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Hal Blaine (born Harold Simon Belsky 5 February 1929, Holyoke, Massachusettsmarker) is an Americanmarker drummer and session musician. He is most known for his work with the Wrecking Crew in Californiamarker. Blaine played on numerous hits by popular groups, including Elvis Presley, Simon & Garfunkel, The Carpenters and the Beach Boys. Blaine is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Famemarker.

Grammy Awards

A little known Grammy Awards record is held by Blaine who played on 6 consecutive Record of the Year winners:

#1 hits

Additional facts

Blaine recorded an all-instrumental album in 1965 entitled Psychedelic Percussion with Paul Beaver. Its 12 tracks each represented one month of the year.

In 1965, the Beach Boys and Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean recorded an off-the-cuff cover version of The Regents' 1961 hit song, "Barbara Ann". It was released as a 45 rpm single and on the Beach Boys Party LP in 1965. During the hectic instrumental break, one of the singers can be heard shouting off-mike, "It's Hal and His Famous Ashtrays!". This is a reference to Blaine, who was playing percussion at the session, and who accompanied this improvised song by drumming on a pair of overturned glass ashtrays.

In March 2000, Hal Blaine was one of the first five sidemen inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (One of the other inductees was Hal's long-time friend and drumming colleague, Earl Palmer.)

Hal's trademark lick was a quarter-note triplet played on two toms simultaneously, typically played during the out chorus of a song. Drummer Max Weinberg once wrote about how he would occasionally throw that lick into one or another of Bruce Springsteen's songs; every time he played the lick, Bruce would yell out "Hal Blaine!" in joyful recognition.

Hal's long-time drum tech is Rick Faucher, who has also worked with Jim Keltner and many other L.A. studio drummers.


  • Blaine, Hal with David Groggin, Hal Blaine and The Wrecking Crew, Mix Books, 1990
  • Whitburn. Joel, Top 40 Hits, Billboard Publications, New York 1992

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