Legendary Wrecking Crew drummer Hal Blaine, known for his work with The Beach Boys, The Ronettes, Simon & Garfunkel, and The Beatles, has died aged 90.
A cause of death has yet to be determined.
The Grammys’ website described Blaine as potentially “the most prolific drummer in rock and roll history,” adding that he “certainly played on more hit records than any drummer in the rock era.”
As a member of the elite Los Angeles session players, The Wrecking Crew, Blaine played on six consecutive Grammy Award Record of the Year winners between 1966 and 1971.
In 2000, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and just last year was honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Blaine was a veteran in his field, having appeared on 35,000 recordings throughout his career to the ilk of Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ and ‘Good Vibrations’, The Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’ and Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Mrs. Robinson’.
Tributes have poured in for the prolific drummer, including notable mentions from Brian Wilson and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.
On Twitter, Starr wrote: “God bless Hal Blaine peace and love to all his family. Goodbye Hal an incredible musician”.
God bless Hal Blaine peace and love to all his family Goodbye Hal an incredible musician. 😎✌️🌟❤️☮️
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) March 12, 2019
I’m so sad, I don’t know what to say. Hal Blaine was such a great musician and friend that I can’t put it into words. Hal taught me a lot, and he had so much to do with our success – he was the greatest drummer ever. We also laughed an awful lot. Love, Brian pic.twitter.com/vLOX3RIKc6
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) March 11, 2019
The Wrecking Crew’s significant contributions to music history remained largely overlooked in their time, with their legacy only beginning to be recognised years later thanks to biographies and documentaries.
Just a few months ago, tributes poured in for renowned session musician Joe Osborn, who died aged 81 following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Osborn was a fellow Wrecking Crew member, working notably with Blaine on Simon and Garfunkle’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’.
Photo by Lowell Norman