In this session, Daniel offers his personal recollections of Hal Blaine’s legendary career through a series of dates, starting in 1991 with his first encounter with Blaine, and ending at the legendary Birdland jazz club, just hours after hearing of Blaine’s passing.
What’s covered in this session:
- January, 1991 – Daniel meets Hal for the first time at the NAMM show and buys his book “Hal Blaine and the Wrecking Crew.”
- An overview of Hal’s career – from his beginnings as a student at the Roy C. Knapp school in Chicago, to the story of how the Wrecking Crew came to be, and a partial list of some of the hits Hal played on as a session drummer.
- April 5, 2006 – Daniel’s first interview with Hal at his home in Palm Desert, CA. Daniel is surprised at how few items from Blaine’s legendary career are displayed on the walls.
- June 28, 2008 – At a screening of “The Wrecking Crew” documentary in Los Angeles, Daniel hears Hal play live for the first time and has a revelation about what made him such a unique and influential force in drumming.
- February 28, 2012 – Daniel acquires and uses the band fronts from Hal Blaine’s big band in his “Century Project” DVD shoot.
- November, 2012 – While editing the book, “The Roots of Rock Drumming,” Daniel dives headlong in another interview with Hal Blaine, and learns more incredible facts about Blaine’s influences on music as a whole (including the introduction of his famous “monster kit” in 1968, and the creation of the “disco beat” that would become so ubiquitous in the 1970s).
- Two famous tracks featuring the “Monster Kit”: The Snake by Al Wilson (1968), and Indian Reservation by Paul Revere and the Raiders (1971).
- September 16, 2018 – Daniel hosts a living tribute to Hal Blaine on the radio program “Around the Kit” with Joe Gansas. Over three magical hours, Hal tells one incredible story after another and share his wisdom and humility with an all star lineup of guests.
- March 12, 2019 – Just hours after hearing the news of Hal Blaine’s passing, Daniel’s heads to his regular Monday gig, only to discover that the first two songs called coincidentally turn out to be “Up, Up and Away” and “Be My Baby.” Both of these number-one hits prominently featured Hal Blaine’s drumming. Daniel takes the opportunity to share Hal Blaine’s legacy with a packed Birdland house, and realizes just how much Blaine’s music is still all around us today.
- See links above.