Topic: Might Start a War - but that's not the intent  (Read 8249 times)

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Offline Scheming Demon

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Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« on: February 22, 2003, 03:25 PM »
Just wondering what the general feeling in the drum community about Tico (Taco Bell) Torres, of Bon Jovi is?

I personally like the chops oriented drummers, like Peart & Portnoy.

However, here's a guy, throughout his entire career does next to nothing drum wise.  I can't recall any drum fills the guy does or even cool grooves.  It's practically the same thing over and over again.  His got a double bass that he has never used and probably has never had to change any heads except on his snare.  I'd like to dub him the laziest drummer in rock.

I'm not saying he's a bad drummer because in fact he's obviously got good timing skills and plays in the pocket.  He's also part of one of the biggest selling and most popular bands of all time.  I'm sure he's crying all the way to the bank about opinions similar to mine.  Hell, Charlie Watts and Ringo Starr are like Mike Portnoy in comparison.

SO - do you think he plays this way because his chops are limited

because he is not very creative coming up with various drum beats without taking away from the songs

because he is instructed to play this way

or because that is the best way to play those songs and any other drum beat would ruin the songs and Bon Jovi would not be the rock icons they are?

I'm sure we'd all give our right arms to be in a band like Bon Jovi, except from a drummers perspective I personally would be bored to tears playing that stuff.

We have guys with incredible chops, master musicians who can play circles around most drummers and they are pretty much unknown and struggling to make a career.

On the other side, we have someone like Tico, who just about any drummer could play with minimal skills who is very well known and probably making tons of money.

I hope I'm not coming across as jealous, because I'm not.  Envious maybe.  I think we all make our choices to play the style we love and whatever level of success we can achieve with that, at least that is the case with me.

Nomad442

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2003, 03:44 PM »
Better yet why don't you tell him yourself  http://www.tico-torres.com/]http://www.tico-torres.com/  maybe have him critque your stuff as well

Offline Scheming Demon

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2003, 04:24 PM »
Better yet why don't you tell him yourself  http://www.tico-torres.com/]http://www.tico-torres.com/  maybe have him critque your stuff as well


I guess I should have expected a comment like this.  I personally don't like his particular approach to playing drums.  Just an opinion from a nobody drummer.  His drumming is fine.  Why would I want to tell somebody, you're a good drummer but I personally prefer other styles better.  Like he really cares what I think.

As far as my playing, it's out there for any and all to listen to and comment on should they choose.

You however still didn't answer any of my questions or should I just assume you think Tico is a great a drummer and personally aspire to that style?

Andrew

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2003, 04:27 PM »
... because that is the best way to play those songs and any other drum beat would ruin the songs and Bon Jovi would not be the rock icons they are.

Probably a combination of elements, but if there's a reason why Bon Jovi has held on to Tico for so long, that's it.

I saw a band last night that I've followed for a year or so. In that time, they've switched drummers. The new guy is really talented -- probably more-so than the last drummer. HOWEVER, they really need to reign this guy in. He practically ruined a couple of their songs... One in particular demands a "When the Levee Breaks"/"Tom Sawyer" kind of steady forward momentum, and he threw in a lot of bouncy, splashy, flashy stuff that just killed the song, IMHO.

It's a good question to ask, though, and your list of proposed answers shows that this is something you've clearly given some thought to (as opposed to a "drummer X sucks" rant).

Ratamatatt

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2003, 05:01 PM »
Just wondering what the general feeling in the drum community about Tico (Taco Bell) Torres, of Bon Jovi is?

I personally like the chops oriented drummers, like Peart & Portnoy.

However, here's a guy, throughout his entire career does next to nothing drum wise.  I can't recall any drum fills the guy does or even cool grooves.  It's practically the same thing over and over again.  His got a double bass that he has never used and probably has never had to change any heads except on his snare.  I'd like to dub him the laziest drummer in rock.

I'm not saying he's a bad drummer because in fact he's obviously got good timing skills and plays in the pocket.  He's also part of one of the biggest selling and most popular bands of all time.  I'm sure he's crying all the way to the bank about opinions similar to mine.  Hell, Charlie Watts and Ringo Starr are like Mike Portnoy in comparison.

SO - do you think he plays this way because his chops are limited

because he is not very creative coming up with various drum beats without taking away from the songs

because he is instructed to play this way

or because that is the best way to play those songs and any other drum beat would ruin the songs and Bon Jovi would not be the rock icons they are?

I'm sure we'd all give our right arms to be in a band like Bon Jovi, except from a drummers perspective I personally would be bored to tears playing that stuff.

We have guys with incredible chops, master musicians who can play circles around most drummers and they are pretty much unknown and struggling to make a career.

On the other side, we have someone like Tico, who just about any drummer could play with minimal skills who is very well known and probably making tons of money.

I hope I'm not coming across as jealous, because I'm not.  Envious maybe.  I think we all make our choices to play the style we love and whatever level of success we can achieve with that, at least that is the case with me.

WHAT! YOU INSULT TICO TORRES!  I KEEEEEL YUUU!  Where eees my plasteeec exploseeve and my dynamite belt.

But, seriously.  Don't you think Tico plays pretty much what the band leader wants him to play?  Not all leaders give their side men the discretion to play what they want.  And even if Tico had such discretion, it's not like BonJovi's music calls for Carl Palmeresque fills.  I'm not much of a BonJovi fan, I think I've seen him on TV a few times lately, but, I wouldn't be surprised if Tico can do a lot more than what he's doing with that gig.

Ratamatatt

Ratamatatt

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2003, 05:05 PM »
. . . We have guys with incredible chops, master musicians who can play circles around most drummers and they are pretty much unknown and struggling to make a career. . . .

Maybe the reason the guys with such chops don't make carreers is because their too busy playing circles around the bands they play in.

Ratamatatt

Offline Mark Schlipper

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2003, 05:31 PM »
ill take "because its suits the music" for 500$ alex.  same reason you play the way you do id assume.  because its what you like and youll surround yourself with musicians who like that as well.

and be careful underestimating folk.  just cause you dont hear 'em play doesnt mean they cant.  charlie watts is a great example.  if the only time youve heard gadd was on this recent clapton thing, you might think the same thing.  
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Offline Bermuda Schwartz

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2003, 05:59 PM »
ill take "because its suits the music" for 500$ alex.

¡Exactamente!

Do you EVER hear Jim Keltner play up to his ability? The guy does have chops, you know. We still love and respect him though, and he works his butt of because he plays the right parts (which in the real world, are usually not complicated chopfests.)

I think Tico is a fine drummer. I don't know if he's capable of doing more, or not, and it makes no difference - he's playing the right parts for the situation he's in.

Now if Scheming Demon asked "what would Tico do if he had to play with Chick Corea?" that might yield a different set of answers.

But not every drummer is meant to inspire. It's fine if they don't, and fine if we don't discover something in every drummer that we can take home with us, that's not what enjoying music is about! For those who thrive on chops and extreme playing, there's plenty of it out there. For those who just want grooves and find beauty in 2 & 4, there's plenty of that out there, too!

It's all good. No drummer is necessarily lacking just because they do a lot of 2 & 4, and no drummer is necessarily amazing just because they have chops.

The great players are the ones who know when to play the right parts. What are the right parts? The great players know the answer to that...


bentakis

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2003, 05:59 PM »
I'm with 563 on this one. If you're listening to Bon Jovi for killer drum grooves, you'll be more satisfied listening to some other group. I don't personally listen to Bon Jovi, but I'm sure the millions of people who do like the catchy melodies and such. I'm sure Tico Torres is the perfect guy for the group.

also, let's not underestimate the skill involved in laying down perfect time. in my opinon/experience, this is a skill that is just as hard to develop as fast paradiddles around the toms. So whether there are fill ins or not, I have to respect a drummer who can just nail a groove. and there are tons of bands who I love whose drummers barely do anything. Talking Heads and Radiohead are two of these bands, not to mention the Beatles. And if I can love a song, I think the drummer has done his/her job well.

Offline Bermuda Schwartz

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2003, 06:48 PM »
And if I can love a song, I think the drummer has done his/her job well.

Exactly...again!

I take music on face value: I either like it, or I don't. But I don't make that decision based on whether I think the drummer is playing up to my preferences... I listen to the entire thing. When I want to focus on the drummer's playing, there may be certain styles and songs I listen to, even though I may not actually enjoy that song otherwise.

It's not necessarily all about the drummer... not even to another drummer!

DrumGun

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2003, 07:11 PM »
bermuda is on it.  Listen to the song first, then decide, if you must, whether or not the drummer is pleasing you.  It won't even be a factor if you love the song!

I think I understand, though, that this thread wasn't started as a slam to Tico, neccesarily, but as a question about why folks play as they do...I can say that with the bands I play for, I'm not "told" or even guided in a direction most of the time because I take it upon myself to try and make whatever the music is feel as good as possible.  Sometimes it's not easy, as I've played for folks that aren't up my alley, but you always have to reel in the desire to be noticed and praised by all of the drummers in the crowd...

I think tico's just a Jersey boy that is stoked that he's gotten rich and famous playing straight up rock and roll, so he just pushes the song along for Jon to preen and prance to.  Everyone you've seen hides SOME skills.  In fact, IMO, if you've seen ALL of somebodys licks, they probably don't have alot of taste or self-control...

Kevin

Nomad442

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2003, 09:50 PM »
Quote
I'm not much of a BonJovi fan, I think I've seen him on TV a few times lately, but, I wouldn't be surprised if Tico can do a lot more than what he's doing with that gig.

I aggree 100%

Nomad442

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2003, 09:52 PM »
Quote
I think tico's just a Jersey boy that is stoked that he's gotten rich and famous playing straight up rock and roll, so he just pushes the song along for Jon to preen and prance to.  Everyone you've seen hides SOME skills.  In fact, IMO, if you've seen ALL of somebodys licks, they probably don't have alot of taste or self-control...

Kevin

I agree 100%

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2003, 10:26 PM »
You seem offended when people snap back at you, but your post smacks of immaturity. If Tico is lazy, I hope I can get that lazy too.

Tico's nickname is "the hitman" - because records he plays on become hits. The guy studied with Joe Morello, and had recorded with Frankie and the Knockouts, Pat Benatar, Chuck Berry, Cher, Alice Cooper, and Stevie Nicks before hooking up with Bon Jovi. Not exactly an amateur.

Guys like Tico get called in to replace drummers like you in the studio, the first time you find how hard it is to play a 3-minute, 8th-note-oriented "simple" track, and find out you can't do it with perfect time and a consistent feel. Tico can. That's my kind of chops.

If you don't dig Bon Jovi, that's fair enough. But don't assume it's easy to do what Tico is doing - it's not.  It's about playing appropriately for the song. Tico gets that. Maybe some day you will, too.



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Offline JeepnDrummer

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2003, 10:54 PM »
Do you EVER hear Jim Keltner play up to his ability? The guy does have chops, you know.
I have the Sheffield Drum Record (vinyl) that was recorded back in 1980 and it has Jim Keltner on one side and Ron Tutt on the other.  It showcases some of their chops.  It's groovy stuff, man!

By the way, there was a thread elsewhere about starting late in life on the drums.....well, Ron Tutt didn't start playing until his senior year in high school.  Interesting.

Tom

Offline Bermuda Schwartz

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2003, 11:09 PM »
I have the Sheffield Drum Record (vinyl) that was recorded back in 1980 and it has Jim Keltner on one side and Ron Tutt on the other.  It showcases some of their chops.  It's groovy stuff, man!

Yep, and that's the only time I've heard that kind of playing from Jim! I actually have that on CD, but I do have the first 3 "direct-to-disc" Lincoln Mayorga albums on vinyl, some great Jim Gordon work on the first of those, with Keltner on Vol 2 & 3 (and prior to the Drum album.)

Offline Scheming Demon

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2003, 11:19 PM »
You seem offended when people snap back at you, but your post smacks of immaturity. If Tico is lazy, I hope I can get that lazy too.

Tico's nickname is "the hitman" - because records he plays on become hits. The guy studied with Joe Morello, and had recorded with Frankie and the Knockouts, Pat Benatar, Chuck Berry, Cher, Alice Cooper, and Stevie Nicks before hooking up with Bon Jovi. Not exactly an amateur.

Guys like Tico get called in to replace drummers like you in the studio, the first time you find how hard it is to play a 3-minute, 8th-note-oriented "simple" track, and find out you can't do it with perfect time and a consistent feel. Tico can. That's my kind of chops.

If you don't dig Bon Jovi, that's fair enough. But don't assume it's easy to do what Tico is doing - it's not.  It's about playing appropriately for the song. Tico gets that. Maybe some day you will, too.

Why do I seem offended when people snap back, what gave you that impression?  I asked a question, which some people got which was why do you play the way you do and not a personal slam on Tico or drummers like him.

I, in fact think he's a fine drummer and while I'm not a Bon Jovi fan per se, I have a great deal of respect for them and think they are an extremely talented band.

Why are you attacking me personally, you have no idea what I can or cannot do in the studio or otherwise?  Seems immature on your part not mine.  I'm just trying to have a lively discussion and now you're attacking me.

I also do not dispute the "hitman" reference because it's obviously true.  Is he playing well below his potential, maybe but he's been around for a long time, played on a lot of songs and I've never heard anything chops wise from him.  It's not good or bad just a statement based on my personal experience of hearing his playing.

Offline Bermuda Schwartz

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2003, 11:33 PM »
If you don't dig Bon Jovi, that's fair enough. But don't assume it's easy to do what Tico is doing - it's not.  It's about playing appropriately for the song. Tico gets that.

Word.

It always amazes when a drummer wants to "improve" upon a part that exists on a record, or "make it their own." Unless there is a specifically different arrangement, or you are told otherwise by the person paying you, play the parts that were on the record! Those are the beats and fills and sounds that made the record worth listening to in the first place, and worth covering 10, 20, 30 and 40 years later! They're the parts that everyone agreed at the time sounded right for the song!

When I'm doing '60s/'70s oldies (which I love dearly,) I strive to play the original parts - the parts that made the songs what they were. I have no illusion or ego that makes me want to "better" the playing of Ringo, Charlie, Mick Avory, Hal Blaine, John Barbata, etc.

Don't make me recount the discussion in a forum that asked if Neil Peart played for the Beatles, how much better it would have been - puh-LEEZE!!

On my first gig in a particular band this January, when we got to We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, and I played that little tom/snare-accent thing after the chorus, the guys turned around and looked at me like I was from Mars - they had never heard a drummer do the right parts (other than on the record, I suspect.) I have continued to work with them as a result of that, and all of the other true-to-the-original parts I played that night, without rehearsal, and without having to be told that the songs should be authentic. In a cover band, as far as I'm concerned, that's just a given.

But what it boils down to is, play the right parts. Even in an original project, figure out what works - often your first instinct - and stick with it. Players who are constantly trying to "evolve" parts (under the guise of not wanting to become stale) are actually demonstrating that 1) they didn't get it right the first time, and 2) they still don't know what to play.

Bermuda

Offline Bermuda Schwartz

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2003, 11:43 PM »
Sorry, got on a slight tangent there...

What I meant to also point out is that in popular music, more often than not, the right part is usually pretty simple, and undoubtedly those players can do more than what you hear on that recording. And there are genres where the drummer must really push the limits of their expression, and by the same rule, those are the right parts for that music.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve, but I've never been paid to demonstrate them either live or on record. Hey, that's cool. I have been accused many times of playing the right parts, but have never been accused of overplaying.

Nomad442

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Re:Might Start a War - but that's not the intent
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2003, 11:51 PM »
I think Tico is a Fantastic Drummer.

 

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