Heroes of the 70’s

by John McBain

1. Nick Mason

Another Brit, you say? Absolutely. While no other band fell to Earth faster than The Floyd, even their mid seventies crapola had its moments. Case in point; More. My second favorite Soundtrack. What makes this so mindblowing? Nick Mason. While he did tend to play his drums like a 12 year old girl at times, he knew his limitations, never improved, played just like he did in the Barrett era, had a cool mustache, and never spoke.

Back to More. Do this for me, won’t you? If you don’t own this reefer masterpiece, rush out and buy it, smoke ’em if you got ’em, and at around 3 a.m. drop the needle. (Vinyl always sounds better) You’ll soon realize that Nick was the secret weapon. The most stoned out drummer on the planet.

Now onto my favorite Nick experience and the greatest rock soundtrack of ’em all.

Pink Floyd Live At Pompeii: It simply doesn’t get any better than this. The band is at a creative peak, There’s lots of footage of lava and boiling mud, Gilmour is so stoned that he spends a lot of time sitting, it features the definitive version of Echoes, we get to see the band ordering pie, Waters comes off as likeable, and Mr. Nick Mason is front and center at all times. I must admit that part of me loves this movie so much because I had the same purple butterfly shirt that Nick sports on most of the live footage. Regardless, it stomps all over Syd, makes a mockery of Dark Side, and in the end it will always be in my video collection. Drug abuse never sounded so good.

2. Mel from Grand Funk.

Why? His tone was buttery and monstrous, he smoked a pipe, and he was the bassplayer in Grand Funk Railroad! Do I have to continue?

3. Ringo’s drumming on the Plastic Ono Album.

Every one of you over blown Neil Peart worshipping, rototom slapping; Rat Salad loving drummers could learn a thing or twelve from this gem. Ringo takes a song, strips away the fat, lays down the beat, and literally redefines the art of timekeeping. Soul to the tenth power. At times his tempos are so slow that they almost stop. And check out the slap back echo on “I Found Out.” This guy’s got a backbeat that is untouchable.