Richie Hayward and the perfect Beat for every song

Richie Hayward drummed for the surrealistic band Little Feat, for a very long time. He often tended to play over, under, and around the beat, trying to find the perfect match for every song.

Richie Hayward On Stage
Richie Hayward On Stage

“I don’t believe a drummer can have only one playing style.” Richie Hayward once said. “I mean, drumming is so wide and fans that you always find new ideas, even within the simplest things.” And it is the same idea that drove Hayward into creating some of the most incredible songs of all time.

Lowell George put up an ad in the L.A Free Press, stating the “drummer wanted – must be freaky.” It seemed as though he was talking directly to Hayward, who answered the call with enthusiasm. And when he joined the group, he stuck around all through the band’s success and commercial failures.

Even during their hardest time when everyone would have thought they would fail; Hayward always came through to ensure they stayed together. As such, he became the band’s prime mover, turning Little Feat into a colorful, swinging, and fun-filled dancehall version of its serious, sepia-toned styles.

Richie Hayward Performing
Richie Hayward Performing

He believed that everyone should be flexible enough to fit into the new ideas of the changing world.

Phish drummer Jon Fishman was one of Hayward’s biggest fans. He stated it was not easy to predict what Hayward was going to play on the set at any given point. And if you wanted to get it, you would have to listen to the phrasing of the lyrics.

This implied that Hayward was an innovator who worked with the bends and straights of the song he was working on. Amazingly, he did not even need a very long time to learn the flow of the lyrics. All it took him was a single glance-through, and he created a perfect version of the song.

The most impressive style he used was the way he navigated Feat’s discombobulated prog-boogie. The band was defined by a unique, unorthodox song structure that only a skilled drummer would interpret.  Ritch created his own approach on the drums while adding high vocal harmonies. He struck with power and metronomic precision that always impressed his listeners.

He developed a swampy Louisiana slide into every sound, opening up the second-line funk that would attract future fans. It was such unique approaches that made major players like Robert Plant and Bob Dylan feel like he was the best drummer of his time.


Little Feat
Little Feat

Richard ‘Richie’ Hayward was born on February 6, 1946, and passed away in August 2010. He was an American drummer who left his legacy as the founding member of the Little Feat. During his life, he played with a wide range of bands and worked as a session drummer.

He also joined his friends, taking acting roles on television. He is remembered as one of the most influential drummers in history.

He created his own styles that have inspired a lot of other drummers for years. His music will always ring sound among the loves of hard-hitting tunes.  

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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