I often despair when drummers speak of their favorite fills as demonstrations of mechanical mastery. “He plays sixes around the toms and then single-handed sixteenths . . .” blah blah blah.
What about rhetorical mastery? What about putting the drums in conversation with the rest of the band? With the singer? With the song?
That’s exactly what Raspberries drummer Jim Bonfanti does here. His drumming has something to say, something more than “Look at me!”
How easily drumming like this can be reduced to a list of moves. To do so would miss the beauty of Bonfanti’s performance. He is not inserting pre-fabricated flash into the track, nor is he using his hands and feet to talk about the state of his drumming.
He is playing with his ears and heart wide open and making bold declarations on behalf of the song, reproducing on the drums the desperate moxie of the song’s chorus.
I’ll be with you tonight
Thank you for reading.