If Looks Could Kill

I almost met Buddy Rich once.  I was going to one of his gigs at Mr. Kelly’s on Rush Street in Chicago in the early ’70s.  I ran out of gas on the way downtown, so I was almost late to the gig.  I got there just as they were announcing Buddy Rich.  He was entering from the same door as the patrons.  The maître d’ said to go right in, so I turned and Buddy was standing right there, about to go on stage, glaring at me as I bumbled some inane words of praise.  If looks could kill…

Anyway, it was a great performance (in spite of my “gaff”).  During the show, Buddy broke a drumstick in mid-solo and tossed the stick behind him.  He didn’t lose a beat.  I noticed this, and after the show as everyone else was leaving, I got up from my table, ran up to the stage and found the broken stick…including the broken tip!  I went home and Scotch taped the broken tip together with the shaft.  I keep it on my desk and fondle it every so often.  I can still feel the magic!

Buddy Rich: Slingerland USA Model

To this day, I believe Buddy was thinking about the fool at the door when he broke the stick.  Whaddya think?

(also check out my other Buddy Rich post, “Crossed Sticks”)


Buddy Rich on Wikipedia

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