The Buddy Rich Page



Buddy Rich, Buddy Rich
Buddy Rich & Mo Buddy Rich

This is Buddy's 19th Anniversary
April 2, 1987 -2006
Plus

Sam Ulano& Carmine Appice
Drum News & Music News

& Did I say Buddy Rich?

We got Buddy sharing his thoughts,
Friends of Buddy's telling stories,
Buddy on the Tonight Show
with Johnny Carson

Buddy on the Merv Griffin Show
Buddy talking about
Frank Sinatra

Plus

A rare recording featuring
Buddy Rich & Gene Krupa
In perhaps their First of many
Drum Battles in 1952 at the
New York Philmarmonic!

 

 
 

Buddy Rich Tribute by Art Verdi
 

Next to drumming baseball is one of my favorite subjects. Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb were the greatest of all time. The one player that stands out among the best is Babe Ruth. I read that there will never be another Babe Ruth, because he was the greatest. That's what I think Buddy Rich is to the drumming world. Buddy is the Babe Ruth of drumming.

There are many technical drummers with great touch and feel, but Buddy had a touch that we may never witness again. The drums were a part of him. He could control a set of drums to do things so precisely it was unbelievable. There's a section of my site in “Influences” about Buddy that states I first saw him in 1974. That was wrong, it was in the 60’s. I saw him often in clubs and music stores and he was always a gentleman. I never missed a concert he played in my area. When it was over I would walk out of the theater talking to myself. I would say “HOW THE HELL DID HE DO THAT?” Buddy had all the skills a drummer would want. It was like the drums were made just for him. He's the only musician that could say he's going to “cut” someone and go up there and do it. Get him mad and watch out! He must have learned a lot from the pit drummers that he was performing with when he was a kid.

There are tapes of Buddy circulating around the Internet using choice words with one of his band members. People should realize that Buddy just wanted his band to perform 100% every night. I doubt he ever meant what he said. This was Buddy's way of making sure the band performed their best. It reminds me of another sports great, Knute Rockne, firing up his men at half time. Most would be better musicians after playing for Buddy. Some days it's harder to get things swinging then other days. Buddy did not tolerate it.

It's amazing how Buddy, who was in his 60's, could play like he was in his 30’s. Jim Chapin wrote “Buddy played better 5 months before he died then he ever did.” He was never satisfied with his playing and always wanted to improve. He was just as critical and hard on himself as he was with his musicians. All that screaming came from the heart. I don't believe that a lot of the things he said on that tape he really meant.

I watched a lot of TV in the 70’s and recorded several hours of Buddy on a Betamax video recorder. Buddy made several appearances on The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin with Mel Torme, and Regis Philbin. The picture isn't that good but I still watch them and sometimes a tear comes to my eye thinking of how great this man was.

Like Gene Krupa said “Buddy Rich is the greatest drummer that ever drew breath. I'm sure every drummer misses him very much.”

by Art Verdi


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