For years my friend and mentor, drummer Phil Hey, has been telling me about the 1973 Gretsch Drum Summit in Central Park that he was lucky enough to attend. I’ve often daydreamed about being there and how unbelievable it would be to see Elvin Jones, Mel Lewis, Freddie Waits, and Papa Joe Jones all in the same afternoon. Incredible!
In telling me about that afternoon, Phil raved about Papa Joe’s solo hi-hat performance and that Jones joked from stage that his solo was a “TKO: Time Killer Only.”
There’s a great post on the official Gretsch site with lots of detail about this afternoon. Better yet is that audio is available! This may be old news to some of you, but it’s new to me so I thought it’s worth sharing.
You can find the audio on Wolfgang’s vintage archive. If you click on the large “play” button at the top of the page you’ll get the impression that you can only listen to samples. Don’t let that fool you. Clicking on each track will allow you to listen to the entire thing and I believe you can also purchase the recording.
This is a real treasure and I’m thrilled to have discovered it after hearing about it all these years.