Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess almost played DRUMS on Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’

Posted by on January 4, 2016

Jordan Rudess is pretty talented, right? The Dream Theater keyboardist has been playing with the band since 1997, and not only is he a dynamic and talented keyboardist, he’s at the cutting edge of technology as well. But interestingly enough, not only did a young Rudess almost play keyboards on Pink Floyd’s seminal 1979 album The Wall, but he almost played drums on it. We didn’t even know that he played drums, and it turns out that, well, he didn’t. Here’s what he told Prog magazine:

“Many years ago I had a friend by the slightly unusual name of Bleu Ocean,” recalls the Dream Theater keyboard maestro. “He was a very good drummer; I believe he had been one of the studio drummers for The Monkees, playing with them behind the scenes. Anyway, Blue got the job of assembling a marching band that would appear on the song Bring The Boys Back Home.

“I was hanging out at Blue’s home one day and he said, ‘Come on man, come to the studio and watch the recording of the track. You could even be a part of it’. Well, I wasn’t a drummer – by that point I’d have been around 18 years old and had long since decided that keyboards would be my life – but I’d played some very basic snare drum when I was in Third Grade.

“So I went with him to the session. I walked in, someone gave me a drum and some sticks. I’m playing along and having a really good time but as I’m doing so I become aware that Bob Ezrin [producer] is looking at me across the room, eyebrow slightly askew and finally he says: ‘I don’t think so’.

“After he’d picked me out I went and sat in the control room and long before anyone else we got to hear a playback of that track, though of course we had no idea of what it meant or where it would fit in the overall puzzle of Pink Floyd’s album.

“I was fine with Bob’s decision. I was a very poor drummer. But there’s a part of me that still wishes I’d been able to appear on The Wall. That would’ve been very cool indeed.”

Cool for sure. It’s pretty amazing to think that the best prog rock band of the ’70s almost had one of today’s best current prog rock musicians play on the best concept album of all time is amazing, actually.

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