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Obit: Hal Blaine, Wrecking Crew Drummer(1929-2019)

GUEST,bernieandred 12 Mar 19 - 12:28 PM
fat B****rd 12 Mar 19 - 12:32 PM
punkfolkrocker 12 Mar 19 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Ray 12 Mar 19 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 12 Mar 19 - 12:52 PM
Stringsinger 12 Mar 19 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,JHW 12 Mar 19 - 03:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Mar 19 - 07:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Mar 19 - 08:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Mar 19 - 12:51 AM
PHJim 14 Mar 19 - 11:51 PM
Joe Offer 16 Mar 19 - 02:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Mar 19 - 02:16 PM
Hagman 16 Mar 19 - 07:57 PM
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Subject: Hal Blaine, The Boxer, dies
From: GUEST,bernieandred
Date: 12 Mar 19 - 12:28 PM

Just seen on the BBC site that Wrecking Crew drummer Hal Blaine has passed at 90. He was the drummer on "The Boxer".


Thread title changed to reflect the long history with The Wrecking Crew - "The Boxer" was one performance only, not the work he is best known for. ---mudelf


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Subject: RE: Hal Blaine, The Boxer, dies
From: fat B****rd
Date: 12 Mar 19 - 12:32 PM

RIP Hal Blaine. It must be a safe bet that the vast majority of people here (Mudcat) have either danced to or owned a record that the gentleman played on.


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Subject: RE: Hal Blaine, The Boxer, dies
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 12 Mar 19 - 12:41 PM

but did he play Bodhrán...???


know what.. I wouldn't be surprised if a session called for it...

Utmost respect for all the Wrecking Crew and other notable anonymous backing musicians
from the glorious era of 1960s pop and soul...


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Subject: RE: Hal Blaine, drummer -"The Boxer" dies
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 12 Mar 19 - 12:47 PM

As far as I’m aware, the massive reverb on the Boxer drum track involved a lift shaft, a loudspeaker, a microphone and yards and yards of cable!


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Subject: RE: Hal Blaine, drummer -"The Boxer" dies
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 12 Mar 19 - 12:52 PM

Saying he was the drummer on 'The Boxer' is a bit of an understatement. He was the drummer on an astounding number of pop songs : List of recordings Hal Blaine played on


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Subject: RE: Hal Blaine, drummer -"The Boxer" dies
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Mar 19 - 01:03 PM

Roy Halee, the engineer/producer set mics along an elevator (lift) shaft and
boosted it with echo.


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Subject: RE: Hal Blaine, drummer -'The Boxer' dies
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 12 Mar 19 - 03:01 PM

They've been playing the intro to 'Be my, be my baby'
Those were the days. Real drummers. RIP.


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Subject: RE: Hal Blaine, drummer -'The Boxer' dies
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Mar 19 - 07:54 PM

Here is a National Public Radio (NPR) obit about the amazing Mr. Blaine. And he should really be noted as a member of the Wrecking Crew. That's where it all started.


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Subject: RE: Hal Blaine, drummer -'The Wrecking Crew" dies
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Mar 19 - 08:41 PM

A Fresh Air interview in 2001 with Terry Gross: https://www.npr.org/2015/03/13/392780627/drummer-hal-blaine-talks-about-making-music-over-the-years


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Subject: RE: Hal Blaine, drummer -'The Wrecking Crew' dies
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Mar 19 - 12:51 AM

From The New Yorker: The Drummer Hal Blaine Provided the Beat for American Music.

It includes a link to The Boxer that was mentioned in the original thread title.


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Subject: RE: Hal Blaine, drummer -'The Wrecking Crew' dies
From: PHJim
Date: 14 Mar 19 - 11:51 PM

Buttons & Bows - David Grisman and Hal Blaine


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hal Blaine, Wrecking Crew Drummer(1929-2019)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 02:02 PM

SRS linked to a 2015 rebroadcast of a 2001 Fresh Air interview. It was rebroadcast again this week.
The interview is absolutely fascinating. I didn't recognize Hal Blaine's name or the name of the Wrecking Crew, but I certainly recognized some of the samples Terry Gross played on the program -two pieces especially:
  • The eight drum beats at the beginning of "Be My Baby," by the Ronettes - that brief drum solo defined the whole song.
  • "A Taste of Honey," by the Tijuana Brass. The band starts out slowly, and Blaine says they were having trouble getting together on the piece. Then Blaine comes in with one of his distinctive drum licks - just four beats of the drum - and the song takes off.
What really blew me away, was that Blaine was the drummer on almost all of the Beach Boys recordings, and "official" Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson was often not present when the songs were recorded. Blaine did not explain how much he (Blaine) contributed to the live performances. I was also fascinated by the complimentary things Blaine had to say about the musicianship of Phil Spector and Frank Sinatra.

Take the time to listen to this interview. You'll learn a lot.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hal Blaine, Wrecking Crew Drummer(1929-2019)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 02:16 PM

I know! I loved that story about "A Taste of Honey." The drums are what really pull that song together.

The Phil Specter remarks were made in 2001 and Specter's reputation had not yet been tarnished by the 2007 trial. He might have made the remarks anyway since they were so involved in the music business, but he might not.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hal Blaine, Wrecking Crew Drummer(1929-2019)
From: Hagman
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 07:57 PM

Terrific anecdote in the New Yorker article referenced above:

"He (Blaine)especially enjoyed telling a story about Bruce Gary, of the Knack, who was once disappointed, Blaine said, to find out that “a dozen of his favorite drummers were me.”"


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