In the summer of 1977, I walked into a small (but very important and dialed-in) club and saw the Cars onstage, maybe four or five months before they became famous. It’s one of those rock and roll moments that everyone hopes to experience so that they can tell their grandkids someday.
So what do I remember about that night? They were good songwriters, I guess. Looked a little strange. But what really stuck with me, and always will, was the OTHER BAND.
Good Rats exploded onto the stage and basically tore the place up. More energy than a hurricane. To me this was all centered on the drummer, who seemed to sit about six inches off the ground behind a wall of drums. His playing was as sophisticated as anything I’d heard on any album, and the sound belonged in an arena.
Joe Franco and I have been friends since that gig, and over the years Joe has been active, not just with the Good Rats, a rock and roll fixture of New York and the East Coast, but with metal bands Twisted Sister, Widowmaker, the guitarist Blues Saraceno, and countless studio sessions. I found myself studying from his book, Double bass Drumming in 1984, and learned a few of the technoques that I wished I had known when I was still in my band.
Likely any listeners who have kids have heard Joe’s work—his studio, Beatstreet Productions, performs work for many television shows, most notably the popular kids’ show Reading Between the Lions.
Best of all, Joe’s time as a New York fixture has connected him with nearly every drummer who passed through the city. I can’t think of a better guy to pick out some drum music for us to play today!
Listen to the Joe Franco Podcast
Joe Franco Playlist
The Drumpster — Mojo Brothers
Album: Mojo Bros., Japanese Import, 1993
Drums: Joe Franco
Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) — Drum solo section
Album: Rich vs. Roach, 1959
Drums: Buddy Rich, Max Roach
I Want to Hold Your Hand — The Beatles
Album: Meet the Beatles, 1963
Drums: Ringo Starr
Wipe Out — The Surfaris
Album: Wipe Out, 1963
Drums: Ron Wilson
Toad — Cream
Album: Fresh Cream, 1967
Drums: Ginger Baker
Good Times, Bad Times — Led Zeppelin
Album: Led Zeppelin, 1969
Drums: John Bonham
Parchman Farm — Cactus
Album: Cactus, 1970
Drums: Carmine Appice
Vital Transformation — Mahavishnu Orchestra
Album: Inner Mounting Flame, 1971
Drums: Billy Cobham
Stratus — Blly Cobham
Album: Spectrum, 1973
Drums, Electronic percussion: Billy Cobham
Fred — Tony Williams
Album: Believe It, 1975
Drums: Tony Williams
Emaheevul — Widowmaker
Album: Blood and Bullets, 1992
Drums: Joe Franco