The Torment of Buddy Rich: A Biography

( 3 )

Overview

A biography of the world's greatest drummer.

Few of us will ever know the satisfaction of becoming number one in our professions; in music, the odds are astronomical. Musicologists tell us that in the ideal—or abstract—situation, an individual is genetically predisposed with a special gift, works at it from infancy, isolated from distractions, and denied any choice in the matter, until the discipline develops ...

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Overview

A biography of the world's greatest drummer.

Few of us will ever know the satisfaction of becoming number one in our professions; in music, the odds are astronomical. Musicologists tell us that in the ideal—or abstract—situation, an individual is genetically predisposed with a special gift, works at it from infancy, isolated from distractions, and denied any choice in the matter, until the discipline develops into an almost monomaniacal drive for perfection.

Buddy Rich achieved that perfection. The cost was very high.

The Torment of Buddy Rich was written in the form of a diary, researched by the author as he traveled with Buddy Rich to various cities in the US, Canada, England, and Scotland. It was not intended to be an authoritative analysis of an eminent contemporary musician or a detailed biographical treatment. It is a selective account of representative events in the life of a musical genius, an attempt to reflect aspects of his complex personality and the role played by his family, friends, and enemies—real and imagined.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595137459
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/2/2000
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 451,227
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2001

    'Mr. Warmth' was just that!

    First off, let me say this is a fantastic read. Intimate discussions from Buddy's closest family members and friends; such as, Cathy, Mr.Robert Rich, Buddy's sisters,Stan Kay, Johnny Carson and Carl Palmer, bring out the Buddy Rich the public never saw. You rifle through the pages following John Minahan's encounters with Buddy on the road, rather quickly. And as an admirer of Buddy for over 30 years, I think this is a welcome addition to the Buddy Rich catalog for anyone seriously desiring to know what made the 'World's Greatest Drummer, Ever', tick! Included in the book are some rare quotes from Buddy and from others about Buddy, that let you see just how amazingly driven Buddy was with regards to the music! I feel very blessed to have seen Buddy many times during his lifetime, and after this read, I miss him all the more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2001

    The Beat Goes On

    There will always be drummers, but at times in the past decade they looked like an endangered species. We were once told that the microchip would replace the rock/pop drummer, as it lays down the grooves better, cheaper, faster. That near catastrophie for drummers doesn't seem to have had much effect. If anything, it's marked time for the end of the beginning, because in 2001 there appear to be more great young drummers than ever. The haircuts have changed and there are no more household names. The Krupas, Blakeys, Bellsons have been replaced with Weckls, Wackermans, and Colaiutas. Quite familiar to a Chick Corea or Frank Zappa fan, but about as likely to appear on the current equivalent of the Johnny Carson show as the manager of your local Burger King. Contemporary music courses at colleges all over the world are producing even more young drummers who can play anything. They might seem more clinical and spoon-fed than their forefathers, but at least they are drummers, not microchips. So where does Buddy Rich come in? At the beginning, of course. John Minahan illustrates this well in his book, 'The Torment of Buddy Rich.' Buddy Rich really was playing on stage at the age of 18 months, a precocious child prodigy tapping out 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' (not actually forever, but for about four minutes, Buddy would quip on the BBC's Parkinson show over 50 years later). The drum kit as we know it was in its infancy then too. It consisted mostly of snare drum and a great big bass drum, maybe with some percussion shells and a cymbal precariously mounted atop. It's a miracle that Buddy Rich survived a childhood stardom that took him all over the US and to Australia, then left him in retirement at the age of 14, just in time for the depressive 1930s. But to then go on and become a household name in the 1940s, and retain that position right through almost to the next millennium, for playing an instrument that could have gone the way of the Teasmade and Peter Powell Stunt Kite is a remarkable feat that requires closer scrutiny. In the chapters of this book, the committed fan can be transported from 1970s tours to 1930s apartments, from Buddy blowing his top over a cab driver with no loose change, to Buddy proudly looking on as his daughter sings. The opening pages instantly give an insight into what it was like spending time in the overpowering presence of Buddy Rich. For any fan, it's a must-read. The author's abundant resource of accurately transcribed conversations makes you believe you are really there in the midst of the action.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2000

    Synopsis by Publisher

    Few of us will ever know the satisfaction of becoming number one in our professions; in music, the odds are astronomical. Musicologists tell us that in the ideal--or abstract--situation, an individual is genetically predisposed with a special gift, works at it from infancy, isolated from distractions and denied any choice in the matter, until the discipline develops into an almost monomaniacal drive for perfection. Buddy Rich achieved that perfection. The cost was very high. This book was written in the form of a diary, researched by the author as he traveled with Buddy Rich to various cities in the U.S., Canada, England, and Scotland. It was not intended to be an authorative analysis of an eminent contemporary musician or a detailed biographical treatment. It is a selective account of representative events in the life of a musical genius, an attempt to reflect aspects of his complex personality and the role played by his family, friends, and enemies--real and imagined. JOHN MINAHAN is the author of 20 books, including the Doubleday Award-winning novel, 'A Sudden Silence,' the million-copy bestseller, 'Jeremy,' produced as a major motion picture by United Artists, and 'The Great Diamond Robbery,' produced as a two-hour television special on CBS. An alumnus of Cornell, Harvard, and Columbia, he is a former writing instructor on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. Mr. Minahan and his wife Verity now live in Palm Springs, CA, where he is writing his autobiography, 'The Music of Time.'

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