is bernard purdie full of shit? (1 Viewer)

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
heard an interview on the weekend with bernard purdie, session drummer extraordinaire, whose ability seems only exceeded by his ego.

he claims to have drummed on a number of early beatles tracks. he says
the tapes were sent over to america where he re-did alot of the drum parts.
very controversial, and the interviewer seemed to be biting his tongue
to stop from calling "bullshit" on him.

any of the resident beatles experts know anything about this?

also, he claims to have drummed on some bob marley records as well.

mjp do you know anything about his marley claim?

great drummer, incredible resume, but obnoxiously big-headed.
He could have drummed on some of the Marley sessions that Danny Sims produced in Europe and New York, I'll have to check the discography. Those were not reggae tracks though, they are more like r&b/soul recordings, and they were done before the Wailers made their first album for Island. The first Island album had some guitar and keyboard overdubs done in London, but no drums. Carly Barrett's drumming was integral to the Wailers sound.

As for the Beatles claim, that's not true. Tapes were sent to Capitol Records in America, but they were mixed down masters used to make record stampers, not the first generation multi-track masters. If multi-track masters had been "sent to America" for overdubs it would be widely known. There aren't any secrets where the Beatles recordings are concerned.


His name does not show up on the 1972 London/New York Marley sessions, and unless he spent a lot of time sitting under a tree and smoking herb in Kingston in the 70's, it's very unlikely that his name would show up on any other recordings that Marley made. Unfortunately the (otherwise extremely detailed) discography doesn't have an artist index. Probably because virtually every Wailers recording was some combination of the same 20 people.
well he claimed it was in kingston and that he drummed on the first two albums. he described bob marley's process as recording a few things then bob going outside to "sit on a rock and smoke", then coming back in with a bunch of new tunes and recording more.

you can hear that and lots of great music and interviews with musicians/session guys from the good old days here
He may have done some sessions in Kingston for other musicians Bob was writing for or producing, but he is certainly not on the first two (or any other) Wailers albums. I've never heard his name associated with any groups or sessions from that era of reggae. The idea of an American drummer coming in and playing sessions for a Jamaican group during that period is kind of ridiculous.

A lot of Americans recorded in Jamaica in the mid and late 70s, after reggae became known up here (amongst musicians anyway, if not the record buying public), but they did not often play on sessions for Jamaican artists.

I doubt that he invented the story of recording in Jamaica, but I think his memory has "sweetened" whatever happened into something it wasn't. Not where the Wailers are concerned anyway. A lot of different people played on Wailers records, but not a lot of drummers or bass players. 99% of those rhythms (riddims!) are the Barrett brothers.
The idea of an American drummer coming in and playing sessions for a Jamaican group during that period is kind of ridiculous.

that's what i thought as well.

anyways, thanks for the info.
I would be more inclined to believe Kaye as she wasn't really known to the public and people could have just assumed that Jamerson played on a track when it was really her.

It's hard to argue with any session player's claims, because their job is usually intentionally anonymous. But when a claim is made about a group or a session that has been well documented, it gets a bit sticky.

To say things like you overdubbed drums on Beatles records is a bit loony considering the microscope those sessions have been put under in the past 15 or 20 years. It's kind of like me saying I was standing next to Ronald Reagan the first he was sworn in as president.

Go on, prove I wasn't!
But you're not in any of the pictures...
Doesn't matter. I was there.
Where it gets sticky is that almost all of the surviving Funk Brothers (at the time of being asked) have stood by Jamerson as the bassist, but it's a bit hard to separate blind devotion to Jamerson's memory and the potential for some sexism from what is truth in such matters.

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