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Monday, January 12, 2015

Tim Drummond: 1940 – 2015

Tim Drummond: 1940 – 2015 (Center rear)
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - London, Sept. 14, 1974
Photo by Joel Bernstein
(Click photo to enlarge)

UPDATE: From official Neil Young website, a statement:
April 20, 1940 - January 11, 2015

Rest in Peace Tim. You were a great bass player and songwriter. You had the fire, the magic. You played with James Brown, Conway Twitty and and Bob Dylan. You held the groove for JJ Cale. You played on many of my records too. I remember your humor, your life, your quickness, your love. Thanks man!
Neil Young
Tim Drummond, a bassist who performed with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young has passed away.

Drummond first played with Neil Young on the album Harvest in Nashville and became a member of the Stray Gators.

He played with Conway Twitty, James Brown, Joe Simon, Fenton Robinson, Jimmy Buffett and Charlie Daniels, among others. Drummond appears on albums by J.J. Cale, Ry Cooder, Graham Nash, Don Henley, Bette Midler, Paula Abdul and Jewel.

A tribute by Joe Henry | Facebook:

very sad this hour to learn of the passing of my old and dear friend, the great bassist tim drummond. his sprawl was immense, having played with a diversity of ...seminal artists --from james brown to conway twitty, through to ry cooder and neil young, and in the latter pair's most significant periods. as well, he gave up and held down gospel's supreme and funky authority in service to bob dylan, when gospel was the scrambling poet's preferred delivery system.

tim was the bassist on my own second album, "murder of crows" in 1988, and did in that moment what no musician i had long admired had yet done: he treated me like a peer. and it changed me.

rest easy, timmy. put on those fur slippers and glide.

Tim Drummond, bass, with Neil Young on "Down By The River" on Austin City Limits.

From Tim Drummond, Bassist for Neil Young and Bob Dylan, Dead at 74 | Rolling Stone by By Daniel Kreps:
Drummond served as primary bassist on Young's 1972 masterpiece Harvest and contributed to every studio LP the singer-songwriter released from 1974's On the Beach to 1980's Hawks & Doves. Drummond was also a member of Young's short-lived backup bands the Shocking Pinks, the Stray Gators and the International Harvesters. After reuniting with the Harvest crew for 1992's Harvest Moon, Drummond's two-decade-long tenure with Young ended with the rocker's 1993 MTV Unplugged performance.

Astrid Young, Neil Young's half-sister who played alongside Drummond on Harvest Moon, wrote on Facebook, "RIP Tim Drummond. Long may you run."

"One of the best bass players and a great guy. Sad to hear this," producer Craig Leon tweeted.

Drummond's credits run deep and diverse and include the Beach Boys' 16 Big Ones, Don Henley's Building the Perfect Beast, a trio of Ry Cooder albums and Jewel's Pieces of You. The bassist performed alongside legends Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker and Taj Mahal on Jack Nitzsche's score for the 1990 film The Hot Spot and collaborated with the likes of James Brown, Lonnie Mack, Rick Danko, J.J. Cale and John Mayall through the years.

In addition to being an in-demand session bassist, Drummond also co-wrote "Saved" with Bob Dylan, the title track from Dylan's 1980 album. Drummond was on the bass for the entire run of Dylan's "gospel trilogy" – Slow Train Coming, Saved and Shot of Love – and, along with longtime collaborators keyboardist Spooner Oldham and drummer Jim Keltner, was a member of the powerful backup band that accompanied Dylan on his Slow Train Coming tour.

"I can't praise [Dylan] enough. He's not only a dear friend, but he was just great," Drummond recently told Rolling Stone about touring Slow Train Coming. "At that time I was semi-bandleader, and I kept telling the band, 'Watch [Dylan's] right heel when he's stomping. Don't tap your toe, watch your heel. That's where the beat is.' And that's exactly right. It's the heel that counts. If you tap your toe, you'd be off."

Drummond also joined Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young on the road during the band's infamous 1974 "doom tour" and performed on CSN's 1977 single "Just a Song Before I Go." Rolling Stone spoke to Drummond about his experiences on the 1974 CSNY trek, including the night he and Stills hung out with Dylan after a Minneapolis concert.

"He played us all the songs from Blood on the Tracks on acoustic guitar," he said. "We were on twin beds, across from each other. Oh God, I can't tell you how great it was. At one point Stephen said something to him about the songs not being good. I was so goddamn embarrassed. He was probably coked out. Dylan, being the arrogant man that he was said, 'Well, Stephen, play me one of your songs.' That was the end of it. Stephen couldn't even find one string from another at that point."

He also recalled what the tour was like onstage. "The guitar duels between Stephen and Neil got really loud," Drummond said. "I'd just wander between the amplifiers and do my thing so I could hear myself. I was lucky I made it through that tour without ruining my ears."

Drummond's death comes just three months after Rick Rosas, who played bass alongside Neil Young for nearly 25 years and was known as "Rick the Bass Player," passed away at the age of 65 following a battle with cancer.
Tim Drummond in Awe of Stills
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Wembley Stadium, London, 1974-09-14
Photo by smartsetpix | Flickr
(click photo to enlarge)

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At 1/13/2015 07:59:00 AM, Blogger timothy fontenot said...

...'Cause there's very few of us left
my friend from the days that used to be.
RIP Tim Drummond

At 1/13/2015 04:25:00 PM, Blogger dickie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1/13/2015 04:27:00 PM, Blogger dickie said...

Sad news... Tim Drummond, as a bass player, was a constant, and pleasant, presence in some of the bes American rock music of the seventies. Not as exclusive a Neil guy as Ben Keith was, sure, but still one of his crowd, and not during the easiest of times - eg the grueling Time Fades Away tour. I read somewhere that he quit (drinking and) playing music a long time ago, which also seems sad - the latter I mean. RIP.

At 1/14/2015 08:46:00 AM, Blogger yesterdays wine said...

This is a nice thoughtful piece on Tim. Includes mention of his work on Comes A Time album.

At 1/15/2015 06:29:00 AM, Blogger kahunasunset said...

Neil is the only one left of the original Stray Gators. Sad
Neil Young
Jack Neitzche
Ben Keith
Tim Drummond
Kenny Buttrey


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