This guy...the engine that pushes my plane of happiness to heights that knows no precedent.
Chad Smith, the drummer of drummers of the band of bands.
Well, for me anyway.
He was not the first drummer of this band, that honor belongs to Jack Irons, who - by the way - drummed in a lot of great bands, among them Pearl Jam - and he played a bit of switcheroo with Cliff Martinez.
When Hillel Slovak died, Irons left the band, and at the auditions that followed....this beautiful man walked in.
Via via it was a man called Newt Cole who heard about the band looking for a drummer, who said: "I know your guy. I'm friends with Chad. He eats drums for breakfast"
Chad Smith: "Unbeknownst to me, that’s how I was presented to the Chili Peppers. So, when I go in to audition, I’m bringing my drums in to the little crappy, shit-hole hully-gully rehearsal place in Silver Lake, and I look at Flea and he goes, “What is that, your breakfast?” And I’m like, “What?” He’s this little, short guy with a funny Mohawk. And they’re looking at me like, “Who is this Midwestern galoot, hairy, bandana-wearing… Get this guy out of here."
But the the magic happened, breakfast was served and eagerly devoured.
So..its well over 30 years (geez..how in heaven's name did we end up here so friggin fast?) since he became the ever thrashing striking strapping, spine and soul of the band.
He seems to be the balance keeper in so many ways.
The loving, leveling laughing keeper togetherer.
I don't know a lot about drumming...nor do I know a lot of drummers by name, they are just always kinda there.
I have to admit this was the case with Chad for a long time ...though of course I did know his name :)
Drums was not an instrument I was mindful of...I didn't listen with intent. Until I did. And it made every song completely new again. Mind blown once more by this ever giving of surprises band.
And I get the 'eating drums for breakfast' now...I really do...because when he slips into place, surrounded by his drum kit its like his limbs extend...his feet find the pedals like they belong there ..from his hands stick just seem to slide out and he sets everything in motion with an extraordinary eagerness, famished for playing drums.
Wolverine bites down.
The ever hungry heart beat.
So very grateful for this hammering hunk of love that he is.
The song that makes the most of his awesomeness is "Dreams of a Samurai"
Listen mindfully, with intent ...and do yourself the favour of getting out yer headphones.
Chad...thank you for being.
I would love to one day share a beer with you..after i'm done kissing the ground you walk on.
"There's something about the rawness of the live thing, there's no rhythm guitars behind the solo, nothing other than what you hear the people playing at that moment. It's exciting, it's about the performance"
- Chad Smith