Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Hal Blaine (1929–2019)

Hal Blaine, drummer and member of the Wrecking Crew, has died at the age of ninety. From The New York Times obituary:

If he had a signature moment on a record, it was on the Ronettes’ 1963 hit, “Be My Baby,” produced by Mr. Spector. The song opened cold, with Mr. Blaine playing — and repeating — the percussive earworm “Bum-ba-bum-BOOM!” But the riff came about accidentally.

“I was supposed to play more of a boom-chicky-boom beat, but my stick got stuck and it came out boom, boom-boom chick,” he told The Wall Street Journal in 2011. “I just made sure to make the same mistake every few bars.”

Three years later, he used the same beat, but in a softer way, on Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.”
And from the Los Angeles Times obituary:
“It’s kind of a shock to the general public when they find out that a lot of [musicians in famous bands] didn't play on their records,” Blaine told the Times in 2000. “But not everybody can be a plumber and go fix a broken pipe. Sometimes you need an expert, and that's all there is to it.”

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