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Tome On The Range

Give The Drummer Some: The Instruments Of Jaki Liebezeit
The Quietus , January 25th, 2020 07:28

In an exclusive extract from his new book, Jaki Liebezeit: Life, Theory and Practice of a Master Drummer, Jono Podmore takes us through the instruments that contributed to the former Can drummer's unique sound and playing style


Jaki’s Flight Case
For over twenty years this small case held all the equipment Jaki would take with him on tour. Tightly and efficiently packed, it also became heavy. Maf Retter remembers:

It was always me carrying this bloody case for him everywhere. Everyone at the airport had wheels on their cases so I always said to Jaki, ‘Let me put some wheels on this. I’ll do it carefully, put a handle on it, it will drive perfectly!’ He didn’t believe me for years until in the end I said, ‘Give it to me – I’ll put some wheels on it now.’ So I put the wheels on and afterwards he said, ‘Oh that’s nice, it’s very comfortable,’ and I said, ‘YES!’

Contents are: a 10-inch snare drum, foam rubber pads to stop rattles, modified sticks, cymbals, clamps and clutches to fix the drums and cymbals onto stands, Molton to dampen bass drum, and gaffer tape.

At the gigs themselves, 10-inch, 12-inch and 16-inch toms and two cymbal stands would be provided by the promoter. The toms were tuned, the snare drum connected via a clamp to a cymbal stand, the cymbals placed on the stands and Jaki was quite quickly ready to soundcheck.

If the journey to the gig was by car, he would allow himself the luxury of a separate cymbals case.