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Deirdre O’Gallaghan: The Drum Thing

Simon Skinner - 3 years ago

It’s a well known and well documented fact that, when it comes to bands, there’s a tangible pecking order, which usually goes something like this: Singer – Guitarist(s) – Bass player – Keyboard player – anyone else – Drummer.

That said, and your writer speaks from experience here, there are some who appreciate the efforts of that ‘guy at the back’. Largely regarded as some kind of oddball; the dribbly weirdo with an odd penchant for hitting things and the butt of many-a-drummer-joke (insert your in the comments section at the foot of this post), some people look past the frills and the posturing of the band’s front row, acknowledging the skill, dexterity, concentration and sheer effort simultaneously demonstrated by the drummer.

As Deirdre herself explains: “Drummers are underrated and under appreciated. They are band leaders, even though they usually sit at the back. They are the band’s foundation. They express the intuitive rhythm we all have inside us, connecting us to out primal instincts. They also display respect and restraint, managing time with skill and intelligence”.

Deirdre O’Callaghan’s obsession with the timekeepers is clear in this collection of incredible portraits. Portraits that place drummers squarely in the spotlight. In an incredible feat of access, Deirdre managed to photograph her subjects in their private rehearsal spaces and residences; from studios, bedrooms and basements to garages and gardens allows her to capture the true essence of their personalities and lifestyles.

She managed to photograph just shy of 100 celebrated drummers for this great book from Prestel. Many of the drummers who have managed to supersede the glory of their precious bandmates including Dave Grohl, Ringo Starr, Questlove, Janet Weiss, Bobbye Hall, Lars Ulrich, Jack White, and Leah Shapiro.

Each image is accompanied by excerpts from O’Callaghan’s personal conversations with the drummers. The result is a fascinating look at a truly diverse world made up of men and women from every walk of life, united by a single, emphatic passion.

Definitely one of PhotoBite’s books of the year and one to seek out for your collection. Hardback: 256 pages – 28,0 x 24,0 cm – 200 colour pages ISBN: 978-3-7913-8269-2 £35.00 Available from: Prestel

About the author

Read Deirdre O’Gallaghan: The Drum Thing

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.