The challenge this week on sugarfrostedgoodness.com is “rock legends“.
Two of the greatest and most prolific drummers in the history of rock and roll are also two of the biggest unsung heroes.
Hal Blaine and Jim Gordon played with some of the most famous performers in popular music and played on some of the most significant recordings in modern music history. Hal Blaine, a member of the famed LA session group The Wrecking Crew, holds a current Grammy record. He played on six consecutive Records of the Year: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass in 1966, for A Taste of Honey, Frank Sinatra in 1967, for Strangers in the Night, 5th Dimension in 1968, for Up, Up and Away, Simon & Garfunkel in 1969, for Mrs. Robinson, 5th Dimension in 1970, for Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In and Simon & Garfunkel in 1971 for Bridge Over Troubled Water. In addition, he played on recordings by everyone from The Partridge Family, Elvis Presley, The Carpenters, The Mamas and Papas, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, The Byrds and Paul Revere & The Raiders. He was heard on the majority of The Beach Boys recordings (except for Pet Sounds, which was Jim Gordon. Dennis Wilson, the Beach Boys drummer, only drummed in concert). When Dennis Wilson recorded his only solo album, he hired Blaine to play drums. Blaine was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He estimates that, in his career, he played on over 35,000 recordings.
Jim Gordon was one of the most sought-after session drummers throughout the 60s and 70s. He played alongside such artists as Donovan, Jackson Browne, Glen Campbell, Alice Cooper, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, George Harrison, The Monkees, Carly Simon, Steely Dan and Traffic. He played the famous drum break in the Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache“, later sampled by The Sugarhill Gang in their hip-hop version of the song. Gordon was a member of Frank Zappa’s Grand Wazoo band and he was the drummer for Eric Clapton’s Derek and The Dominos. Gordon wrote and played the renowned piano outro on “Layla“.
In 1983, after years of complaining of voices in his head, Gordon beat his mother with a hammer and stabbed her to death with a butcher knife. Gordon currently resides in a state medical corrections facility in Vacaville, CA
Read the controversy this illustration generated HERE.