Monday, April 18, 2011

"Why in the world are we here?"

While clearing out a Google Doc, I came upon a link to this list: "A Drummer's Favorite Drum Songs." The first entry is worth posting in full; see below. (And if you scroll down the list, you'll find some more love for The Beatles.)

“Instant Karma!” is not, at least on the surface, a technically complex song, particularly on the drums. But it is extremely potent; people have identified with its message for years, and it’s become almost a rallying cry for peace. But for me, what transforms the song from a straightforward anthem to an indisputable classic is one little drum fill. It kicks in during the second verse. John Lennon shouts, “Why in the world are we here?” And suddenly, from seeming nothingness, Alan White answers with one of the most brilliantly disjointed drum fills ever recorded, as if, over-excited by the strength of Lennon’s words, he burst with a boundless and unbidden energy. It’s the punctuation mark on Lennon’s peaceful poetry, the voice crying to everyone who would doubt, “Listen to this!” I can always tell whether someone truly understands music by their reaction to that fill. If they don’t notice it, well, I just know they’re not paying enough attention to the world around them.

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