Posts Tagged ‘Mickey Hart’

Dino English on the Grateful Dead’s drummers

Saturday, February 8th, 2020

Last week on Tales from the Golden Road we had a caller asking about drumming – a topic about which this guitarist isn’t nearly as well-informed as I’d like. Later in the program we got a call from Dino English, one of Dark Star Orchestra‘s drummers, adding lots of useful information to the topic. And this week, Dino sent me some more info by email to share with the world.

Here’s Dino:

David,

Just to continue the drum discussion… listening to Betty Board of 10-2-77 off archive…

So this Betty board has Billy snare, kick and toms mostly on left while Mickey snare and toms Mostly on right. Betty [Cantor-Jackson], as well as Dan [Healy], would place stuff as if you were looking at the stage for the most part except Jerry and Bass generally up middle with keys on one side and Bob guitar on the opposite. In this case the keys are hard left, Bob fairly hard right.

First song, Casey Jones, if you put the phones on, you can clearly hear both drummers hitting the back beat at the same time. Both of them hitting the backbeat at the same time happened quite a bit … especially in the 70’s before Mickey started going more world beatish in the 80’s where he would hit a back beat on the toms more. He did do it in the 70’s as well but it was especially prominent after Mickey moved his big Tom to left and right above his snare is the later 80’s

On Jack Straw on this recording you can hear Mickey play backbeats on the toms as well and some snare back beats here and there.

Brown Eyed, on this recording, you have them both hitting back beats on snare.

Even though they are playing similar parts, it still adds to the over depth of the texture.

And of course in general, Mickey was the primary tom fill guy, while Billy driving the groove. Quite often they would trade up who is on hi hats and the other would play ride. But there was certainly times when they both played hi hat or ride at the same time.

They would sometimes fill at the same time as well with a similar rhythm (such as 16th note theme) or quite often Mickey would start and Billy would finish.

But yes, it was all in the purpose of serving whatever song it was they were currently playing. And giving each other space. They were clearly playing together rather than what quite often happens when you get two drummers together where one or both of the them wants to turn it into a drum battle while shitting all over the music.

*

And I should also throw in that on occasion, the channels accidentally got switched by the tapers if they got a board feed and mixed up right and left inputs. Then you’d have Billy on the right and Mickey on the left. But that’s clearly a mistake, as you can hear it if you dial into the same show with an audience recording where the right and left is clear.

And also you can tell it’s wrong by just knowing how they mixed. Both Dan and Betty have told me they mix as if looking at the stage. They both have their differences of how extreme things are panned. Dan tended to go extreme hard left and right with snare kick and hats and the overheads would work as a unifier of sorts with Billy’s right overhead and Mickeys left overhead being almost center (from the perspective of looking at the stage).  … while Betty would not quite pan the snare that extreme. 

I’ve tried to point this out to Charlie Miller at times (with varying results).

On a side note, Dan would make some exceptions. He would hard pan Mickey’s floor toms hard right when if looking at the stage they would be center. He said he did this because the floor toms took up too much sonic space.  

One thing that often seems to be true as well with all this stuff… there are always exceptions to the case. These are all things that developed over time and as with the music, very rarely would things stay the same. 

(added later)
I should mention the cowbell since it can be a pretty predominant part. On many tunes Mickey would often play the cowbell and toms as a textual thing while Billy held down the beat with a kick, snare, hi hat thing. That would be a classic example of them playing very different parts. Examples of this would be Let It Grow or Scarlet > Fire. 

Rosie McGee photo for KPFA auction

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Mickey Hart, 1985 – photo by Rosie McGee
8×10, matted, signed by the photographer.

Auction begins now and ends at noon PST on Wednesday, February 1. Bidding begins at $100. Bid by posting in the comments section below, and please keep coming back to top competing bids!

Proceeds go to KPFA

Mickey Hart art in San Francisco

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

The Tao of Wood
Dennis Rae Fine Art welcomes Mickey Hart to San Francisco
November and December 2008

Friday November 21st, 2008: 7pm-9pm Special VIP reception, closed to the public
Saturday November 22nd, 2008: 7pm-9pm Premier of the Mickey Hart Art Show.

If you are interested in attending any of these special events with Mickey Hart please call Dennis Rae Fine Art at 415-292-0387 to RSVP and be placed on the guest list. Due to the overwhelming interest in these events the gallery will be closed to walk-in traffic, the guest list will be limited and all guests must be on the gallery list to attend the shows.

Photography will not be allowed, Dennis Rae Fine Art will have a professional photographer shooting the event. All guests who acquire one of Mickey’s pieces will have a personal picture taken with Mickey and their artwork dedicated by him at the show. Mickey will not be signing any memorabilia, books, etc. at the event, nor will he be taking pictures with guests who have not acquired one of his pieces. Please refrain from bringing any outside materials, cameras, video cameras, etc., you will not be allowed to attend the show with such items. Thank you for your understanding.

Dennis Rae Fine Art

Global Drum Project on tour right now!

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

I don’t know why no one tells me about these things. Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain’s wonderful Global Drum Project is on the road right now. Here’s a story about it on jambase, with the dates.

Mickey Hart remembers Bo Diddley

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Via New Musical Express online.

“His slashing rhythm guitar brought the most powerful rhythms from west Africa into rock ‘n roll,” said Hart.

Grateful Dead Hour #1023

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Week of April 28, 2008

Part 1 39:16
Grateful Dead 8/5/89 Cal Expo, Sacramento CA
HEY POCKY WAY->
PLAYING IN THE BAND->
I KNOW YOU RIDER->
TERRAPIN->
DRUMS

Part 2 17:39
Diga Rhythm Band, Diga
RAZOOLI
Mickey Hart, At the Edge
FAST SAILING
Mickey Hart, Planet Drum
THE HUNT
TEMPLE CAVES

Info on the Mickey Hart reissues here. Info on the Mickey Hart Band’s summer tour here.

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

Grateful Dead Productions, announcing the release of Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings, a 9-disc set containing every note recorded at the legendary San Francisco venue on November 9, 10, and 11, 1973. Mastered in HDCD from the original 2-track reels using a state-of-the-art restoration technique, Winterland 1973 captures the post-Pigpen Dead at a creative peak on their home turf. Audio samples, historical documents, message board, and details of a limited-edition bonus disc are available now at dead.net.

The 10,000 Lakes Festival, July 23 through 26 in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. 10KLF features Phil Lesh & Friends, Mickey Hart Band, Dark Star Orchestra, The Flaming Lips, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and over fifty additional acts. More information and tickets for the 10,000 Lakes Festival are available at 10klf.com

Woodstock Trading Company, a brick-and-mortar as well as an online store offering clothing, posters, incense, tye dyes, and gifts from the Grateful Dead and numerous other bands. The store is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and online at woodstocktradeco.com.

Grateful Dead Hour #1022

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Week of April 21, 2008

Part 1 22:31
Grateful Dead, Infrared Roses
APOLLO AT THE RITZ
CROWD SCULPTURE

Mickey Hart’s Mystery Box
ONLY THE STRANGE REMAIN
Mickey Hart, Supralingua
INDOSCRUB

Part 2 34:24
Grateful Dead 8/5/89 Cal Expo, Sacramento CA
STUCK INSIDE OF MOBILE WITH THE MEMPHIS BLUES AGAIN
ROW JIMMY
LET IT GROW

More information abut the Mickey Hart reissues in this post.

Mickey is hitting the festival circuit this summer!

The Mickey Hart Band will feature Steve Kimock on guitar, George Porter Jr on bass, Jen Durkin on vocals, and talking drum master Sikiru Adepoju. After headlining appearances at Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa on June 6 and Wakarusa on June 8, the group will head out on an 18 city trek beginning July 3 at the Rothbury Festival and continuing through July 24 at 10K Lakes Festival.

Mickey Hart Band tour info and more on his site, mickeyhart.net

Infrared Roses is the wonderful work of Bob Bralove. From the bio on his web site:

Bob Bralove was the MIDI wizard, producer (Infrared Roses, Built to Last), and co-writer of Gold and Platinum selling songs, including: “Picasso Moon,” “Way to Go Home,” “Easy Answers,” “Parallelogram,” “Little Nemo in Nightland,” “Sparrow Hawk Row,” with the Grateful Dead for the last eight years of the long, strange trip…. Bralove is especially well known for his undeniable creative sound, performing and designing with the Grateful Dead, the mind-bending, avant-garde Drums and Space segments of their live shows.

Infrared Roses is out of print, but maybe it’ll come back when GDP/Rhino get the download program going. Stay tuned.

Bob recently released a CD of solo piano improvisations called Stories in Black and White.

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

Grateful Dead Productions, announcing the release of Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings, a 9-disc set containing every note recorded at the legendary San Francisco venue on November 9, 10, and 11, 1973. Mastered in HDCD from the original 2-track reels using a state-of-the-art restoration technique, Winterland 1973 captures the post-Pigpen Dead at a creative peak on their home turf. Audio samples, historical documents, message board, and details of a limited-edition bonus disc are available now at dead.net.

The 10,000 Lakes Festival, July 23 through 26 in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. 10KLF features Phil Lesh & Friends, Mickey Hart Band, Dark Star Orchestra, The Flaming Lips, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and over fifty additional acts. More information and tickets for the 10,000 Lakes Festival are available at 10klf.com

Woodstock Trading Company, a brick-and-mortar as well as an online store offering clothing, posters, incense, tye dyes, and gifts from the Grateful Dead and numerous other bands. The store is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and online at woodstocktradeco.com.