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I think at one time every drummer wanted to play like Krupa or wanted to win a Gene Krupa drum contest. This is the big inspiration for drummers and naturally it has to be the same way for me.
I play a percussion instrument, not a musical saw; it needs no amplification. Where it's needed, they put a microphone in front of the bass drum. But, I don't think it's necessary to play that way every night.
I mean, I think I liked every band I ever played in because each band was different, each band had a different concept, and each band leader was different... different personalities and musical tastes.
I consider every drummer that ever played before me an influence, in every way.
I can't sit down long enough to absorb any kind of learning.
I can think of a lot better things to do with my hands than to cut them up on the rim of a drum.
Every drummer that had a name, had a name because of his individual playing. He didn't sound like anybody else, So everybody that I ever listened to, in some form, influenced my taste.
But, when you have to resort to turntables, trick lights, flashing lights, fire and all that, you're actually saying, I need this because what I do is not all that together.
But, I don't think any arranger should ever write a drum part for a drummer because if a drummer can't create his own Interpretation of the chart and he plays everything that's written, he becomes mechanical; he has no freedom.
But primarily, the drummer's supposed to sit back there and swing the band.
But I think that any young drummer starting out today should get himself a great teacher and learn all there is to know about the instrument that he wants to play.
As far as music school goes. I walked through Berkeley one time to visit with some people I know.
And, you know, I think the original recording of Ravel's Bolero, probably whoever played percussion on that, will never have It played better than that.
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