A variety of top musicians have taken to social media to pay tribute to Hal Blaine, drummer for the renowned collective of Los Angeles session musicians known as “The Wrecking Crew,” who died Tuesday at age 90.
Among the artists saluting Blaine are founding Beach Boy Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys themselves, Ringo Starr, The Rolling Stones‘ Charlie Watts and The Ronettes‘ Ronnie Spector.
Brian, who worked closely with Hal on many Beach Boys recordings, including the group’s acclaimed 1966 album Pet Sounds, writes, “I’m so sad, I don’t know what to say. Hal Blaine was such a great musician and friend that I can’t put it into words. Hal taught me a lot, and he had so much to do with our success — he was the greatest drummer ever. We also laughed an awful lot.”
The Beach Boys’ homage to Blaine reads, “Our condolences to the family of #HalBlaine, drummer extraordinaire in the Wrecking Crew who played on many Beach Boys tracks, including ‘Good Vibrations,’ ‘I Get Around,’ ‘Help Me, Rhonda’ & more. Love and mercy.”
As for Starr, he writes, simply, “God bless Hal Blaine peace and love to all his family Goodbye Hal an incredible musician.”
Watts, who took part in an L.A. event celebrating Blaine’s 90th birthday last month, issued a statement that reads, “Godspeed Hal. He gave us all so much. Feeling very blessed to have celebrated his life with him.”
Spector, meanwhile, posted a video of herself performing with Blaine at the 2017 NAMM Convention, along with a note that reads, “I regrettably have to say goodbye to Hal, and thank him for the magic he put on all our Ronettes recordings…and so many others throughout his incredible career. Thank you Hal. Love forever.”
Here are some other tributes to Blaine:
Peter Frampton: “Hal Blaine the master RIP.”
Toto‘s Steve Lukather: “RIP Hal Blaine. There will never be another…Google the hits he played on!!”
Red Hot Chili Pepper‘s Chad Smith: “Goodbye my old friend. see u in the next life…R.i.p. Hal Blaine.”
Poison‘s Rikki Rockett: “R.I.P. Hal Blaine. One of the greatest of all time! Hal played on over 38…#1 songs including…3 of the Beach Boys #1’s. If you play drums, you owe Hal!”
Nancy Sinatra: “Godspeed, dear friend. You made the world a better place.”
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