Saturday night my friend invited me to come see him perform so we could hang and catch up.
He is a percussionist and his played with the likes of Dweezil Zappa, Lou Rawls and more.
He was playing percussion for Don Randi. Don was part of the infamous Wrecking Crew and did a lot of keyboard session work for Phil Spector during the Wall of Sound era. Don has played on hit songs by the Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, etc etc.
Basically if you’ve never heard the name of Don Randi, you’ve definitely heard his playing.
The rest of the guys in the band also have a glorious past but I don’t know them that well. Though I can tell you that the drummer, Bernie Dressell, is one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen him before playing drums with my idol…Carl Verheyen.
Anyway I’m listening & watching to these guys play and they are about 10 feet away from me. As I listen, I just can’t help noticing how locked in these guys are. And this was during improvisation parts. They really listened and communicated with each other to bring about an incredible music experience.
And here is Don…..playing away and kicking ass. And in between songs tells his experience of recording back in the 60s, 70s, & 80s. The stories are just wild! He’s never stopped playing!
And I thought about today’s young musicians, this passion for making music…for working on that craft of musicianship……that spirit of improvisation…….. all gone nowadays. I don’t know of any one really young person just going for it on their instrument because they love it more than life itself. Older musicians…yes.
But the next generation of cats who really want to tear it up? Nah, replaced by guys & gals more interested in being famous rather than making music and continually hungry for the craft itself.
Don is in his mid 70s, and played for two hours before taking a break and then coming back to do a second set. And I think each of you reading this would have been enjoyed every single second of this performance because you would hear and feel the music of good musicians…..and not fame seekers. You can tell the difference a mile away.