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Drums on Pink Floyd's "Mother"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Rubberpigg, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Rubberpigg

    Rubberpigg Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Why did Jeff Porcaro play drums on "Mother" and not Nick Mason?
    It doesn't sound that hard to play.
    But I am not a drummer.
    deredordica and g.z. like this.
  2. BadJack

    BadJack doorman who always high-fives children of divorce

    Boston, MA
    It's got some weird timing things and it's not as simple as it sounds. Nick probably could have figured something out but it was probably quicker to have Porcaro do it.
  3. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Gently weeping guitarist.

    Odense Denmark.
    Nick struggled to work out a good part so Jeff did that and then Nick had to learn it for the live shows.
    Rubberpigg likes this.
  4. jfire

    jfire Forum Resident

    Because Roger Waters?
  5. Kossoff is God

    Kossoff is God und der farten blasten from der assen hosen

    I am going to guess Roger and Bob Ezrin did not like Nick's contribution to the song. It does not seem strange that Nick would have trouble playing on that track.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  6. Raf

    Raf Senior Member

    Toronto, Ontario
    Mason's feeble attempts at a drum part for "Mother" are featured twice in the Wall Immersion box. No big mystery why he was replaced.
    johnny q, pinkrudy, mjulio71 and 11 others like this.
  7. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    Frequent meter changes (verse switches between 5/8 and 4/4 and has a 3/4 bar, chorus switches between 4/4 and 6/8).
  8. BadJack

    BadJack doorman who always high-fives children of divorce

    Boston, MA
    I've never counted it out but I've played along to it. I can fake it well enough if I pay close attention to Waters' vocals.
  9. PhoffiFozz

    PhoffiFozz Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, 60173
    It is to me, I think his contributions are way better than what ended up on the album. He plays straight through the off beats and then when the off beat catches up with him, he changes to the offbeat. It's very creative and gives the song a cool feel. It has to be intentional. I had never heard those early versions until the Immersion set and I thought "wow, that was great, why did they change the drums!"

    Porcaro definitely simplified the part and the song becomes way more straight forward.

    My guess is either they (Ezrin and/or Waters) decided after a while they didn't like the odd feel of the original drums at a time when Nick wasn't around (like an afterthought) or they asked Nick to change it and he said "have someone else do it, I'm done" or something.

    Incidentally, I really love the droning keyboard in the verse in some of the early versions as well.

    EDIT: One other thing I like on the early takes is that when the guitar solo kicks in, the bass stays on the G throughout the whole solo, instead of changing to the C & D like the other instruments. It gives the song a great tension, along with those aborted keyboards and the odd feel of the drums.
  10. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    It all goes with the lyric. Maybe a reason why the OP didn't think it sounded difficult.
    tug_of_war and BadJack like this.
  11. mbrownp1

    mbrownp1 Forum Resident

    Far from “feeble attempts”.
    pinkrudy, Larry L, Holy Diver and 9 others like this.
  12. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Bob Ezrin is traditionally pretty quick to swap people out for his favorite studio pros.
  13. Sytze

    Sytze Forum Resident

    While we're at it: on 'Two Suns in the Sunset', the closing track of 'The Final Cut', Nick was replaced by Andy Newmark. Also a difficult part? Or were tensions already too high?
    tug_of_war likes this.
  14. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Gently weeping guitarist.

    Odense Denmark.
    Yes feeble. Mason is clearly completely lost in the timechanged.
    tug_of_war, Raf and groundharp like this.
  15. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    Again, lots of meter changes. Not Nick's strong suit, as great as he is at straight time and the 7/8 on "Money"
  16. Rubberpigg

    Rubberpigg Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I see that for the concerts in support of The Wall a second drummer, Willie Wilson, was used.
    He initially appeared on stage wearing a mask to make himself look like Nick Mason.
    His contributions can be heard on "Is There Anybody Out There?"
    So I guess those drum parts were a bit tricky for Nick.
    tug_of_war and angelo73 like this.
  17. Big Pasi

    Big Pasi Forum Resident

    Vaasa, Finland
    See-Saw has those meter changes too.
    That's why Norman Smith played it.
    (Remember A Day is Mason whatever anybody says.) :wiggle:
  18. Tristero

    Tristero Touching from a distance

    Maybe Nick's playing was too obtrusive and pompous. Or not pompous enough?
  19. Billy Infinity

    Billy Infinity Forum Resident

    This is the most logical answer.
  20. tkl7

    tkl7 Agent Provocateur

    New York, NY, USA
    They had a whole surrogate band, so I guess maybe that the album was tricky for all of them?
    Larry L, zabble, theshape and 3 others like this.
  21. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Guy

    Ringwood, NJ
    Every musician on the planet has a blind spot. That particular pattern was his. No big deal. Time is money in the studio(both PF songs, mind), so sometimes it's a simple matter of practicality.

  22. g.z.

    g.z. Forum Resident

    "Mother" - Pink Floyd
    Bolero, MitchLT, Zack and 2 others like this.
  23. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident

    Stuff learnt again the forum.:edthumbs:
  24. BadJack

    BadJack doorman who always high-fives children of divorce

    Boston, MA
    The funniest thing about this version is that Mason just keeps plugging away in 4/4, and the time changes work out so that he eventually winds up back in the right rhythm.
  25. Cool hand luke

    Cool hand luke You shoulda heard just what I seen

    Wow the Roger Waters haters... Nick wasn't copping the groove (it is trickier than it sounds) so they did what they had to do. Im sure Roger didnt throw Nick off the kit while everyone else stood by in shock.... there's no way it was Roger's choice alone. Nick probably agreed. And Roger obviously had no problem letting Dave play bass parts when Roger himself wasn't up to it.

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