Dr Steve Gadd

Nothing to do with my usual work blogs. I got to meet a true hero, Dr Steve Gadd on Tuesday. Jobbo and I met him for a chat at the Manchester Drum Centre. I got my 20 something year old Zildjian poster signed and a quick photo (now on my office wall, framed).

We then caught him at the full drum clinic at the RNCM (great venue). Front row seats, it didn’t get much better. Unlike most clinics this was very musical, very informal, they guy just wanted to chat. He came across as a lovely, humble guy. And of course his playing didn’t disappoint anyone.

Also got to see some faces from old, Gerry Darby, Jim Paris, Paul Burgess and Tim Franks. A great night.

I actually got up and asked Steve Gadd a question. It was a bit of a naff one, and I didn’t put it over that good. It didn’t help that the question before was from a young lady asking Steve to tell her boyfriend that she was allowed to play his drums.

I asked Steve about playing at volume. Years ago I got to see him with The Gadd Gang in a bar in Harlem. I stood feet away from him and what hit me was ‘man, what a thug’ (meant in the nicest way). Boy does he hit those drums. I think some experienced that for the first time at the clinic. Anyway, his answer was great; you need to practice, you need to be fit. Steve Gadd tells me I’m too fat and I need to practice more, great! Spot on actually.

Of course I should have been cheeky and asked to sit at his kit. Although the best question would have been to ask him to demonstrate his shuffle. He does such a mean blues shuffle, especially at slow tempos. The notes acres of space between them. You can hear his style a mile off. Great stuff. Thanks Steve.

Although I’ve seen Steve up close before, and on tour with Paul Simon it was fantastic to shake hands and say hello. I feel lucky as I’ve also seen Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson and Harvey Mason up close. Very lucky.

Early next morning I dropped Jobbo off at the airport and what happens! He only has coffee with Steve Gadd.. who has remembered me.


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