Sunday, February 19, 2017

click-clack pop-BOOM

Stubblefield grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he taught himself how to play the drums by absorbing the percussive industrial sounds that surrounded him. “I had no training at all. I just taught myself how to play and how to feel,” says Stubblefield. “There was a factory there that puffed out air — pop-BOOM, pop-BOOM — hit the mountains and came back as an echo,” says Stubblefield. “And train tracks — click-clack, click-clack. I listened to all that for six years, playing my drums against it.” - See more at: http://isthmus.com/music/give-the-drummer-some-clyde-stubblefield/#sthash.ps7kHsOO.xEPdRJRk.dpuf
In his obituary of legendary drummer Clyde Stubblefield, Jon Caramanica quotes a memorable passage from a feature that originally ran in 2015 in Isthmus, an online magazine produced in Madison, Wisconsin, where Stubblefield lived for many years and where he died, yesterday, at the age of 73. "Stubblefield grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn.," Bob Jacobson writes,
where he taught himself how to play the drums by absorbing the percussive industrial sounds that surrounded him. “I had no training at all. I just taught myself how to play and how to feel,” says Stubblefield. “There was a factory there that puffed out air— pop-BOOM, pop-BOOM—hit the mountains and came back as an echo,” says Stubblefield. “And train tracks—click-clack, click-clack. I listened to all that for six years, playing my drums against it.”
What a fantastic, evocative image of Americana this is: a kid next to an open window, playing with and up against concrete, gray, and steel elements all around him—factories coughing, trains barreling by—all of the ugly noise coming back at him, bigger now, off of some eternal mountainside as he loses himself in the din, intuits rhythm, syncopates, creates something new and funky. It's an origin story almost too good to be true.

Some of Stubblefield's finest work is on display in the impossibly funky "I Got the Feeling," recorded in January of 1968 at Vox Studios in Los Angeles, and released as a James Brown single in April:

Stubblefield grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he taught himself how to play the drums by absorbing the percussive industrial sounds that surrounded him. “I had no training at all. I just taught myself how to play and how to feel,” says Stubblefield. “There was a factory there that puffed out air — pop-BOOM, pop-BOOM — hit the mountains and came back as an echo,” says Stubblefield. “And train tracks — click-clack, click-clack. I listened to all that for six years, playing my drums against it.” - See more at: http://isthmus.com/music/give-the-drummer-some-clyde-stubblefield/#sthash.ps7kHsOO.xEPdRJRk.dpuf


Here's the master more recently, playing and holding forth:


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