THE FUNKY DRUMMER

The Globe in Madison WI was the jam session everyone spoke of in my circle in hushed whispers. As a young teen in Milwaukee I couldn't wait to take the drive and witness the heartbeat of funk drumming in the flesh. Ronn Gilbert was the first band member I had the pleasure of meeting and jamming with. He invited me to see the band and sit in, at that point I was about 18. Of course my partner Sean Dixon made the journey North with me. Clyde had all the soul and swagger in spades. His grace and punch lit up the band stand, he even sang some Ray Charles ballads with aplomb. Mel Ford was on guitar, that was the night I decided I was gonna commit to old blackface fender amps and semi hollow gibsons. Mel was pulling a whole variety of great sounds out of that rig. I played my tunes and Clyde was so kind and supportive. Years later Id meet my NYC band mate Moses Patrou on my first Jay Collins band gig. Low and behold he grew up there and under the spell of Clyde in the flesh. My favorite story I got off of Clyde, the album Live and Loud in Dallas '68 is one of the most incendiary band recordings in history. It sounds like Seal Team 6 fighting their way out of a hostile territory with punk rock fury. Theres even a string quartet on this thing. They had a primitive PA like so many gigs back then. They were inventing shit! A packed stadium in Dallas and the fury aroused by the assassination of MLK that week were thick in the air. The band played on and toured. James could not be stopped. And neither could Jabo and Clyde. The tank gunners of his brigade. With no mics on the drums the guys furiously whipped their instruments with precision. Clyde recounted that halfway through, whipping the snare and kick all the way to the stadium nose bleeds, he looked down and his drum heads are covered in blood from all his callous bursting. That people is how they did it. So as we put another indelible legend and master torchbearer to rest lets remember, desperate times call for desperate measures and they also call for real music with a message and power. the kind of power that makes you lose yourself into bleeding all over your drums. Go listen to that record. Write a song, PLAY a beat. Fuck the sampling. Fuck demographic marketing. Lets all get together and make a joyous and inflammatory noise, on the 1, in honor of the men.

Onwards...
-SS