Obscure Audio 1: Buddy Rich Cursing His Band


Obscure Audio 1: Buddy Rich Cursing His Band

Buddy Rich, American jazz drummer and bandleader, billed as "the world's greatest drummer", heard here in his later days, castigating his band, the majority of whom are, apparently, much younger then him.

"Whaddaya play? CLAMS?!?!!"

Notes: (from Wikipedia): The Bus Tapes - Rich's temper, mercurial attitude and imposing personality are documented in secret recordings that pianist Lee Musiker made during some of his tantrums on tour buses and backstage in the early 1980s. These recordings, long circulated in bootleg form, have done much to fuel the reputation of Rich's personality. The tapes were popular with comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, who used three quotes from them more or less verbatim on Seinfeld:

"If I have to tell you again, we're gonna take it outside and I'm gonna show you what it's like!" ("The Opposite")
"This guy -- this is not my kind of guy." ("The Understudy")
"Then let's see how he does, up there, without all the assistance!" ("The Butter Shave")

On one recording, Rich threatens to fire Dave Panichi, a trombonist, for wearing a beard. Days before Rich died, he was visited by Mel Tormé, who claims that one of Rich's last requests was "to hear the tapes" that featured his angry outbursts. At the time, Tormé was working on an authorized biography of Rich which was released after Rich's death, titled Traps, The Drum Wonder: The Life of Buddy Rich.

Although Rich was usually helpful and friendly, he had a short temper. While he threatened many times to fire members of his band, he seldom did so, and for the most part he lauded his band members during television and print interviews. Dusty Springfield allegedly slapped Rich after several days of "putting up with Rich's insults and show-biz sabotage."

In the Beastie Boys song "Sabotage", the lyrics "I'm Buddy Rich when I fly off the handle," referred to Rich's temper. Buddy Rich held a black belt in karate, as mentioned in a CNN television interview with Larry King, c. 1985.

Band member and lifelong friend David Lucas says that "Rich had a soft heart underneath it all. His favorite song was "It's Not Easy Being Green".