My interest in traditional percussion groups, and their flexibility in personnel, reminds me of a joke:

Cowboys sitting round the camp fire at night, eating their beans. In the distance they hear an ominous sound of drumming. One of them mutters,

“Ah sure don’t like the sound of them thar drums.”

Sullen Red Indian* voice comes out from behind a bush:

Him not regular drummer.”

As you all know, the cowboys’ own soundscape at the nocturnal campfire is immortalized in Blazing saddles:

I also note a salient native-American take on “sending people back”. And while we’re about it, don’t forget the reservation chief’s preparations for a severe winter.

For classic drumming stories from the world of WAM, see here and here.


* To reproduce the language of the day, like “Trolley Dollies” in The perils of the tannoy.

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