Hal Blaine, who as a member of the famed studio collective “The Wrecking Crew” played on countless hits of the ’60s and ’70s, has died. He was 90.
A post on his Facebook page reads, “Hal Blaine – loving father of Michelle Blaine; grandfather of Anthony, Josh, Aaron, Whitney, Tempest, Ever and Lyryk; and inspiration to countless friends, fans and musicians – has passed on today, March 11th, 2019 at the age of 90.”
It continued, “May he rest forever on 2 and 4. The family appreciates your outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Hal from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time.”
As a member of the “Wrecking Crew,” a group of musicians who did session work in the ’60s and ’70s, Blaine estimated he’d played on 6,000 recordings, including six consecutive Grammy Record of the Year winners: “A Taste of Honey,” “Strangers in the Night,” “Up, Up and Away,” “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” “Mrs. Robinson” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
One of his most famous drumbeats can be heard on The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.” E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg once wrote of Blaine, “If [he’d] played drums only on [that record], his name would still be uttered with reverence and respect for the power of his big beat.”
Among the other hits to feature Blaine’s talents: “Good Vibrations,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “I Get Around,” “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “I Get Around,” “Monday Monday,” “Song Sung Blue,” “The Way We Were,” “Windy,” “Love Will Keep Us Together” and “Mr. Tambourine Man.”
Blaine’s recording studio prowess earned him induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a sideman in 2000. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2018.
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