Unplugged & Totally Uncut

Tony Barrell Born To Drum

March 18, 201515 min
BORN TO DRUM: The Truth About the World’s Greatest Drummers—From John Bonham and Keith Moon to Sheila E. and Dave Grohl by Tony Barrell, an extraordinary book about the world’s most primitive instrument, and the musicians that have made it legendary. Beating the hell out of a drum kit is hard and demanding work. Listen to Ringo Starr yelling that there are “blisters on me fingers” at the end of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter”, or Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden summarizing his drumming injuries (“I’ve busted my nose, given myself a few black eyes, and I’ve hurt my hand a few times and buggered my thumb up”) and it’s clear that drummers give everything they’ve got—even when it hurts! Because, as Cherisse Osei puts it, “you have to carry on: it’s like an unwritten law.” And yet drummers are often viewed with derision—stereotyped as crazy, borderline psychotic, or just plain dumb. But as every musician knows, to have a great band, you need a great drummer. “A band without a drummer is like a

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