Count Me In

We continue to live in the golden age and perhaps platinum age of music documentaries. If you are a music nut, you can swim endlessly in the documentaries on offer. If you are only a casual fan, there are nonetheless many music documentaries worth your time. Count Me In can be filed right at the borderline of these two criteria.

Directed by Mark Lo with a deft touch, the film astutely highlights the underrated role of the drummer. With insights from a number of drummers, across a fairly broad spectrum of genres, we are led through the means by which they came to their craft. Some drummers you will recognize, some you hardly even heard of: Cindy Blackman, Clem Burke, Stewart Copeland, Taylor Hawkins, Topper Headon, Bob Henrit, Jim Keltner, Abe Laboriel Jr., Samantha Maloney, Nick Mason, Nicko McBrain, Ian Paice, Stephen Perkins, Rat Scabies (Christopher John Millar), Chad Smith, Roger Taylor, Ben Thatcher.

Use this as an indicator: the more bands you can connect to the above names, the greater likelihood you will like this documentary.

Many of the interviewees reference various of the classic jazz drummers, such as Joe Morello and Gene Krupa. Invariably the two most archetypal rock drummers receive ample and justified screen time: Keith Moon and John Bonham. Using mostly classic film clips and some current day footage, these two drummers along with the often underrated and recently late Charlie Watts, form the bedrock of rock ‘n’ roll drumming.

Interestingly, time is also spent discussing the early days of the synth drum, with well-chosen clips from Eurythmics and The Human League. The explanations proffered for this seemingly barbaric assault on the original artistic form are actually compelling, but the unspoken conclusion is that nothing beats the human touch.



Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.