googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Drum Tracks

Drum Tracks

     My late brother Dwayne was a bodyguard for Van Halen and he told me that one day he was standing just off stage watching Alex Van Halen start the drum into for “Hot For Teacher” when one of Alex’s sticks broke off down to a nub. He didn’t miss a beat and continued until the song opened up enough to give him the chance to grab another stick. No one noticed except Dwayne and when he later asked Alex how he could keep playing with only one stick and no noticeable difference in the sound he said Alex told him he was playing to a drum track. Dwayne also suggested that Eddie may have been playing to a track as well because in all the dozens of shows he watched Van Halen do from 1979 to 1984 he never once saw Eddie break a string and Eddie really like to bend strings. Dwayne thought Eddie tuned his guitar down so the strings were slack enough not to break. I don’t believe this about Eddie, I’ve seen him play up close myself of several occasions, but the drumming is possible especially since Dwayne had absolutely no interest in music and those kind of technical aspects of a show are not something in which he would have taken any notice except this time it was just too obvious.
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  1. NO WAY . . . SAY IT AIN'T TRUE!

    Van Halen plays with tracks? No wonder they sound so full!

    I don't think they started out that way. I remember seeing them at Anaheim Stadium, California (you don't want to know how many years ago). They parachuted out of an airplane (cool) and when they played the sound was thin and for sh?t! Hummm

  2. I sincerely believe what the great Diego Diablo (Dwayne) said in regard Alex and the drum track trickery; but it comes as no surprise. It manifests as a likely and probably outcome, when rock bands enter into the under-the-big-top extravaganza phase of their careers; when $ and fame have corrupted what once was their live-playing immediate and tangible honesty. It's one thing to play to a secondary percussion track--it's another to simply lip-sync an entire drum part. Personally, I find Keith Moon's approach to the subject far more engaging. Playing to pre-recorded tracks on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967, The Who finished their slot on the show with My Generation. In his own words,"...I hate it,"(lip-syncing)"so I go my own way." And well he did. It is obvious from the start, that he is not even pretending to follow his own pre-recorded drum parts, mocking and clowning the procedings in typical Moon fashion. At one point, he stops playing completely, in order to adjust his mop-top coif. Eventually, the recorded track ceases;The Who play the song's chaotic ending live, and the now-infamous, unrehearsed, massive explosion lays waste the stage, the tv feed, the left ear of Pete Townshend, the hippie tranquility of the American audience--and hurls a piece of cymbal shrapnel through the arm of Keith himself. Is lip-syncing even possible in moments of such danger and utter rebellion? But isn't that the point of playing rock n roll?

    P.M. Meehan, drummer

  3. Meehan, don't you dare blow up your drum set on stage! Townshend blames his hearing loss on that.