New Rock Drumming Documentary Features Ringo, Taylor Hawkins

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A new documentary film, Let There Be Drums!, premiered on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video on October 28, 2022. Presented by Greenwich Entertainment, the film is directed by Justin Kreutzmann (son of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann). The film includes one of the last filmed interviews with the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins plus interviews with Ringo Starr, Stewart Copeland, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Stephen Perkins, Chad Smith and Matt Sorum. The film was also released on DVD on Nov. 1.

According to a press release, “Ever since he was a young boy, director Justin Kreutzmann had the perfect perch to observe a great drummer: His dad, Bill Kreutzmann, was a founding member of the Grateful Dead, and with Mickey Hart provided the drums for the band since the mid-1960s. After Justin was born in 1969, he became a part of the Dead’s tours, often sitting on the riser behind his dad during rehearsals. While Bill hoped his son would become a drummer, the younger Kreutzmann gravitated toward filmmaking. The latter effort resulted in the creation of the rollicking, wild and fascinating documentary Let There Be Drums!––a deep-dive into the art of drumming, the musicians who’ve mastered it for 70 years, and the legacies parents pass on to their kids.

Watch the trailer for Let There Be Drums!

The announcement continues: “To get the definitive take on the world and art of drumming, Kreutzmann sat with some of the best, including Ringo Starr, Stewart Copeland of the Police, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead, Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Adrian Young of No Doubt, Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses, Tre Cool of Green Day, Steve Ferrone of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and John Densmore of the Doors. Also among the interviews is the late Taylor Hawkins, drummer for Foo Fighters, who passed away in March 2022, in what may be his final filmed interview.”

Let There Be Drums! takes its title from a famous 1961 song and album by Sandy Nelson of the same name. Nelson was one of the era’s major drummers who came to fame in the late 1950s, a group that also includes Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. In the film, Nelson speaks with Kreutzmann about his own influences and fame. Nelson died in February 2022, after the film had been completed. The documentary shows how drummers who came up in the 1960s and ’70s looked not only to artists like Nelson, but also jazz drummers as inspiration, part of a long chain of drummers influenced by other guys behind a drum kit.

Watch a segment from the film with Hawkins

Related: A new biography of Charlie Watts was recently published

Highlights from the footage include Keith Moon in outtakes from the Who’s 1979 documentary The Kids Are Alright, Led Zeppelin’s John “Bonzo” Bonham speaking about fatherhood, No Doubt performing in a basement before they made it big, and a snapshot of a teenage, pre-Beatles Ringo Starr posing with his new drum kit.

Watch a Taylor Hawkins drum solo from 2019

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. owsbeast
    #1 owsbeast 15 October, 2022, 12:16

    What?!, no mention of Neil Peart. Couldn’t be much of a deep dive if he’s not in it. Even his influences like Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich are mentioned..? I would hope he’s in it.

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