Tag Archives: Drummer

Buffalo Springfield Drummer Dies

7 Feb

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Dewey Martin photographed during early days of Buffalo Springfield

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Dewey Martin, drummer for the groundbreaking but notoriously feuding and short-lived rock pioneers Buffalo Springfield, was found dead February 1 in Van Nuys, Calif. He was 68. The cause of death has not been determined. Martin and his bandmates — Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and Bruce Palmer — formed the group in Los Angeles in 1966, carving out a unique sound that melded elements of country, folk and rock. Their first single, 1967’s “For What It’s Worth,” captured the zeitgeist of youth culture, touching on themes of community, paranoia and the generation gap and becoming a top 10 hit and rock staple. But that was the band’s lone national success, and its famously sparring members called it quits in 1968 after only three albums — none of which made the top 40. Nonetheless, the group heavily influenced the country-rock scene of the early ’70s. Martin played on all of the band’s songs, which also included “Bluebird,” “Mr. Soul,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Woman” and “On the Way Home.” Its second album, “Buffalo Springfield Again,” ranked No. 188 on Rolling Stone’s list of greatest rock albums. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Martin attempted to keep the band’s name alive after its split, recruiting members for the New Buffalo Springfield. But lawsuits by Young and Stills prevented them from using the name. Bassist Palmer and Martin played the oldies circuit during the mid-’80s and early ’90s as Buffalo Springfield Revisited. Martin also formed other bands that failed to catch on. Young wrote fondly of Martin in his autobiography, “Sharkey”: “You get harder, he hits harder. You pull back, he hits back. He can feel the music — you don’t have to tell him.”

R.I.P. Earl Palmer

20 Sep

Earl Palmer provided the backbeat for many rock n’ roll classics

LOS ANGELES – Earl Palmer, the session drummer whose pioneering backbeats were recorded on such classics as Little Richard‘s “Tutti Frutti” and The Righteous Brothers‘ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin‘,” has died. He was 84.

Palmer died Friday at his Los Angeles home after fighting a lengthy illness, his spokesman Kevin Sasaki said. Born in New Orleans in 1924 and later moving to Los Angeles, Palmer worked extensively in both cities, recording with some of the music world’s all-time greats on thousands of tracks.

His beats form the backdrop on Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High,” Fats Domino’s “The Fat Man” and “I Hear You Knockin'” by Smiley Lewis. From his Los Angeles home, Palmer drummed for music producer Phil Spector and Motown, and his session credits include artists as diverse as the Monkees, Neil Young and Frank Sinatra.

“He was groundbreaking,” said Ed Vodika, the pianist in the Earl Palmer Trio. Palmer “shaped American music for the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.” Vodika said he met Palmer about 10 years ago and was asked to join the trio. The pianist said he spent the next five years playing weekly gigs in Los Angeles that attracted a host of big-name musicians, from Bonnie Raitt to Ringo Starr.

“He worked with so many people in his career … you never knew who would be in the audience,” Vodika said. Palmer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. According to the institution’s Web site, Little Richard wrote in his autobiography that Palmer “is probably the greatest session drummer of all time.”

Palmer married four times and is survived by his seven children.