Buddy Rich Goes Nuts on the Bus!

Typical road trip with Buddy, circa 1975:

 "...In New York you'll be on the bread line so fast you won't know you were even ON this fuckin' thing.  How dare you play a fuckin' set like that! Since when did the trumpet section become the leader of this fuckin' band and decide how long to hold a fuckin' chord?  You think you're playin' with some fuckin' kid out there?  I demand 110 percent fucking perfection on every fuckin' tune - you got that?  If you can't do it then get off my fuckin' bus and band TONIGHT! You had a day off yesterday and you come back like this and you SUCK! What kind of music do you think you're playing here, anyhow?  And who do you think you're playing FOR?  You think I tolerate that shit?  You're worse than any high school band I ever heard.  You come in wrong – you lose one fuckin’ beat and you can’t find ONE?  I don't know what kind of fuckin' drummer you think you're playin' with, but you play with me or you get out! And I mean now! I-don't-need-this-shit! I got a home in Palm Springs and I can sit on my ass for the rest of my life and not worry about a fuckin' thing.  And I don't have to meet your fuckin' payroll and pay you to play like some fuckin' high-school dropout!  How dare you do that! Assholes - you can't play a simple fuckin' tune - you can't hold a chord? [Unitelligible] What kind of solos am I hearing tonight?  You wanna rehearse and practice, get a fuckin’ band in Sydney and play the kind of shit you want...You don't like what I'm playing then get the fuck out!...I’m tired of YOU, and I’m tired of signin’ for you – I’m tired of you, period! And I'm tired of you guys that can't play a job for 45 fuckin' minutes! You got it too fuckin' easy god damn it! I'll make it so tough you won't be able to fuckin' BREATHE around here! How many fuckin' bands you think you got to go to work in?  If I decide to quit you guys are SUCKED! You got nothin'! Try it! You think I'm foolin' you can quit to-night! I'm out there knockin' my fuckin' brains out and I gotta carry you and pay you at the same time? FUCK you! When I go back inside I better hear 110 percent perfection - or I'll leave ya here! I’ll take you as far as Detroit, and you got it! Try me!...Try me and see if you can get away with one fucking piece of shit - I'll fire you on the fuckin' bandstand! You not only insult me you insult yourselves - don't you have any fucking pride?  Where's you fucking pride - where's your professionalism?  Assholes - that's what you play like! Where's your own fuckin' pride in yourself?  Or don't you have any - are you so fuckin' dumb that you don't HAVE any fuckin' pride?  Get outta here - right now.  You get up on that fuckin' bandstand and you play your fucking ASS off!

What the fuck you think is goin' on here - you got too many days off so you think it's a fuckin' game.  You think I'm the only one who's gonna work out there while you motherfuckers clam all over this joint.  What do you think this is anyhow?  What kind of playing is this?  What kind of mis-cues do you call this?  What kind of band do you think you're playing on, motherfucker?  You wanna fuck with me on the bandstand?  Shut that fuckin’ door. I'm out there workin' my balls off tryin' to do somebody a favor and you motherfuckers are suckin' all over this joint! What kind of trumpet section do you call that tonight?  And saxophones?  You gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me! How dare you call yourselves professionals! Assholes - you're playin' like fuckin' children out there!...You spend all night in here tryin’ to blow your fuckin’ brains out and when it comes time to play, whaddya play – CLAMS?  [unintelligible] If I hear one fuckin’ clam, you’ve had it! One clam, and this whole fuckin’ band is through. Tonight! Try me! You got some fuckin' nerve - nights off, nothin' to do and you come in here and play that shit for me?  Fuck all of you.  You're not doing any fuckin' favors you're breakin' my fuckin' heart out there! I gotta go out there and be embarrassed by YOU motherfuckers?  I’ve played with greatest fuckin' musicians in the WORLD.  How dare you play like that for me! Assholes...The timing of this band is incredible! We don't play two fuckin' bars in one fuckin’ tempo! You can't keep fuckin' time - there's too many fuckin' things to do, isn't there?  You can’t tap your foot and PLAY.  You're all over the fuckin' place - mis-cue after mis-cue! You try one fuck-up the next set and you get back to New York you'll need another fuckin' job - count on it! Now get outta my fuckin' bus.  Right now [Band exits the bus and goes back inside the club].

In the following segment, Buddy has it out with a band member who refuses to shave his beard off.

...You've had two fuckin' weeks to decide if you want a fuckin' beard, or a job.  This isn't the goddam House of David fucking baseball team this is the Buddy Rich Band.  Young people with faces – no more fucking beards - out!  [Unintelligible]  you're through - out! This is the last time I make this announcement.  No fucking beards.  I don't wanna see it – either you're gonna either shave it off [unintelligible] I'll treat you just like they do in the fuckin' Marine Corps.  This is the way I want MY fucking band to look.  If you don't like it - get out.  You've had two fuckin' weeks to make up your mind.  No idle request - I'm telling how I want my band to look.  You’re not gonna tell me how you're gonna look, I'm telling YOU.  There’s too much freedom in this band I’m gonna take it away  [unintelligible]  as long as you're takin' my fuckin' money...You seem to give me the most fucking trouble of anybody.  Wanna do something about it?  You wanna tell me about it?  [the band member with the beard says: "I'm definitely not shaving it off"]  Then I'm definitely telling you one thing, you keep your fucking mouth shut, get the fuckin' beard off or get the fuck outta the band right now.  Now what do'ya think of that?  Now that's a definite suggestion. If you wanna work tonight, if I catch the fuckin' beard on you, I'll THROW you off the fuckin' bandstand.  Okay? [band member: "I'm not taking it off."]  You what?  You're through! You don't tell me what to do - I tell you.  If you don't like it, get off.  [band member says, "I don't like it"].  Get off! Get your fuckin' clothes and get off, right now.  Pull the fuckin' bus over.  [band member says something unintelligble].  Have I got what?  [band member asking about severance pay?]  I got nothin' for you - I got a right hand for your fuckin' BRAIN if you want it.  I gave you two weeks - two weeks.  You’re in the rule of MY band.  If you don't like it, that's it! Get off, and TRY to take me to the fuckin' union - I'd love it - love it.  You get no [unintelligible] money, you get two weeks, TIME.  You’ve been waiting for this a long fuckin’ time.  [Band member says “No I haven’t”] Yes you have.  Ever since you opened your mouth because I don’t like the way you write.  And I STILL play your fuckin’ charts.  For you.  You understand that?  Not for me…I’m a success without you and without your WRITING.  [band member says, “I understand that”]  Go back to Syndey, and whatever is that you do over there, good luck to you.  But not over here.  You're through.  I want him off - right now.  [band member says "It's a pleasure to be off"].  Keep talkin'.  You wanna - you wanna start some shit with me?  [band member says, "Not particularly"].  Then keep your fuckin' mouth shut - right now! Or I'll close it for you.  Keep it shut! Try me! [band member says something unintelligible].  Then shut up! [band member says, "I'd appreciate it if you'd talk to me like a human being"].  I'd rather talk to you like a human being but you talk back all the time.  Now keep your fuckin' mouth shut or I'll show you what it's LIKE.  That's all!  [band member: “That sounds like a threat”] I'm not threatening you I'm telling you.  You don’t wanna do what I wanna do, then I’m telling you.  [band member unintelligible]  Then shut-up! I want that understood by everybody.  I want him off.  I don't want him on the bandstand tonight.  Any time you're ready.  [band member says, "All right"].  The bus pulls over to side of the road]. END OF TAPE

Note: The musician with the offending beard was later revealed to be composer/trombonist Dave Panichi, who has gone on to work with many pop and jazz greats such as Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, Aretha Franklin and Sarah Vaughn

transcript (c) 2008  by K.D. Bishop