Hazy view of the past?

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I loved the grooves that Hal Blaine locked down on countless albums that I bought in the ‘70s (“Beat at Their Own Game,” by Geoff Boucher, June 15). Soon after that in the ‘80s, I counted a lot of drummer-less music as some of my favorites. At that time, I was playing drums professionally and realized that I was quickly becoming the equivalent of a horseshoe installer serving a jet-age generation.

Pining for the time when drummers tracked a whole album of previously unheard material is not unlike a muscle-car lover’s myopic nostalgia for his broken-down hot rod’s heyday as he waits for a tow. Very few were dependable, but when they did shine it was a slice.

Drummer Jimmy Bralower’s concern that music is now being hacked out by loners insinuates that production methods were much more effective in the past. They weren’t. The musicians of the present know well how to broadcast their “breath” and essence utilizing computers and digital technology. The present-day music creator can stand back and assess the progress of the personal creation unlike the previous generation that had to gather together in a tracking room and hope to make it stick in two or three takes.


Many more people than ever are now successfully creating pop music. A lot of these people would have never had the chance in the past. If we who play drums are paying a price for that to happen, so be it. I still call that progress.

Dan Marfisi

Los Angeles