Mickey Curry Transcription: Cuts Like A Knife - Bryan Adams

Heavily influenced by studio greats Jim Keltner, Jeff Porcaro, and Ringo Starr, Mickey Curry has carved out an impressive career as both a session and live drummer since the early 1980's.  Like many drummers of his generation, Mickey fell in love with the drums one night in 1964...

"I was living at my grandmother's house," Mickey recalls.  "The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, but my grandmother really didn't want me to watch. So she watched it with my parents, while my brothers and I - I've got six brothers - we're all fighting to look through the little keyhole in the doorway.  We could just see the corner of the TV, but that did it for me.  I was gone.  I just thought, Wow!  That's the coolest thing." - Modern Drummer Magazine

To many, Mickey is best known for his longtime collaboration with artists Bryan Adams and Hall & Oates...  However, as a first call studio musician, Mickey has contributed to records by Tom Waits, Carly Simon, Elvis Costello, Tina Turner and even Meat Loaf and Alice Cooper.  If you look at Mickey's discography from the 80's and compare it to today, one very important element presents itself.  The artists that hired him back then, continue to hire him today.  There are many definitions of success, but in the music world, becoming vital to another artists sound is a sideman's dream, and that has been Mickey's greatest achievement.  

Recently, a client of mine asked for the Bryan Adam's mega radio hit, "Cuts Like A Knife" from the album of the same name.  In my mind, it seemed like this might be an easy enough pop song with some ghost notes to challenge my ears a bit, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  Mickey's high hat alone, complete with unpredictable open splashes, is far more complex then I ever knew.  Like Steve Gadd and Vinnie Colaiuta, Mickey has that special quality about his playing where he is able to interject his own style and flavor all while serving the song with a steady and infectious groove. This is truly a challenge if you've ever spent any time in the studio, and it is a humbling experience to hear Mickey share his gifts with such ease.  

*Please note, the video above is the radio version which removes four bars from the intro vs. the original recording which included the four bars as transcribed.  Also the ending on the radio edit fades long before the ending on the record*