Monday, January 23, 2017


The first two musical heavyweight deaths of 2017 have happened; one of them is the sister of friends. The other is today's subject and one of the greatest drummers that will ever be, from one of the greatest bands ever to be.
I'm not gonna recount the Can story or the Krautrock history lesson today; if you don't know who they are, finding out is just a web search away. In many ways our hero was their leader and anchor, without whom they could not have been what they were.
Of course he didn't just play with them; he must be on 100+ records over a 50 year career, bashing for a million luminaries. He might be the most precise European drummer of them all, with so much prodigious timesense that Atomic Clocks could be set by him.
Yes, Jaki Liebezeit passed yesterday at 78, but not before leaving behind a How To Be A Human Metronome instruction manual for the rest of us aspiring percussives to peruse. If there were a Hall Of Fame for beats, he'd have his own wing.
If I had a dollar for every time I practiced the drums to Halleluwah or I'm So Green, I could buy the Zildjian corporation and still have enough left over for a controlling interest in Gretsch. If it's clock tutelage you seek, young PadawanaCobhamas, there's no one who ever done it better than Jaki.
He was also a drummer worthy of the coveted This Is As Funky As White Folks Get title; some of those Can tracks sound like what would happen if the James Brown rhythm section got dropped off in Cologne on a dark and stormy night. Thunderous booms, lightning crashes, and precision Sturm und Drang on The One. No German band ever funked harder and none ever will.
Obviously such a glorious player requires a glorious send off, so I have blown into the MegaCloud a rare thing indeed. Captured from the WDR high def channel -- they run these things every so often, in 1280p clarity, on it -- here comes the legendary Halloween 1970 concert of Can in Soest, Germany. Opened by the 1st public performance of Kraftwerk, this comes from a multimedia event that is thought to be one of the first to feature videoscreens onstage. It's an hour and a half of pure, vintage Cannibalism and is also thought to be their first TV appearance with then-new vocalist Damo Suzuki.
Mixed Media Show
Soest, Germany

01 intro
02 Sense All of Mine
03 Oh Yeah
04 I Feel Alright
05 Mother Sky
06 Deadlock
07 Bring Me Coffee or Tea
08 Don't Turn the Light On, Leave Me Alone
09 Paperhouse

Total time: 1:24:29

Holger Czukay – bass
Irmin Schmidt – keyboards
Michael Karoli – guitar
Jaki Liebezeit – drums
Damo Suzuki – vocals

HD mkv file captured from the WDR high def stream site
This is a big file but trust me, it's worth it. Someday I'll put up the Kraftwerk segment too. Today, though, is a day to remember and give thanks and praises to the Universe for giving us Jaki -- one of the central timekeepers of the last 50 years -- for five decades of impeccable musicking and for being like a Drum School on two legs to all us novices. Can you dig it? I know you Can.--J.
5.26.1938 - 1.22.2017