As Queen begins its year long 50th anniversary celebrations, co-founding drummer Roger Taylor name-checked some of his biggest inspirations. During a new chat with The London Express, he listed Mitch Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin‘s John Bonham, and the Who‘s Keith Moon.
Taylor said of Mitch Mitchell: “I was blown away by his playing, everything was tight and so perfect and he always played for the song. . . His fills were just fantastic and he was so fast with those jazz chops that you barely saw his hands. ‘Fire’ and ‘Manic Depression’ — from Are You Experienced — are still two of my favorite drum tracks.”
Taylor also sang the praises of the mighty John Bonham, recalling, “Another drummer that blew me away when Freddie (Mercury) and I first saw (Led) Zeppelin play live was John Bonham. . . He sounded like thunder! He was pure rock — he had speed, power and wonderful technique. Then there was his drum sound — massive and natural — and that became the benchmark that so many drummers strived for. He hit hard but he knew how to hit right. I loved his drumming and that big sound of his was a big influence on me.”
He went on to talk about rock’s ultimate madman, the great Keith Moon: “Keith Moon was another big influence on me, He was just phenomenal at what he did, and he was another drummer with a great sound. Those tympanic toms were quite revolutionary and his phrasing was just so natural, untutored and brilliant.”
Alice Cooper was Keith Moon’s close friend and neighbor during his Malibu years in the ’70s, and admitted that Moon’s non-stop partying and the mania surrounding his life was exhausting: [“Keith Moon was hard day-to-day. He would wear me out. He was always on. He came over and stayed at our house for a week. Y’know, just came over, stayed at the house for a week. And, I mean, there was never a time when I would come in and he’d be sleeping! He was always on: ‘Let’s go here, let’s go there, let’s go do this, let’s go do that, let’s go do this. . . ‘ And to the point where I would go, ‘I can’t stay with you. Y’know, I can party with you at night, okay? But during the day. . .’ He was like that all day, too! (laughs).”] SOUNDCUE (:29 OC: . . . all day too (laughs))
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith told us that he became an instant John Bonham acolyte the first time he heard him: [“Bonham is the greatest rock drummer. He just is, hands down. Like as when people say Buddy Rich is the greatest drummer, technically, y’know, the greatest drummer ever? John Bonham, hands down, greatest rock drummer ever. Sound, he played those songs, everything he did was just, y’know, just felt good and it’s just incredible. So for me, Led Zeppelin is my favorite band.”] SOUNDCUE (:20 OC: . . . my favorite band)
- In a new chat with The London Express, Queen‘s Roger Taylor cited the Jimi Hendrix Experience‘s Mitch Mitchell, Led Zeppelin‘s John Bonham, and the Who‘s Keith Moon, as being among his biggest influences.
- Keith Moon died on September 7th, 1978 at age 32. Moon’s death, which was ruled accidental, was caused by an overdose of Heminevrin, a medication prescribed to help alleviate alcohol withdrawals, mixed with alcohol.
- According to police reports there were 32 pills found in Moon’s system, some of which were not yet dissolved.
- John Bonham died on September 25th, 1980 at age 32, due to a pulmonary edema, which is fluid accumulation in the lungs. The clinical cause of death was asphyxiation from vomit and an autopsy found no other drugs in his body.
- Mitch Mitchell died on November 12th, 2008 at age 62, while on the road as part of the annual “Experience Hendrix Tour.” Mitchell, who had been suffering from various alcohol-related issues, died of natural causes.
DID YOU KNOW???
- In 1974, Mitch Mitchell unsuccessfully auditioned to become Paul McCartney‘s second drummer in Wings.
- Mitchell ultimately lost the gig to the relatively unknown Geoff Britton, who was soon replaced by Joe English.
- Geoff Britton holds the distinction of being the only Wings drummer not to record a full album with McCartney, tour with Wings, or perform on a Number One single.