I don`t know what it is, but I`m guessing that the film “Bohemian Rhapsody” has led to a renewed interest in the band Queen. I notice that more people than ever is looking at the Queen articles on my blog lately. So here is an short article with the cutest guy in a drag outfit ever – Roger Taylor.
`A drum is a drum is a drum…
and that`s as far as it goes`
By Geoff Barton
A lot of musicians featured recently in “Play Your Own Sounds” have admitted to being frustrated guitarists, and Queen`s drummer Roger Meadows-Taylor appears to be no exception: “I really would have liked to be a guitarist – my first instrument was a guitar, but I just somehow found myself with some drums and it went from there.
“I first started playing drums when I was about 11 or 12, along with some friends who were also learning instruments at the time. I found that I was best on drums by far, and it eventually blossomed into a bit of an obsession.
“I began to acquire a collection of drums, and I built a kit up slowly. I worked at it a bit and gradually learnt how to play and earned a bit of money to get a better kit. I had a Premier kit for years, but now I`ve got a very nice big Ludwig kit which has taken some time to get together really, because it`s made up of unusually-sized drums. I`ve always liked Ludwig best. They`ve always been the drums I`ve wanted – I like the sound of them and all my favourite drummers play them. I just couldn`t think of playing anything else.”
Roger had amongst his array of equipment a seven and a half inch Ludwig snare; a large 26 inch bass drum; an assortment of Paiste cymbals and Shaftesbury stands, which he recommends. He uses Ginger Baker sticks: “They`re one of the few sticks made that don`t get very thin at the end. They get thin, but not too thin – they don`t snap too easily. Also, you can get a really good whip on them and they`re very controllable.”
Roger said that he was quite obsessed with drum playing. I wondered how far that obsession went – was he as dedicated a musician as, say, Billy Cobham?
“No, I`m not as dedicated as he is. I`m… fairly dedicated, but it doesn`t run my whole life. There are times, like when I`m on holiday, when I forget I`m a drummer.”
Visually, Queen are a very exciting, very active band. Do you ever tend to feel in the background?
“I don`t know… I`m not really the sort of person to be in the background. The drummer always works so hard. It`s the most energetic job, no matter how much your lead singer might prance around. If your lighting is good, there`s no need for you to feel in the background at all.”
Roger`s favourite drummers include Max Roch, Billy Cobham, Carmen Acapulco and John Bonham: “For a rock `n` roll drummer, Bonham is absolutely untouchable. His live sound is incredible.”
Queen are also a band very much into effects, both musically and visually. I wondered if Roger was particularly into that side of things.
“Fairly… just as a means to a musical end really. Some effects, like echoes are really important. There`s nothing wrong in using them.”
How about drum effects?
“Umm – no, you see we played about once with sort of different delayed effects, but that didn`t work out really. I think it`s all a matter of equalisation on the drums. If it sounds right that`s all that matters.”
And synthesised drums?
“Not interested, no, not really. A drum is a drum is a drum and that`s as far as it goes.”
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Humble Pie, Stephen Stills, Robin Trower, Big John Vary, Aj Webber, Rolling Stones, Syreeta Wright, Wishbone Ash, Mike McGear, Bert Jansch, Rufus, Minnie Riperton, John Coghlan, Bob Henrit, Slade.
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.