If Music Is Life, Drums Are Its Heartbeat

If Music Is Life, Drums Are Its Heartbeat
Reviewer: Rob Janicke
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Forbidden Beat:
Perspectives on Punk Drumming
288 pages
February 22, 2022
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:

Some of today's most respected writers and musicians explore the history of punk percussion with personal essays, interviews and lists featuring their favorite players and biggest influences.

What were the last words the drummer spoke before being kicked out of the band?

"I just wrote a song and I think we should record it!"

It's universally known that the singers and guitar players get all of the shine in rock 'n roll bands. With nothing more than skinny mic stands and low-hanging Stratocasters draped around their bodies, the audiences and cameras see them in all of their majestic glory. They do all of the interviews, take all of the pictures, and get all of the credit for driving their bands to fame and glory.

Yet it's the drummers who provide the engine, gasoline, and direction for those drives!

In his new book, FORBIDDEN BEAT: Perspectives On Punk Drumming (Rare Bird Books),  S.W. Lauden has put together a collection of essays by punk rock luminaries (both musicians and writers) to take us through the history and importance of bashing the hell out of those snares, toms, cymbals, and bass drums.

Lauden, a drummer himself (Ridel High, Tsar, The Brothers Steve) has recorded several major-label albums, toured, and played shows with the likes of Duran Duran, Weezer, Eve 6, and others so he certainly knows a thing or ten about life behind the kit.

As a writer, S.W. Lauden has several books to his credit including, Go All The Way: A Literary Appreciation Of Power Pop, Go Further: More Literary Appreciations Of Power Pop, That'll Be The Day (Power Pop Heist), and others. His latest effort is an overdue spotlight on the instrument and players that too often get left out of the musical conversations and passionate arguments we all have.

With the foreword by legendary punk drummer Lucky Lehrer (Circle Jerks, Redd Cross, Bad Religion), FORBIDDEN BEAT kicks off with a fast and furious rhythm and does not slow down. Essays on Jerry Nolan (New York Dolls), Gina Schock (The Go-Go's), Bill Stevenson (Descendents), and others, offer tremendous insight into the world of some of the best punk drummers to ever pick up sticks.

Not to be outdone by the essays, Lauden interviews prominent figures who helped shape punk rock music such as Rat Scabies of The Damned, Joey Shithead (DOA) on Chuck Biscuits, Mike Watt (Minutemen, Firehose) on George Hurley, Tre' Cool (Green Day), Lori Barbero (Babes in Toyland), and more.

FORBIDDEN BEAT is not only a "who's who" of punk rock drumming and influence, it's a history lesson in the form of an all-access, backstage pass. The best part is you don't have to know how to play a snare backbeat, quick doubles on the bass drum, or sloshy open hi-hats. Drummers and non-drummers alike, who have an appreciation and love for punk rock will find this book a terrific read.