London’s blues scene went through some major defining moments in the 1960s. It was in the same period that the jazz-trained Micky Waller took up his career.
From an early age, he was always fascinated by jazz drumming movies, and he spends more of his time playing the genre. But when he joined Jeff Beck Group in 1967, he developed as one of the best blues drummers in history. Among the characteristics that put him top on the market was his subtle yet strong approach to drums.
Whenever Micky Waller was on the throne, it would seem as though the drums were talking back at him and accepting instructions from him.
It was because of his innovative mind that Waller created his own distinctive style called the “Waller wallop.” He used this technique to power most of Beck’s “Truth.” It was clear from the time he joined the band; this was a different type of drummer. He would take up any task and work on it as if he had trained for months before performing it.
It was always impressive to watch him behind the drums because it always meant more than just quality sounds from the drummer. For this reason, he becomes the missing link between hard blues and heavy metal.
Waller lived in a period when drumming was just beginning to hold roots. Every instrument was made to sound as loud as possible, making most drummers of the time focus more on hard rock. At the same time, jazz had picked roots around the world, with its slow grooves and soft drumming.
Hence, those who did not want the loud noises found solace in jazz. As the blues began picking roots, there was a need to have drumming that did not sound too loud nor too soft. Waller learned this trick and helped a lot of artists produce quality music.
When he was the drummer for Rod Stewart‘s earliest solo albums. It is at this time that his best moments arouse, more so from a 1971 session. Sans cymbals have been the drummer’s greatest ambassador. There was always something that stood up with the ways he drummed that made his listeners ask for more. It was hard for Rod to blow the studio when he was recording “Maggie May” because of Waller’s fierce hitting.
The moment was so intense that anyone else would have tripped. But Waller managed to stay so steady that Greil Marcus, one of the biggest critics in the industry, commended that Waller should be given a Nobel Prize in physics. This was one of the major turning points in the drummer’s life and career, who has always wanted to have his own style used.
Waller transferred the same composure in his relationship with other people. He seemed to know what to say and do at any given time, which made him an incredible asset to the group.
In the years that followed, Waller made sure that his journey as a drummer influenced many other drummers. It is all evident today in how drummers work on R& B and blues songs.