The Sound of Not-Distant-Enough Drumming

Posted by admin - 17/12/12 at 04:12 am

To begin with, has anyone actually experienced this entire “12 Days Of Christmas” song in one setting? It’s the Bataan Death March of the yuletide season. It’s the “99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall” of Christmas songs, a nightmare of obscure gifts made even worse through recursion. No one can make it through the whole thing.

And not all of them make sense. Six of the days involve animals which can be kept as pets, or eaten as food. I get that. And who wouldn’t want five golden rings? Gotcha. It’s at the end when it starts to get weird, and they actually start throwing in real people as gifts. We don’t need maids to milk anymore, and the lords leaping don’t seem to serve any purpose at all.

“Hey, Merry Christmas! I’m going to send some guys to come over and jump around your house.”

Of all the professional gifts in the song though, my favorite would have to be the famed drummers-a-drumming. Why on Earth would that be considered a good gift?

Nobody likes drummers, with the possible exception of the 4% of the US female population who’ve slept with Tommy Lee. They’re annoying, loud, have a lot of equipment to drag around with them, and can be replaced with the rhythm setting on a $30 Casio Keyboard.

How many drummers are famous in the mainstream? Neil Peart, for being the greatest. Rick Allen, for having one arm, which pretty much invalidates the theory that having all their appendages makes a difference to a drummer. Tommy Lee, for reasons of nudity and hepatitis. That’s about it.

And nine of them? Who thinks the perfect Christmas gift for that hard-to-shop for person is their very own drumline?

It’s much the same as in “The Little Drummer Boy.” I understand the tike had no money for a gift for the baby Jesus, but newborns don’t really dig drum solos. They’re infants, not jazz aficionados. Perhaps if you were going to see Buddy Rich’s son, whipping out a quick sixteen bar percussion solo would be appropriate. Otherwise, no. Just let the kid sleep. That’s what the mom wants him to do anyway.

Drums are not a gift unless you have a sound-proofed house, or are giving them to a child who doesn’t live with you as a practical joke on that child’s parents.

— Reid Kerr got his first drum set at age three, and trashed it Keith Moon-style at five.

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