Buddy Rich, master of the jazz skins, could, at times, get a little exasperated. Well, I say exasperated, apoplectic is probably more accurate, as he had a tendency to ream out his entire band when their performances weren’t up to scratch.
What makes it noteworthy is the sheer poetry of the man when he’s in full flow. Betraying his jazz chops, when this man lays down a cuss, it’s a thing of beauty. So much so that Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, enthralled by these tapes as young stand-ups conspired to slip a couple of Buddy’s exquisite turns of phrase into episodes of Seinfeld, my favourite being when George confronts some rowdy cinemagoers with “I’ll show you what it’s like!”
Unfortunately, a lot of people listen to these tapes and think “What a prick!” which is a shame, because it makes me think he’s a genius with the sheer variety and flow of the profanity he comes up with here. The fact that he sustains it for so long, like a rant solo, is truly something else.
So, what are you waiting for? Get stuck into the transcripts and audio here.
And to calm down and see Buddy’s softer side, it’s time to light the lights here.