Sunday, 27 November 2011

My Top Ten Rhythm Sections #7 - #5

#7. The Shadows. Bass-Jet Harris, and drums-Tony Meehan. The rhythmic duo that gave the base to the early Shadow hits, such as Apache and F.B.I, and who later went on to a short but eventful solo career, topping the charts with instrumentals like Scarlet O’Hara and my sample here ‘Diamonds’,(with a young Jimmy Page on acoustic guitar). Jet Harris is attributed to having introduced the Fender bass into the U.K. 

 #6. Fleetwood Mac. Bass-John McVie, and drums-Mick Fleetwood.  The pair have at least 4 marriages and divorces between them, but their rhythmic partnership has lasted over 44 years, and one cannot imagine one without the other. The two were made for each other, their playing styles and sense of timing fitting together like a pair of well worn shoes; to quote Mick Fleetwood, "As soon as John McVie joined, Fleetwood Mac changed from a good band to a fire-breathing blues dragon."  A dragon which was the base for the groups success for the decades that followed.

#5. This position is jointly held by  two duos who I think in the balance of a good rhythm  section deserve to be placed, not for the complementing musical attributes required for a good tempo and beat pattern, but for exactly the opposite, for working against each other, and breaking the rules, which amazingly created the required effect- and as a by product opened a new world in rock rhythm sections.

a). The Who. Bass-John Entwistle, and drums-Keith Moon. I’m a Mod and believe me I love these guys no end; however I have to except what made them special. The problem with Keith Moon was he really had no bottom, i.e. using the bass drum (s); keeping the ‘pulse’, which is the heart of a drummer, and his main job in the band. He played on ‘top’, i.e. snare, toms, and rarely used his hi-hats. He didn’t use his double bass drums much either, to keep it short he played the beat on top. This forced John Entwistle to develop a hard driving style, to compensate for Moon’s lack of base. But, hey! The effect was magic, and made the Who stand out from the rest of the crowd!

b). Cream. Bass-Jack Bruce, and drums-Ginger Baker. This duo was built on a deep personal hate of each other. When Eric Clapton formed Cream, he had no knowledge of the animosity between the other two band members. Jack and Ginger had already worked together in the Graham Bond Organisation, where the two had taken an immediate dislike to each other, up to the point that Baker threatened Bruce with a knife! This hate could be felt in their playing, each one trying to out do the other. In the end, this musical duel opened the way for Eric to drop some ‘creamy ‘ guitar riffs that made a winning recipe.


  1. I never really thought of Moon like that - I will be listening in a different way today.
    Cheers Alex - looking forward to the countdown continuing

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