Starting his career in the 1950s, Hal Blaine is best known as the drummer and founder of the legendary ‘Wrecking Crew’. He has recorded with numerous iconic artists such as Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, and many more. He lent his artistry to Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" productions, creating one of rock and roll's most recognizable beats. However, Blaine's talent does not stop at the conventional drum set. Some of his best-known songs include him drumming on water jugs for the Beach Boys' "Caroline, No" and dragging tire chains across a concrete floor for Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
During his impressive career, Hal Blaine has worked on nearly 6,000 tracks; of those, 350 have been Top 10 hits, and 40 have been No. 1’s. Hal worked on six consecutive Record Of The Year GRAMMY award-winning tracks between 1965 and 1970.
"What a wonderful new year surprise," said Blaine from his home in California. "How could this kid from Holyoke, Massachusetts get so lucky? So, if you're following your dream, it's out there and eventually, it'll happen for you too."
-- Hal Blaine
Copy of the rubber stamp Hal Blaine used to mark his drum charts and all of the numerous places where he performed. When asked about the stamp Hal said:
"I always stamped my charts… When I needed to find a piece of music quickly from a large pile, it was easy since each page already had my stamp on it”.
Blaine is widely regarded as one of the most prolific drummers in rock and roll history, having played on more hit records than any other drummer of his time.
From the Not So Modern Drummer Archives :
Shelly Manne said...
"The ride beat is the easiest and the most difficult thing a drummer will ever play".
Hal Blaine’s response :
"The ride beat is rhythmically simple, yet difficult to play with real feeling. To some drummers it is second nature…For others, the cymbal groove is continually elusive.
Listening to other drummers is key to mastering and understanding the various styles of ride cymbal time. Since every musician has their own distinctive style, one can learn something new from all of them.
Experience is also the key. The more you play with other musicians something magical begins to happen where everything just falls into place.
Depending on the style of music, sometimes a simple straight-ahead beat is all that’s needed.
Keeping good time is of primary importance. Centering on the ride cymbal will enhance your timekeeping skills while moving the groove forward. The ride beat itself is easy… Making it feel right takes years to develop."
ARTIST SERIES - Hal Blaine by Dom Famularo