photo: Jim Angelillo (Montreal Drum Fest)
Even Buddy Rich, heralded as the finest drummer of all time (and perhaps the most curmudgeonly), who rarely gave rock drummers the time of day, singled out “that kid from Chicago…Danny Seraphine” as one of a handful of contemporary players deserving high praise. In the same breath, Buddy included the great Steve Gadd. Do you realize what we’re saying? Danny Seraphine is royal family.
Meanwhile, in hotel cover bands from Jersey City to Jakarta, drummers continue to wrestle with the deceivingly simple — and slick — beat Danny created for the Chicago hit “25 or 6 to 4”. The abrupt juxtaposition of closed hat, bass drum and snare remains a proving ground for club drummers. And that song is but one of the many defining radio hits that established Chicago as a multi-platinum band. It displayed Danny’s essential capacity to swing as heavy as he rocked — attributes that served him well later as a producer. In any event, the test is to try and play Chicago tunes without Danny’s signature parts. Forget it.
The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inducted Danny and Chicago last April. Years earlier, the City of Chicago named a street after him. As they say, it’s about time…..