By Phil Hood

In the middle of the night I woke up with a start. For some reason I felt like I had been dragged back to the late 1970s. I looked down at my clothes. No leisure suits or spandex were evident anywhere, just a pair of shorts I sleep in. Slowly it dawned on me that I was still in bed and it had all been a dream.

Still the standard: Bonham in the studio.

Then

Studied on a pad with sticks, a method book, and a teacher.

Now

Start on an electronic kit learning YouTube covers.

Then

Tape and studio time were expensive. Tracking drums was a big-to-do and if it didn’t work out money was wasted.

Now

Bits are cheap. Pro drummers track in their home studio. Files are emailed around the world in seconds.

Where’s my leisure suit?

Then

Vinyl LPs were still the top medium for music.

Now

Vinyl LPs are back

Then

Waited for the record store to open on release day.

Now

What’s a record store?

Then

It was sometimes hard to find the transcription you needed.

Now

Tons of free and bootleg transcriptions online, but quality is often dubious.

Then

Heard it first on radio

Now

Heard it first on Soundcloud or Spotify

Walter Becker, Donald Fagen

Then

Hi-Fi Speakers four feet high

Now

Earbuds

Then

Stage volume was overwhelming. Setting levels could be hit ormiss.

Now

In-ear monitors and improved consoles make front-of-house engineering predictable.

Then

The band hit the road in a van

Now

The band hits the road in a van

Then

8 x 10 glossy black and white publicity photos sent out by the record company

Now

JPEGs in a Dropbox

Then

You hear a song and ask your drummer buddy who that band is

Now

Shazam it!

Then

Producers tried to replace the drummer with a studio musician

Now

Producer tries to replace your sounds in Pro Tools

Then

Start out learning Bonham licks

Now

Start out learning Josh Dun licks

Then

Record the drums as dry as possible

Now

Go for a real drum sound, and if you don’t like it, start programming.

Then

You bought an album and listened to every track whether you liked it or not because it cost a lot

Now

Most users click away from video and audio after less than two minutes

Then

First performance was at a school dance

Now

First performance is at an all-ages show

Then

Drum sounds could be great or terrible depending on the recording session

Now

Digital technology allows you to make perfect sounds, but sometimes so perfect they’re boring.

Then

Five-piece plus a lead singer

Now

Two-piece, guitar and drums or DJ and drums.

Then

Drummers jokes

Now

Drummer jokes. How come there are no DJ jokes?

Improve Your Sound.

Want something that will improve your sound?Tell me what backstage stories you might want to hear. Anyone who writes or posts below gets a shot at this month’s prize of Slug Percussion batter badges.

To my US readers: Have a happy Thanksgiving holiday.

 

 

 

 

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