Drumming Life

I've really suffered no lingering effects from being a drummer.
You'll have to talk louder if you expect me to hear you. I was saying I've suffered no lingering effects from being a drummer most of my natural life - though it's pretty weird seeing "drummer" and "natural life" there in the same sentence like that.

The truth is, I was a drummer for many years and I'm here to tell you that all that stuff you've heard about drummers being users of major hallucinogenic drugs is pure baloney. In fact it's a GIANT CHARTREUSE BALONEY, and it's humming "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"!

Drummers are just a little offbeat, that's all. This is because the constant subdividing of time actually severs the brain fibers by which one thought is linked to another, with the result that drummers are very good at misunderstanding everything in great detail.

You folks who have some connection to drummers, such as a parent-child or other professional relationship, know what I mean.

And you know the next thing I'll say about drummers - the most salient and important thing that you could all just scream out in unison: Drummers must tap on everything! (All heads nod rapidly.)

There is no object in the world, anywhere, any time, that will not be drummed upon by a drummer, if it can be reached. There is no object, however rough, ugly, moldy or covered with insect carcasses, that will not be given at least and experimental roll in passing, if not a full-blown Carl Palmer solo
with two-minute bass drum roll and gong hammering.

And you know how this can lead to trouble, such as when your drummer goes to church, and all heads are bowed, and a persistent noise begins to fill the silence, emanating from your bench.

"What is that?"
"What is what?"
"That tapping."
"Tapping? That just happens to be 'Channel One Suite' by Buddy Rich!
"Well stop it!"
"But I'm not even to the cymbal work."

Yes, it gets annoying. But, looked at another way, it's at least excusable: Drumming is a drummer's basic mode of interaction with the world. Newton saw a world of mass and velocity, Einstein of light and energy. But drummers know the world only as rhythm and tone. Freud showed us the personality consisting of Id, Ego and Superego. In drummers there is a fourth component: walking bass.

In the long run I suppose that drummers are more than offbeat. Maybe through their constant tapping they're trying to syncopate with the Rhythm that holds us all together. Maybe, deep down, they hope we'll all get in touch with the same beat. There are worse hopes, it seems to me.

(Tappitta tap tap tap...)