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Buddy Rich Official Website
Update 2013.08.05

I am a bit of a drum snob in that I don’t know a piece of music that could not be improved with some percussion. Classical music included! As a drummer, however, I am surprisingly not a fan of drum solo’s. There is one exception…Buddy Rich.

He had the most wicked left hand that I have ever seen. I’ve watched his contemporaries as well as some of today’s greats and I still can’t find an equal. He did more with 4 skins than some guys do with 12. He played a single bass, but because he was so fast on his 2 floor toms it often sounded like a double kick.

Rich had a style that kept me, and every other serious drummer, glued to the screen in an attempt to dissect his technique. And as you can see from these two videos, it was quite difficult because he was so fast that film could barely keep up.

The first video starts as a bit of comedy with Jerry Lewis and leads into a very early solo that defined his incredible style.

This second video cuts in on the solo from his West Side Story Medley. There is a spot at about 1:38 where he’s playing the hi-hat with his right hand and both controlling the cymbals and striking them with the left hand. If you’re not a drummer you have probably never seen anything like it.

There are lots of great Buddy Rich tie-ins but the three MP3 Albums that I’ve selected are excellent introductions to Buddy Rich as well pure Big Band/Jazz/Swing classics.

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy includes Channel One Suite, a favorite of solo enthusiasts but a great jazz/band classic as well.

Big Swing Face is also classic Buddy. If you just wanted a jazz/big band album, this is the one you should have in your collection.

The Best Of Buddy Rich/The Pacific Jazz Years contains West Side Story Medley, considered the quintessential Buddy Rich tune. If you want unadulterated Buddy Rich, get this one.

Buddy Rich: Up Close is the DVD I wanted as a kid. It includes close up and varied angles so you can get a better look at his drumming genius. I have included a link to the DVD below, but Buddy Rich: Up Close is also available for digital purchase or rent at Amazon.com.

Buddy Rich Live At The 1982 Montreal Jazz Festival is just that, a great concert just a few years before he passed.

And something very special, the Kindle version of Mel Torme’s biography of Buddy called Traps – The Drum Wonder: The Life of Buddy Rich. Mel was a great artist in his own right, but here he writes about “Traps” in a way that could only be accomplished by a life-long friend.

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My present tag line is from the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman. The line comes after Luke (Paul Newman) issues a sarcastic response to the “Captain,” the prison warden (Strother Martin).

Lucas Jackson is a decorated World War II vet who finds himself on the work detail of a sadistic prison camp in 1940′s Florida.

The pertinent scene has the Captain explaining to Luke, who is being fitted with leg irons after a short lived escape, that the clinking of the chains would serve as a reminder of all the things that the Captain had been telling him. It is, the Captain assures, for Luke’s own good.

I originally posted a clip of the scene right here, but the powers-that-be blocked embedding. Even the trailer lost it’s home at Warner Brothers. So here’s what happens next: Luke replies to the Captain, “Wish you’d stop bein’ so good to me Cap’n,” and then the Captain gets real mad and hits Luke while screaming, “Don’t you ever talk that way to me. Never! Never!” As Luke tumbles down a hill the Captain exclaims, “What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate,” and some other stuff. (The “a” is implied.)

The line is used extensively in the movie trailer which appears to have settled at Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

A good movie entertains, occupies the mind for a brief time. A great movie draws you in. Cool Hand Luke drew me in. The characters were so fascinating, so different, that I had to watch. Something about the antiheroic Luke was familiar and compelling. It didn’t seem to matter if it were the guards or the other prisoners, Luke refused to be broken, almost as if he had to prove to himself that he could successfully resist.

In fact, in the opening scene, Luke seems like a man fully intending to get himself arrested. Clearly drunk, he is methodically removing the heads of parking meters with a large pipe cutter when police arrive. During his induction he clearly signals his disdain through body language and an incessant smirk.

In one scene, at the end of a long list of rules that, if violated, would result in the inmate spending “a night in the box” Carr, the Floor Walker (Cliffton James), explains each rule, stressing the penalty.

“Any man forgets his number spends a night in the box…Any man loses his spoon spends a night in the box…Any man playing grab-ass or fighting in the building spends a night in the box…Any man not in his bunk at eight spends the night in the box…Any man caught smoking in the prone position in bed spends a night in the box…Any man turns in the wrong sheet spends a night in the box…Any man with dirty pants on sitting on the bunks spends a night in the box…Any man don’t bring back his empty pop bottle spends a night in the box…Any man loud talkin’ spends a night in the box…”

As he’s concluding he adds, “You got questions, you come to me. I’m Carr, the Floor Walker. I’m responsible for order in here. Any man don’t keep order spends a night in…”

Luke, again smirking, finishes Carr’s sentence, “…the box.”

Carr gives a stern look and says to Luke, “I hope you ain’t gonna be a hard case.”

Luke is, in fact, going to be a hard case.

I’ve decided to open my first t-shirt shop with this tag line and I have two t-shirts ready. Both are heavy duty 100% pre-shrunk cotton shirts that are custom printed using an amazing process called “flex printing” which can actually outlast the t-shirt materials. This design is my first available commercially.

failure to communicate violation on black

failure to communicate - violation

Available in white for $21 and black for $19 they make the perfect gift for the non-conformist in your life (even if that’s you). (The white shirt uses 3 colors, black, red and white, to create the same design using 2 colors, white and red, on the black shirt; which explains the small price difference.)

Here are some additional tie-ins from Amazon. The Deluxe Edition DVD, soundtrack CD, and if you’re a book lover, the novel by Donn Pierce. (I didn’t find an MP3 of the soundtrack but as soon as it’s available, I’ll update my links accordingly. Ya know, ’cause that’s what I do.)

© copyright anakrino publishing

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The Concert For Bangladesh Official Website

On August 1, 1971, an amazing group of musicians gathered for the first mega-benefit concert in history. Ravi Shankar, an Indian musician, asked his friend George Harrison for help raising funds for the people of Bangladesh following devastating floods and military atrocities affecting millions. Within weeks The Concert for Bangladesh was organized and scheduled for Madison Square Garden in New York City.

George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Billy Preston, Klaus Voorman, Jim Keltner, Carl Radle, Jesse Ed Davis, Jim Horn, Don Preston, Don Nix, Badfinger, Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan performed an incredible set in two appearances. The two concerts were filmed and edited into one production that was released to theaters in 1972.

Bangla Desh, written by George Harrison, begins with these lyrics: “My friend came to me, with sadness in his eyes. He told me that he wanted help, before his country dies. Although I couldn’t feel the pain, I knew I had to try. Now I’m asking all of you, to help us save some lives.” An incredible song in its own right.

In recognition of the 40 year anniversary of The Concert for Bangladesh, iTunes released the entire album in digital form with most of the individual songs available separately. All sales benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.

iTunes Exclusive

And over at Amazon there is the remastered CD of The Concert for Bangladesh as well as the Limited Deluxe Edition DVD which includes the restored and remixed concert with previously unseen performances, and a documentary of the concert.

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