Drum Sandwich

Happy Jack – The Who from A Quick One (Happy Jack in its US release)

I played the drums through high school so I’ve always been a sucker for good drumming.  The Who had it in spades with Keith Moon, and I fell in love with this song from the first time I heard it.  This song certainly doesn’t start out like a drummer’s dream.  In fact, the drumming is sparse, a single tom strike, then a double, then a couple more doubles.    The first 30 seconds is mostly bass and vocals, and backing vocals of ohs and las more suited to a Beach Boys tune than the the band known for destroying its instruments on stage.

That soft beginning is the first piece of bread in the “drum sandwich.”  Then the next 18 seconds are the first piece of “meat.”  A quickly crescendoing combination of tom and cymbals takes over and then fades back as the next piece of bread is laid down.  But Moon is quickly back in the spotlight again.  This time no vocals and he’s got centerstage.  One more slice of bread, and then Moon is back at it again.  The tom and cymbal still dominate, but this time there’s some additional percussion I can’t quite identify (a clava maybe? handclaps?).  I think the fact there’s almost no snare in the soloing, that it’s almost all tom-toms made this a unique solo to me.   A quick aside, when I was doing a mix of songs I listened to in high school, I was trying to find a song to transition to from Fugazi’s Repeater.  The funky tom breakdown in that song just cried out Happy Jack and I was pleasantly suprised at the how well the transition worked out.

Anyways, completing the sandwich metaphor, the Who slap one more piece of bread down after Moon’s last outburst to complete this triple decker sandwich.  Yum.  And I always want to come back for seconds.

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2 Responses to “Drum Sandwich”

  1. tsblogger Says:

    You you provide links to the music? I’d like to hear these songs… Are you available on Youtube, Last.fm, or Lala?

  2. hammocksrus Says:

    Need to pay for an upgraded blog to post mp3s. You can definitely find this song on lala. Here’s a youtube clip, it’s live so it’s not quite the same as the studio cut, but it will give you an idea of the song:

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