Jaki Liebezeit: Life, Theory and Practice of a Master Drummer

By Jono Podmore

An exploration of the life and legacy of Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit.

Friday, 27 April 2018

celebrating 90% and a new chapter

We’re now on 90% funding so we’re nearly there!

Thanks to a generous pledge from the Jaki Liebezeit Foundation which is currently in the final throes of being established, we now have little more than £1000 to raise before going in to production. Thank you so much for the support so far.

Meanwhile the book itself is expanding! We’re going to add another chapter: JL notes by Manos Tsangaris.

This collection of anecdotes by one of Jaki’s closest colleagues and friends concentrates much more on Jaki’s character than his theory and practice. Jaki’s unique personality shines through these short passages.

Take a look at these 4 examples. Those of us lucky enough to have known Jaki personally will recognise him immediately in Manos’ words.



One could be silent with Jaki very well.

We felt a warm feeling when we said nothing together.

No pressure to say anything.


Time, Middle, Tuesday

In a way Jaki was ageless and he certainly never spoke about ageing, and one didn't have the feeling he was avoiding the topic in panic, either. Sound and music are basically ageless, just like beauty has no gender. He was almost always with younger people. New things were tried. Even with people who were not "professionals": who came by from time to time, who built drums, who practiced. Tuesdays the house was open. All kinds of different people came by and drummed together. Often they talked for hours first. But at some point everything culminated in excessive drumming. In the middle, Jaki, master drummer.


World and Camel

In the practice room, the world stayed out, here the rules of drumming apply, length and its division, differentiation, potentiation.

On the other hand, everything is discussed: politics, football, physics (natural phenomena), speculation, aesthetics, the revolution, repetition, metamorphosis.

From time to time someone comes by dreaming of pop music. The normal play of eighths on hi-hat and cymbal with the right hand is like the walk of the camel: right hand and right foot go down at the same time. Man, however, is not a camel.


Cell phone

Then everyone had these smartphones. (He took ages before he even had a mobile with a prepaid SIM, and that was only so that his son could reach him.)

When the topic came up in the practice room, he said the things cost.

They cost TIME.



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Hugo van der Meer
 Hugo van der Meer says:

Very excited, regards receiving the book. I only wish I'd gone for the two days with Drums Off Chaos reward when it was available. Oh well...keep on trucking.

posted 18th August 2019

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