I'm a little OC, so I'm on a kick lately about the late great Rory Gallagher, the famed Irish Blues-Rock guitarist.
Not to take anything away from the other drummers who played with Rory, both in Taste and all forms of Rory bands thereafter, but Rod De'ath was my personal favorite. One strong reason for this is because when I was coming of age, so to speak, playing the drumset, I was listening to, and playing along with, Rory albums. When I was first learning to play the kit, songs like "Tattoo'd Lady" were excellent fodder for a drumset drummer to learn the basic beats of the mixture of rock and blues.
We played along with other stuff too, like the Stones, the Beatles, Creedence, Santana, the Woodstock albums and some of the other bands of the early seventies.
But no one in Houston that I knew had ever heard of Rory Gallagher, nor did they care. The fellows in the drum section at my school marching and concert bands thought he was an oaf compared to Buddy Rich, Carl Palmer, John Bonham, Billy Cobham, Lenny White and so many other flamboyant and talented drummers of that time period.
Billy Cobham was pretty much the shizizz to the guys in my drum sections, guys who were monsters already on the drumset at 13 years old. Cobham was the guru, and they'd spend hours and hours copping his solo's not only note for note, but with the exact sticking and correct rudiments he used.
I'm no Buddy Rich, but I'm considered to be a good drummer. But I got lucky in that the music I listened to in my childhood/teen years was stuff that moved me, or rather, I sought out music that wasn't necessarily being played on the radio. For me, drummers like Charlie Watts, Don Henley, Ringo Starr, Mitch Mitchell, Hal Blaine, Al Jackson and so many others were the groove inspiration for my sort of drumming.
And then came Rod De'ath, somewhere in '74. I read about Rory in a Rolling Stone or Circus magazine article, a blurb more likely about the offer to audition for the Stones, and began listening to him.
Rod ultimately left the band, and as I understand moved to America and had a family and later was involved in some sort of traumatic accident that caused him serious injuries.
I'd be curious to know whatever became of him. I've read conflicting web stories of various sources, none seeming too definative, about him losing his memory or an eye and his ability to play the drums. I don't know which if any are true, but whereever he is, I just want to acknowledge the great admiration and inspiration I have found in his drumming.
It always moves me. But in all fairness, so did the drumming of Wilgar Campbell and the other drummers who played with Rory in the 70's and 80's. There was just something for me in Rod's playing.
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