Bernard “Pretty” Purdie is a legendary R&B, soul and funk drummer who has been doing session work since the early 60s. The records he’s played on by the likes of Steely Dan, Miles Davis, and Aretha Franklin could fill a library. That’s what we’re offering in this unusual record sale: Purdie’s own library of records, most of which he has played on himself.
“The World’s Most Recorded Drummer” is a title bestowed or claimed by an elite few – Purdie, Hal Blaine, Earl Palmer, John JR Robinson, Jim Keltner. We may never know who truly owns that title, but there is only one of this elite heavyweight crew who can claim their own drum pattern: a funky little miracle of syncopation known as the Purdie Shuffle, which Purdie performs on Steely Dan’s “Home at Last” (from Aja, 1977).
These are the last records from Bernard Purdie’s own collection, vinyl rescued by Egon (Rappcats/Now-Again) and Joel Stones (Tropicalia in Furs) from a flood in the basement of his New Jersey home. This was supposed to be an in-person sale that we hosted in New York. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we could not host this sale on the East Coast, and in the presence of the legend himself. So we shipped all of the records to Rappcats HQ in Los Angeles, Egon went through them all and, with Bernard’s input, assembled them into three categories for purchase.
Bernard Purdie on the record sale:
I mainly collected records I played on, and people used to sign them for me. Any time there’s a note on those records, like Quincy Jones’ records, it’s an indication that I’m on it … It’s cool for me to sell these as I already made my, you know, peace with myself. And knowing that I’m on over 4000 albums, I don’t worry about fighting with anyone. It doesn’t matter to me now. But I do like to tell the truth. The legacy is out there. they can’t take it away from me now. The point is, yes, all of these records, on all of these different folks – well, it’s there. I have my diaries for 50 years, of all of the different people I worked for. And I have no problems! And the people who have stuck up for me, some of them, for instance, Michael Bolton, when I did a thing with him later, he let everyone know, yes, Bernard Purdie did my first album. I didn’t ask him to say that. More people were good to me than bad. Oh yeah. Yes sir. Believe me I would say 90% of the people I worked with were nice to me because I never messed with anyone, never got into disputes, never got into arguments. No, not me. Oh, you’re listing the drummer’s name? You can put anyone’s name you want on there!