Wednesday, September 18, 2013

RIP Roger Pope 1947 - 2013

Roger stamps his foot purposely and waves his hands majestically right from the start. His tight, straight ahead patterns tempered with his broken rhythms are as required as the song switches from an even keel if calm waters to storm lashed frenzy. He has a tremendous feel of the changes in the song, the instrumental breaks are steady with a breezy flourish. His footwork is a major feature, right up in the mix for maximum impact. There's nothing messy on this track, his driving finish on the outro is straight ahead rock and roll. His huge sweeping fill at the end on the concert toms a trademark of his style. 

Roger has left a tremendous legacy, his work on Empty Sky, Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across The Water, Rock Of The Westies and Blue Moves as important on those albums as the rest of the contributions. All diverse albums, all diverse sounds and all diverse drumming required. Whether it be written out or just a groove that he tapped into, Roger always put down a suitable line. His effortless switches from powerhouse to laid back essential for Elton's music. He could rock like bad 'un, but still had light of hand to layer a ballad with choicey subtle moments. Never overplayed, always clean and direct. 

He had a great rapport with the fans long after he'd left the Elton building. Always a good trait in my book. I send my sympathies to his widow, the newly announced Mrs. Sue Pope.

Top 10 essential Roger tracks

Empty Sky
Rock And Roll Madonna
Ballad Of A Well Known Gun
My Fathers Gun
Tiny Dancer
Holiday Inn
Grow Some Funk Of Your Own
I Feel Like A Bullet
One Horse Town
Crazy Water


  1. Fantastic Tribute Paul 10/10 A very distinctive beat,
    didn't realise he played drums on all those tracks