Okay, we’ve long championed drumming as a great boost for anyone’s physical and emotional wellbeing. And Count Me In aims to get that across, too.
Netflix’s 2021 documentary is a love letter to rhythm, percussion, and drums.
And it also provides a mini-history of some top drummers, mainly from the world of rock music. Does it skip a beat?! Let’s have a ba-dum-tish.
Count Me In (the 2021 drumming documentary)
Okay, Count Me In is all about the joy of drumming. As it’s quite the adrenaline rush and enjoyable as a physical, musical experience.
As the documentary points out, it can be a fun hobby in solitude, or you can join drumming communities to revel in the bopping spirit together.
That’s the goal of this Netflix thing and, on the whole, it does manage to get across why people love the drums so much.
To get the ball rolling, Count Me In offers a casual overview of drummers from the trad jazz, swing, and early rock ‘n roll era.
That includes the likes of jazz drummer extraordinaire Joe Morello.
The documentary does skip over some important names.
For example, there’s no mention of Jaki Liebezeit of Can. An absolute master, he defined the motorik beat of the Krautrock scene. It was a unique mix of jazzy chops alongside relentless, propulsive, repetitive rhythms.
Liebezeit’s practical theory and rhythm system are documented in The Life, Theory, and Practice of a Master Drummer (2020).
Many other drummers’ favourites will also be missing. But the documentary film isn’t acting as a complete history of drumming, as such, more an overview and celebration of it all.
Still, plenty of modern drummers are on hand to lend their life experiences into the mix. Mainly to divulge what got them into it and why they love the drums.
For example, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers is omnipresent throughout Count Me In with his enthusiasm and love for his instrument of choice.
But if there’s one issue, and despite its best efforts, we feel the film will only appeal to those who already like drumming.
Although it may convert a few bored people on a Sunday afternoon who decide to give it a whirl on Netflix. Hopefully it will do!
The way the drummers in the documentary swoon over why Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham was the shizz will certainly make you sit up and pay attention. Look at him go!
Another issue? As much as we love Dave Grohl as an enthusiastic and positive bloke, the over appreciation of his drumming abilities is dragging on.
Grohl is a good drummer. However, he’s been hyped into oblivion by Nirvana fans as some sort of exceptional genius. That’s despite his obviously quite normal drumming abilities.
It’s an odd situation for us, as he’s such a top bloke. He’s also not the one going around honking about how great he thinks he is, as he’s a humble guy and likes to lampoon rock star grandiosity and pomposities.
It’s his fans and other journalists, like Rolling Stone Magazine, voting and sticking him at the top of Best Drummers lists.
So, sorry Mr. Grohl, we think you’re a good drummer! Just not a genius. And his positivity and verve for drumming come across in his interviews, which is what we do love about him.
Away from that, Count Me In is an effective love letter to drumming. And anyone watching it should, hopefully, get inspired to give percussion a whirl.
The documentary’s tone does get a little smug at times. Yet we can’t argue with a film that goes out of its way to promote something positive for people to enjoy.
However, you should still watch the likes of Beware of Mr. Baker (2012), which gets to the core of what makes for drumming greatness. And, indeed, madness!
Drummers React to Count Me In (and a bit about Drummer Reply Guys)
Drumming fans have reacted quite poorly to the documentary, complaining some of their favourite drummers are missing from it.
One of our favourites, The Stone Roses’ Reni, doesn’t have a mention at all. It doesn’t affect the film. It’s about the joy of playing, not who the best drummers are.
And that brings us to a type of online commenter we’ve spotted over the years. And we’ve decided to coin a phrase!
All over the internet there are drummer reply guys. They’re along the lines of reply guys on Twitter.
Drummer reply guys can’t make online comments without inserting a list of drummers, who they think are the best, into a response. Here’s an example from an IMDb review.
That exact type of drummer reply guy is everywhere online. Particularly YouTube, where he’s prepped and ready with his list (that always includes Bernard Purdie and Billy Cobham).
Also, note this one (stevelivesey67) is having a bit of a whinge about the obligatory mention of equality in all things these days. Diddums, Steve.
Anyway, that comment personifies what we mean. These drummer reply guys are all over the place online with their list of favourite drummers.
And, unfortunately, Count Me In has inadvertently provided them with an opportunity to go forth with their lists and spout them incessantly.
May GOD have mercy on our souls.