Author Topic: Terry Williams drumming  (Read 30339 times)

Alan Davies

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Terry Williams drumming
« on: June 05, 2008, 12:21:02 PM »
I listened again to the live at The Whisky CD yesterday and it really does showcase the ability of TW. His snare patterns on 7171-551 really drive the song in much the same way as on JUJTONNASR73 off BITF. The bloke must have been fit to keep up the relentless pace.

It got me thinking about an article I read some while ago in Sound On Sound. It was a classic track feature on Money for Nothing by Dire Straits, and claimed that the producer of Brothers in Arms was unimpressed by Terry's drumming and flew Omar Hakim (from Todd Rundgren's Utopia) and used him to replace all of TW's parts.

TW and OH are very different drummers. TW generally lays down a series of complex snare based stuff while OH, from what I've heard (mostly his work with Steve Hillage) is a bit of a thumper. CAn anyone confirm or deny the accuracy of this article?

Allan Heron

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2008, 12:52:15 PM »
Given his background I suspect describing Omar Hakim as "a bit of a thumper" is probably doing him something of a disservice.  Doubt he'd have cut the mustard in, for example, Weather Report were this the case.

Both are credited as drumming on the album but without any specific track credits.  The nature of the drumming on the album is such that it's quite difficult to be able to distinguish between the two.   It's an album that needs a competent drummer who can also keep himself on a fairly tight leash.

I suspect that if what you say is correct, though, it's probably more down to TW's style not working with the song rather than being unimpressed with his abilities.  Perhaps Terry found it difficult to underplay which is, in effect, what he'd have been needing to do; and perhaps Hakim who, as far I can see, had a greater experience of session work was more comfortable with this.

I always found Terry's involvement with Dire Straits a considerable underuse of his talents but it was no doubt a very remunerative gig for him.

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Allan Heron

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2008, 01:05:57 PM »
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may06/articles/classictracks_0506.htm

This is the article in question - seems it was the whole album that Hakim was used for although some of Terry's work remains as noted.
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Alan Davies

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2008, 11:34:16 PM »
Thanks for that Allan. I can't believe it's 2 years since I read that article. I'll have to check out some more of Omar Hakim's stuff, clearly I did him a disservice.

Ron S

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2008, 01:35:26 AM »
I've read that it was the top part of the kit that was replaced.. they kept the bass drum and other bits I suppose. My guess is they wanted a modern 80's sound. Don't forget Edmunds replaced most of Terry's drums on I Hear You Knocking too!
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joan

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2008, 11:29:46 PM »
As this is my first message, hello everybody. I'm Joan from Barcelona.
I've found this interesting topic. Many many thanks for the article about 'Brothers in arms' recording.
Sorry to write in this almost dead topic but I have something to write.

When I met Terry I asked for his participation in 'Brothers in arms' record. I remember it wasn't a good idea to ask him about it, he didn't seem comfortable.
Terry plays in 'Walk of life' (I have a video with Mark Knopfler telling that. And if you listen to this song you'll see is just rock and roll, nothing complicated, so is him drumming the whole song). Terry also did the intro for 'Money for nothing'. Probably the rest of the record is Omar.
Terry couldn't remember if he is the drummer in more songs, he wasn't sure about 'So far away', but I think 99% he probably wasn't anywhere else.
As some of you must know I'm Terry's fan number 1, and I'm a drummer too. I have to say Omar can do whatever he wants on the drums, he can play any style, and can do incredible solos with drum figures you haven't heard before, meanwhile Terry can only play rock, r'n'r, blues, rockabilly and styles like these. Never jazz, reggae nor other styles. For me is very clear he is not the drummer in, for example, 'Ride across the river' or 'Your latest trick'. Terry can't do that. He hasn't that 'groove'.
That's all in my first message. Regards everybody and don't forget to visit my page about Terry, I've updated it today: http://webs.ono.com/joan_duarte/terry.html

Davey

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2008, 11:44:08 PM »
well i think that terry williams can get "jazzy" at times,and he has incredible technique as well.that being said there are maybe a few "jazz" drummers that can't play the rock feel as well as they play what they are comfortable with...-peace

joan

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2008, 11:54:54 PM »
Yes, everybody has his own style, I think too there are some great drummers that don't seem that great playing a simple rock song.

Campbell

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2008, 12:02:26 AM »
Joan,I think Terry may be hesitant to chat about his time with Dire Straits.
I have chatted many times with Peter W (Terry's brother who many of you know).I dont think there was any love lost between Mark Knopfler and Terry.
I have the impression that when Terry joined Dire Straits he was paid a straight wage with the band.Let's not forget that in the mid 80s Dire Straits had an enormous success and played stadiums all around the world.I doubt that he picks up any royalty for songs from the  Brothers in Arms played on radio or the greatest hits packages etc

Rob the Organ

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2008, 12:17:28 AM »
Having spent a few years away from psychedelia and more into songs (The Band, Nick Lowe..etc) it was lovely to have that reassuring presence of TW on a lot of Edmunds/Rockpile stuff. Let's not forget that there was quality gear from Tel between the end of Man and the start of his Dire Straits phase. Ah, Rockpile...Dai Edmunds, Basher and our Tel........lovely grub.

Am I the only one who thinks that after Terry, the drums all got far too loud in Man? Not a specific dig at either Bob or Pugwash, but true of both to an extent.

Nick Nation

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2008, 12:50:00 AM »
Am I the only one who thinks that after Terry, the drums all got far too loud in Man? Not a specific dig at either Bob or Pugwash, but true of both to an extent.

Interesting point, Rob - In fact I seem to recall TW started to play a lot heavier live from the 'Rhinos' tour onwards. A shame, because the subtleties would just get lost. And yes, he was imperious with Rockpile and on the Stiffs Tour. 

Rob the Organ

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2008, 07:20:08 PM »
Tel is on fire here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT2EQoWBHWU&feature=related

A bit of the old Padget Rooms "Daughter of the Fireplace" magic definitely on show...

Alan Davies

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2008, 07:45:49 PM »
He's pretty good here too.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=GpqYU3Nzbts
I think he played drums through most of the Guitar Legends concert in Seville. He's still the best for me.

Nick Nation

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2008, 09:37:02 PM »
Enjoyed those clips of TW - with regard to my previous point about him sounding heavier live from Rhinos onwards, he certainly didn't sound heavy on these - but then I seem to recall a different sound crew from 74 onwards and larger halls, so maybe it was due to this.

And it's a real shame he's not playing - for fear of giving rise (ouch) to a dusting (oof) of bakery-related puns, you would recognise one of Terry's crisp rolls anywhere.

joan

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Re: Terry Williams drumming
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2008, 09:52:48 PM »
Of course, he's the best for me too... though he can't play jazz  ;)
Yes, he played on Seville in 1991 with Dave Edmunds, Robert Cray, Bo Diddley, Steve Cropper, Albert Collins and B.B. King.
There is a good quality DVD of the Rockpile Rockpalast concert available on Dime a dozen, don't know if you know Dime. I suppose so..
I've got both concerts in DVD if you want any. I have almost all the videos that are in my video section:
http://webs.ono.com/joan_duarte/terryvideo.html