Give the drummer some

A quick follow-up to yesterday’s post. I linked to Robert Wyatt’s Wikipedia entry, which contains this fascinating tidbit on the events subsequent to the 1974 accident that left him paralysed, ending his drumming career but not his musical one:

Later that same year he put out a single, a cover version of “I’m a Believer”, which hit number 29 in the UK chart. There were strong arguments with the producer of Top of the Pops surrounding his performance of “I’m a Believer,” on the grounds that his wheelchair-bound appearance ‘was not suitable for family viewing’, the producer wanting Wyatt to appear on a normal chair. Wyatt won the day and ‘lost his rag but not the wheel chair’, but gave a performance that could be described as disgruntled.

Thirty years ago BBC producers felt compelled to protect viewers from the sight of a man in a wheelchair, in the name of family values no less.

Does a record of this performance exist on YouTube? Of course it does. That’s Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason on drums — I was surprised to learn he produced Wyatt’s 1970’s solo albums.

Since I’m on the topic, more drummer media:

* The Who record the vocals for Bucket T in the studio. Again, I was surprised to realise that was Keith Moon singing lead on this track. I get a huge kick watching him even when he’s not swinging the sticks. And how quaint that Entwistle records the French horn part right there.

* A titanic duel of drumming legends. (Harry loves this one.)

* Finally, a track from Freak Flood (1 MB MP3) recorded last summer. This particular configuration has myself on drums, my thirteen year old nephew Rob on guitar (he’s normally a bassist) and eleven year old nephew Michael, usually a drummer, filling in on Moog Synthesizer (every home should have one)… I hasten to add (if it’s not too obvious) that this was our first time playing together with proper instruments, and that we were making it all up as we went along. Man, do I wish those boys lived in Van Rock City.

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