Mickey Waller, who has died of liver failure aged 66, was a ubiquitous face on the 1960s music scene in London, a superb drummer who played with a merry-go-round of bands, was much in demand as a session musician, and eventually became Rod Stewart's sticksman of choice. He also worked with the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the Jeff Beck Group, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, and, in 1968, was involved in staging the rock musical Hair in London.
Reserved and unassuming but quietly tough and always his own man, Waller was sought after for his individualist heavy drumming style, known as the "Waller wallop". Always willing to try something different, he would often simply stop in the middle of a song - a legacy of his jazz training - and would also play melodies on the tom-toms. A highly intelligent man, he later took a law degree in his spare time and used his knowledge to win claims for various unpaid royalties. But he was pleased to say that he always made his living through music.
Micky Waller was best known for his work with Rod Stewart, but was also the first drummer for the Jeff Beck Group in 1968. This is the first track from Beck's first solo album, and it's a cover of The Yardbirds' "Shapes Of Things" (the group that Beck had recently left). A typical choice, but the song is almost completely re-imagined for a hard rock audience. The entire album was instrumental in launching the hard-rock/heavy metal genre, and also catapaulted Rod Stewart's career. Interestingly, future Rolling-Stones member Ron Wood is here, but on BASS...
Song : "Shapes Of Things" by Jeff Beck
LP "TRUTH" (Epic) Aug. 1968
Jeff Beck : guitar
Rod Stewart : vocals
Ron Wood : bass
Mick Waller : drums
Get it here : Shapes Of Things