No word adequately describes the career of drummer Hal Blaine beyond “legendary.” MusicTAP has learned he passed away today at the age of 90.
Born Harold Simon (Chaim Zalman) Belsky, Blaine played with the loosely affiliated “Wrecking Crew” of studio musicians in California, most commonly known for mega-hits from the 1960s. His career, however, spanned both far before and far after that decade, as did his influence. His credits read like a Hall of Fame exhibit:
“He’s a Rebel” – The Crystals
“Surf City” – Jan & Dean
“I Get Around” – The Beach Boys
“Any World I’m Welcome To” – Steely Dan
“Mr Tambourine Man” – The Byrds
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon & Garfunkel
“Love Will Keep Us Together” – Captain & Tennille…to name but a few of the tracks he performed on.
He also was a primary drummer for The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, The Monkees, Phil Spector’s Christmas Album, and more. He also did session work for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass.
MusicTAP offers its condolences to his family, friends, peers, and the generations he influenced.