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gatorhugger

The firing of Stan Lynch

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This is from the Zollo book - I actually typed this out and put up with one of the collages I made a while back.  This describes my band, you know?  What I want to believe existed between all of them.

But there's a deep love between us.  Those original five.  We were really close.  As much as we could fight, I'm sure there's a deep respect among all of us.  And a lot of love for each other. 

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8 hours ago, Gregory18 said:

Sorry, I don't mean to start a debate. But I sure didn't mean to offend anybody. Peace! 😉

Oh, that is all good, I'm sure. No debate needed, I hope. I wasn't quite tapped in either, so... Besides, Tom is partially of Native American ancestry himself, so he would know where to draw the line in this particular case.

All I know is that someone, somewhere must've "shot out the light." 

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13 hours ago, Gregory18 said:

Sorry, I don't mean to start a debate. But I sure didn't mean to offend anybody. Peace! 😉

I know you didn't. No offence taken.

 

13 hours ago, Gregory18 said:

I'm european by the way (belgian)... we don't do political correctness here. It's bad for your health and for your head. Political correctness is bringing the world to ruins. Political correctness, in my opinion, is the antithesis of truth.

I'm German, and I beg to differ on the subject of political correctness. For historical and personal reasons. And for the mere sake of being respectful with one another.

But, of course, I don't want to go into debate here, either. No problem here.

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Just an observation.

Much talk has been made about how Tom was shifting his sound around the time of Wildflowers, and that Stan didn't fit into that direction or mold anymore, etc. That Steve would soon become a better fit for the latter part of the Heartbreakers career (1994-2017)....for what Tom was looking for, etc.

Then I remember reading in the Playback book, how Tom said they invited Dave Grohl to be the drummer, that he was very close to joining...and that he's invited anytime. Hmmm...Is it just me, or would Dave's drumming style be closer to Stan's, rather than Steve's?

Every time I see Grohl behind the drum kit, I think of Animal from the Muppets.

<iframe width="1093" height="583" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3AZz9TSjZCM" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Could you see Grohl playing Wildflowers or Crawling Back to You? 😉

So, maybe it was just the past turmoil and strong personality clashes that led to the split/departure after all....

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^ That is an apt observation! And believe it or not, it has been discussed before. Probably with no general consensus. 😁

Personally - and I will repeat myself here - I still think it's a combination of chemistry and musical directions that finally lead to the parting of ways between Tom and Stan. It's not just the turmoil. 

Although I know it's been said a lot, personally I never saw Wildflowers as a sudden flip of a switch, though. I think it's a much slower process, starting (at least as early as) when Tom was familiarizing himself with the Jeff Lynne universe. That is, a drummer needs to be damn good, but he doesn't necessarily be alive. I am sure this was merely icing on an aldready pretty over-baked cake, in terms of the Tom vs Stan relationship, but I do think Tom really was starting to look for something else in his drum sound around this time, as well. Then, of course, this may not have been a totally concious decision, nor a very swift one. To the extent it was a concious descion at all, rather than a -it-just-happened kinda process, it probably took a few years to sink in. It may have been set in motion by Wildflowers, but it wasn't until at least Echo or Last DJ, I say, that it seemed obvious that this really was a whole new ideology for Tom, in terms of how he wanted his drums to be. Or rather how he wanted them not to be, to be more precise. Either way, these things are always hindsight constructions to some extent.

I suppose that Grohl was mentioned - and apparently did play at least briefly with TPATH, for SNL 94 and what not - is a great proof that Stan's qualities was likely not sceduled to become obsolete, for Tom. I mean, it's not that Tom was looking for an excuse to kick Stan out, just so that he could explore his new grand drum design. I think it's rather the other way around - he was changing his ideas about the sound in his Lynne period, shall we call it, but when given the chance to set something more longterm up, when Stan left/was outsted, he didn't exactly hit the ground running.  There was, Dave Grohl lurking, himself a bit "left hanging" in 1994, let's not forget. Then there was Curt Bisquera too... another one with at least mild temper fits in his drum approach, in a way that would suggest business as usual, for Tom, at least to some extent.

Then, among other revelations of the Wildflowers sessions, Steve and Tom seems to have hit it off, so to speak. The musical coming of age that Tom perhaps went through during this time, his developing taste for backdrop time keeping drums only, and  the more soft spoken personal qualities of this used-to-be-a-don't-ask-questions-session-guy character of Steve's made for a beautiful matchs, I'd say. Again, music + chemistry. The search was over. 

That said, I suppose it's impossible to know how serious Tom was about having Dave in the band officially. Many things suggest to me that perhaps it was rather a coincindental happening how that came up - what with Kurt Cobain ending his life, and Nirvana's, Tom needing a drummer, the two of them hitting it off as pals and so on - than a serious idea of him replacing Stan with him. Steve was not available for that gig supposedly, and Dave did seem like a wonderful fit at the time though, I remember thinking. Although, as soon as it stood clear, later on, what Tom wanted out of his new music, it always struck me as having Dave on SNL with them served two purposes: 1) it was a nice, young, fresh and hyper-energic way to present the mature and in parts rather somber Wildflowers album (ironic almost, considering the wild and frantic of Honey Bee) and 2) it was a mean middle finger to Stan, suggesting that having him out of the band did supposedly have nothing to do with Tom developing new ideals musically. Incredible feat to combine those two messages and who else but Dave Grohl, could've served such dual purposes.

I don't know, I guess what I'm saying is that even if it turned out that Steve was what Tom wanted, apparently Tom wasn't quite sure himself as early as 1994. In fact.. the drummer spot was - if not in reality - officially "vacant" for quite some time even after he probably knew..  It wasn't as easy to officially replace Stan as a Heartbreakers, as it had been with Ron/Howie in 1982. For this, there may be, as these ponderings and many others may show, many reasons, and I don't think we'll know for sure. But to me it seems obvious that there were new ideas and new ideals to Tom's music - that Grohl's style of drumming was not gonna be a long-term serious option to Tom, and that Steve - in terms of studio recordings and in terms of personal chemistry - turned out to be the perfect match for Tom in the late 90s to late 00s.

 

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33 minutes ago, Gregory18 said:

I wonder if Tom ever asked Ringo Starr to join the Heartbreakers! That would have been amazing... 😜

Zak Starkey did wonders for The Who, and I think Ringo already fit in perfectly with the Heartbreakers' chemistry. 

This is why I love this forum, outside of it I was wondering why there always seemed to be conflicting statements about Stan's departure, and on the surface it didn't matter, it just came down to - Stan had left the building. In my opinion, he appeared and sounded finished with the band and I'm surprised he went back to drumming instead of pursuing another avenue like Ron did. 

While money is a motivator, I have a hard time believing Stan would only regret this decision because of the incredible financial gain. What it comes down to though is only they will really know what went down. 

Anyone notice how people's stories change over the years? Whether intentional or not, there will be alterations in details, changing of words, of course fading of memories ... more an observation of how the human mind works. There is a season to everything... 

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8 hours ago, Shelter said:

 personally I never saw Wildflowers as a sudden flip of a switch, though. I think it's a much slower process, starting (at least as early as) when Tom was familiarizing himself with the Jeff Lynne universe.

Shelter,

 Your whole post was great! Very well written and considered. This is what you can get from a message board as opposed to twitter or facebook, thoughtful articulate expressions from individuals around the world...!

I agree about the slower process but to me if it did begin with FMF,  perhaps that album was the catalyst, ITGWO the reaction and Wildflowers the result. Beyond the drummer situation, the style of songwriting from ITGWO to WF is a big shift in my opinion, and one that carried on into Echo etc.

 

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4 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

This is what you can get from a message board as opposed to twitter or facebook, thoughtful articulate expressions from individuals around the world...!

That's exactly why I prefer them myself.

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14 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Shelter,

 Your whole post was great! Very well written and considered.

Glad you liked it!

14 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I agree about the slower process but to me if it did begin with FMF,  perhaps that album was the catalyst, ITGWO the reaction and Wildflowers the result. Beyond the drummer situation, the style of songwriting from ITGWO to WF is a big shift in my opinion, and one that carried on into Echo etc.

Sure, why not. Sometimes these aestetics we talk about may be mostly due to production though, while other times it's more in the song DNA itself.

Like I said, I agree time saw a change in both those departments on Tom's records, but while these "new" ideals in drum production/arrangements started to walk in line, so to speak on ITGWO and was all up and running boom-smack by Wildflowers, moving on, Tom always kept writing the occasional song, that IMO could've have worked as well, or better, with more of an "organic" Stan treatment. It's not that he became a totally different kinda songwriter, just cause he grew into a new passion for how he wanted his drums. 

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On June 12, 2018 at 5:44 PM, Gregory18 said:

I'm european by the way (belgian)... we don't do political correctness here. It's bad for your health and for your head. Political correctness is bringing the world to ruins. Political correctness, in my opinion, is the antithesis of truth.

 I don't like political correctness either, I think it can stifle free speech and open discussion. I think for better and worse people have the right to be jerks but I try to be civil  and respectful with people both in real life and online. 

I think it's really good how people can gather here and have discussions on TPATH and other topics. Sharing our thoughts about this band with people from Germany (and elsewhere) is a lot of fun and I'm glad too that while we may disagree (just look at the set list issue alone or some opinions on records, I think Hard Promises is weak overall but love It Ain't Nothin' To Me as an example) everyone keeps it polite and friendly.

cheers

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27 minutes ago, Shelter said:

Glad you liked it!

 In addition to Marion writing a book on her touring experiences, at this point, you could probably comb through your posts, organize 'em fine tune them a bit and compile your own listener's perspective on Petty and have a book of your own! 

cheers

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29 minutes ago, Shelter said:

that IMO could've have worked as well, or better, with more of an "organic" Stan treatment. It's not that he became a totally different kinda songwriter, just cause he grew into a new passion for how he wanted his drums. 

 The more I think about it, the more I think it was the personality, perhaps much like Redford Cowboy mentioned.

Stan co-wrote with Henley, who's not exactly known for his thrashing rock records. I think Stan would've brought some interesting things to Tom's WF and onward music. Who knows, perhaps having Stan in the band would've kept him writing a few more Zeroes from Outer Space or Makin' Some More Noise and You Wreck Me's, while still keeping to his newer approach overall. But even if the albums were unchanged in songwriting, I think Stan would've done just fine. You'd think he'd enjoy playing something different and perhaps more challenging like Crawling Back To You or the heavy groove of Rhino Skin. He could've sung that particular line from that song in concert...!

It's moot but I think you're right about the drums, having something in mind or a vague enough idea that Steve could fill without drama. At least maybe till Mojo where the band jammed a bit more.

 Mike gets the focus on that album but does Steve have some shining moments on it? I can't say I've listened to it enough to say.

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All of this is speculation on our part, of course.

1. I'd think (and could see how) Stan's feelings were deeply hurt by being dismissed, feeling pushed out, or not invited to play on FMF and Wildflowers. Who wouldn't be? He was in the band, and most/all of the other HB were invited along and playing. So maybe this would cause one to respond to others by saying, "Yeah, you know, this ain't my main gig anyway, man..." In other words, I don't care, doesn't bother me, who needs ya... *sniff, sniff*

2. Tom wanted and needed a drama-free environment, since we has experiencing enough drama & trouble with his marriage during this time...couldn't handle any extra with the band.

3. The falling out between Stan & Mike put Tom in a less than ideal spot.

--------------

There's 2 sides to every story, right?

This from the Playbook book (where both Stan & Tom are talking about the song God's Gift to Man, circa 1992):

Tom: "It was done just pre-Wildflowers at Mike's house. The band came in and worked for about a month. We had a great time jamming around and working on song fragments and ideas. Then when it came down to start putting down some tracks, It completely fell apart. If we weren't thinking at all, we could've done things easily, but as soon as we wanted to do it, it became impossible. Hence my decision - I had to walk away from the band again. Though really, I just walked away from Stan, I suppose. Which he took rather personally, and I don't blame him."

Stan (I think this is very telling): "I was being asked to play less and less rather than growing. I wanted to be wild. I wanted to be Keith Moon by "Even the Losers." I wanted to be a great classic rock and roll drummer, to the point of being abandoned, freaky. And it became more restrictive, more of a pop, classic rock, record band. I admire both camps, it just wasn't the one biologically I was linked up with."

----

Seems Tom did this similar thing in 1988, during a brief/aborted HB session, when Travelin' was recorded. He needed a break from the band (or Stan), which he could take, since he was the leader. Others weren't in the same position to do so. Around time time, it was almost like Tom was just wishing or looking for other options to explore or opportunities to take. It would seem like the accidental formation of the Traveling Wilburys was perfect timing and a great outlet.

I agree with whoever posted elsewhere that the 80's seemed like a miserable time for the Heartbreakers, with a few bright moments here and there. Like touring with Dylan for a those few years. All members seem to speak highly of that experience, were they really grew as a live band.

Finally, by the end of the decade......I remember reading in an interview in 1989, with the release of FMF, where Tom said this is the "happiest he's been in long time." Finally some relief. An killer solo record. Platinum selling huge success. In a side band with some of his heroes. Free from the Heartbreakers for a while....

 

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

a book of your own!

Certainly a weird idea.

1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Who knows, perhaps having Stan in the band would've kept him writing a few more Zeroes from Outer Space or Makin' Some More Noise and You Wreck Me's

Again, to me the idea that the whole creative process and writing changed so dramatically, is not productive. As always, the devil is in the details, and there might be traces, sure. But really, that's not where I'd put my focus. What I do think changed, though - apart from the obviously troublesome state of personal relations - is Tom's idea of how he wanted his records - all type songs - to s-o-u-n-d. And in t-h-a-t picture, Stan didn't seem like the best fit. Either. Stan was not unaware of this, of course, and that probably didn't help him feel more inspired and involved. 

No - I'm sure the personal animosity became too much by 93/94. By all means. But I'm also positive that Stan not having anything substantial to do in the band (outside of the stage) since 1987:ish, must have contributed to the situation.

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2 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I think it's really good how people can gather here and have discussions on TPATH and other topics. Sharing our thoughts about this band with people from Germany (and elsewhere) is a lot of fun and I'm glad too that while we may disagree (just look at the set list issue alone or some opinions on records, I think Hard Promises is weak overall but love It Ain't Nothin' To Me as an example) everyone keeps it polite and friendly.

Yes. We're not on a Beach Boys forum here. We're polite, friendly and respectful. I've been to the Smiley Smile forum a few times... and God are those Beach Boys fans, the pro-Wilsons vs. the pro-Love, savage, cruel and scary.

 

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1 hour ago, Shelter said:

Certainly a weird idea.

 Thanks, plenty more where that came from! You've written a lot of interesting commentary on the band with well laid out suppositions, about as well as one could from an outsider's perspective, not just as relates to the band's camp and private doings, but from across the ocean as well. 

cheers

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2 hours ago, RedfordCowboy said:

Stan (I think this is very telling): "I was being asked to play less and less rather than growing. I wanted to be wild. I wanted to be Keith Moon by "Even the Losers." I wanted to be a great classic rock and roll drummer, to the point of being abandoned, freaky. And it became more restrictive, more of a pop, classic rock, record band. I admire both camps, it just wasn't the one biologically I was linked up with."

Interesting because my impression is he's most known for being a behind-the-beat drummer which doesn't really sound like what he's describing. I love expressive drumming that serves the song but I also love the wildness as well, seems like there would've maybe been more leeway with the latter on stage.

cheers

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On ‎6‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 7:05 PM, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Interesting because my impression is he's most known for being a behind-the-beat drummer which doesn't really sound like what he's describing.

Well, you could tell by the way he played drum rolls, how often he played them, but also in the way the bassdrum and the snare drum sometimes vary from the pattern he established at the beginning of a song that he was more of a freewheelin' drummer, not just keeping time behind the beat. And I also think you already hear in the earlier records that producers and probably Tom and Mike tried to tell him to play less (than he was naturally inclined to). Because sometimes his drumming feels like a compromise between a straight beat that leaves a lot of room for the other sounds and instruments and wild-sounding (albeit probably composed, because he could reproduce them onstage) fills. That, to me, makes Stan's drumming so fascinating. You hear his inspiration, the riffs he came up with, or drum rolls that characterize a song as much as a guitar riff, and the sheer joyful power he attacked the skins with, but at the same time it's very record-friendly, so to speak, very elegant.

It's neither Keith Moon nor Ferrone... it's a nice spot in between. A bit like Max Weinberg, with a bit more looseness to it. So more like Ringo than Moon.

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6 minutes ago, TwoGunslingers said:

You hear his inspiration, the riffs he came up with, or drum rolls that characterize a song as much as a guitar riff, and the sheer joyful power he attacked the skins with, but at the same time it's very record-friendly, so to speak, very elegant.

On the Ferrone recordings, the drumming turned out "only" elegant. The looseness was gone, for the most part, as were characteristic or inventive rolls. They let him a bit off the leash on Wildflowers, but only compared to later albums, not compared to Stan.

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On 6/18/2018 at 4:29 AM, TwoGunslingers said:

Because sometimes his drumming feels like a compromise between a straight beat that leaves a lot of room for the other sounds and instruments and wild-sounding (albeit probably composed, because he could reproduce them onstage) fills. That, to me, makes Stan's drumming so fascinating. You hear his inspiration, the riffs he came up with, or drum rolls that characterize a song as much as a guitar riff, and the sheer joyful power he attacked the skins with, but at the same time it's very record-friendly, so to speak, very elegant.

The way I analyze Stan's drumming reminds me of something which Steve Gorman (drummer for The Black Crowes) said about his own style: "I don't play the drums, I play songs on the drums."  I think Stan was similar, he was very musical and wanting to serve the song, but he wasn't The One - he played with the band.  So he wasn't a traditional drummer in that sense, I would say.  He had a more musical kind of focus in the way he approached his parts.

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I don't know the truth, but I've always heard the story that Stan's mom was sick and he wanted to go back to florida and take care of her. And that was the main reason he left the Heartbreakers. I have no idea if that is true or not.

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It's possible that was one of the reasons, because his mom Sally did have health issues throughout much of her life (she was diagnosed with a degenerative condition in 1990), but I wouldn't say it was the only reason - Stan moved back to Florida for good in 1991 but by the late '80s he was definitely bi-coastal, only coming to LA when he had to work.  In interviews it seems that he truly missed living in Florida and over time had become disenchanted with Los Angeles.

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