Hooks and Worms #2

Several generations of finger drummers have been doing this…

…not too competently maybe, but with great enthusiasm.  Did you recognize it?  Usually hooks are repeated numerous times… but here once is sufficient (starting at the 20-second mark and lasting about 15 seconds).

The-Beatles-Abbey-Road

 

In an album replete with hooks, that little drum solo (bridge) illustrates the fact that some well-placed percussion can also snare the listener.  The song is The End and the album, of course, is Abbey Road by our friends, The Beatles.  No one could ever accuse the band of lacking the ability to hook its listeners.  Let’s look at a couple of other percussive examples…

A.  I Can See for Miles by The Who

Can something be both irritating and clever?  Apparently… because CSI: Cyber chose this song as its opening theme.  Clever because it fits the show’s content so well.  Irritating because it condenses The Who‘s I Can See for Miles into a manageable soundbite for short attention spans.  In fairness, the song was probably one of the British group’s more “popish” efforts.   It is, in fact, the only single by the band to reach “the top 10” (#9 in US. #10 in UK in 1967).  The recording displays some fairly complex vocals and trademark (Pete) Townsend guitar riffs.  But I was always taken with Keith Moon’s percussion on this song… no drum solos here but a strong backbone upon which the other components fit quite nicely.  So the drumwork is “my hook”…here is a performance (mimed) from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967.  (Bonus:  stick around after/meet the band/hear My Generation/watch them destroy their instruments.)

If that took too long, here’s the CSI version…

B.  Wipe Out by The Surfaris

Remember the first installment on this topic?  I spoke of repeated chordal patterns as hooks.  In this next song, it’s just basic 12-bar blues.  But, I think, it is the frenetic drumming that propelled this song to #2 in 1963 for The Surfaris.  Here is Wipe Out, complete with visual ambiance…

C.  You Hear Me Call Your Name by The Association

When you think about this group (and how could you avoid it if you read this blog), you invariably think about vocal harmony.  For whatever reason, I always find the drumming commands equal footing in You Hear Me Call Your Name from the band’s 1967 album Renaissance.  The album contained no “chart toppers” like its predecessor (And Then Along Comes…) and followup (Insight Out)… but it’s still well worth a listen.

And my point here is…

the next time you hear (or, better yet, simply think about) a song and find yourself tapping out certain drum patterns as it plays in your head, chances are you’ve been hooked (at least in part) by the percussive elements of the song.  Hooks and worms, hooks and worms…

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