Have you seen this video yet? You haven’t? You haven’t been on the internet today, have you? Well, click “play” on the link below and get those tissues ready. You’ll have about a minute to go grab that box of Kleenex, because it’s at the one minute mark when the tears will start flowing. And not because this is a mournful video full of tragedy and trauma. No, it’s a video that will remind you through tears of joy and laughter how wild, wacky and wonderful this world can be. And if you’re like me, these tears will not stop flowing until well after you’ve clicked “play” several more times!
There. Seen it now? It’s okay, you can go watch it again. It gets better. We’ll be waiting. (Just wipe the tears from your eyes so you can read…)
Okay, now for some commentary.
First brought to my attention by the fine folks at Wimp.com, who correctly note that perhaps this guy has the wrong gig, this drummer’s playing style is undeniably impressive in its over-the-topitude. Close your eyes and not a beat is missing from the band’s cover of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man.” Yet it’s when you open your eyes that you can be assured that never again will you witness a more stunning array of physical histrionics that couldn’t be *more* irrelevant to actually providing that competent backbeat. First it’s the flailing shoulders and windmills on the high hat, replete with mugging like he’s putting on his “O” face. Then it’s the finger rolls with his sticks that must make Pam Anderson wonder what Tommy Lee’s been holding back all these years. Capping it off is the Devo-esque New Wave flourish at the 2:25 mark. This guy has a very deep bag of tricks to entertain you!
On the one hand, his antics have to be incredibly distracting for an audience, and potentially an annoyance for any band member who doesn’t want their performance upstaged by a Chris Farley impersonator playing behind them. On the other hand, separating yourself from the pack of oldies bands with similar playlists and tour itineraries is pretty hard, so giving your audience that little extra (okay, whole lotta extra!) may be the difference between working regularly on the road or staying home and playing for your beer buddies on your backyard deck.
So who is this guy?!?!
His name is Steve Moore, he goes by the nickname The Mad Drummer, and he’s the skinsman for the hard-touring party band, Rick K and the All-Nighters. One look at their tour itinerary and its clear these guys are working a very specialized circuit of casinos, American Legion halls, chili cook offs, banquet halls, and private parties – anywhere the sound of a band knocking back the familiar hits of the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and god knows what other decade is necessary for the beer to go down that much quicker, and the dancing in the crowd to be that much more inspired.
Any musician who sees Steve Moore play will laugh extra-heartily for reasons that go beyond the laugh-til-you-cry spectacle. His animated style is so outlandish and so unnecessary to the basics of drumming, it makes you wonder how a specimen like him came to be. But he answers this on his MySpace profile: In a world of “cookie cutter” players, he adopted his over-the-top style to be noticed.
And now he’s going viral, which is funny to me: This guy’s been with this band for over ten years. They’re seemingly a very successful party band that plays all over the country, and in 13 years you gotta presume that he’s played for tens of thousands of people, minimum. (Especially when you consider he’s had other gigs, too.) Yet, we’re only now having his raison d’etre, his awesome spectacle, brought to our attention. How is that possible?
The only thing I can think is that all these years he’s been playing for countless people who simply don’t discuss music with anyone. Not hard to believe if he’s stuck in an oldies band, and perhaps is the best analysis for why he’s “got the wrong gig.”
Anyway, there’s more stuff to enjoy from The Mad Drummer. Here’s a crazed drum solo to the tune of the Beach Boy’s Wipeout:
And to anyone who sees him as one of Rick K’s All-Nighters and wonders, “Isn’t there a metal band this dude can hook up with?” Well, the answer is, “Why, yes there is!” Here’s the Mad Drummer backing DOFKA, a group he previously played with: