KKLZ Music News

Plenty of fun facts are scattered throughout music history. However, this tidbit that ties Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers to many of Prince’s recordings from the ’80s is wild.

Writer Matthew Perpetua shared on Twitter an interesting takeaway from the 2022 Dan Charnas book Dilla Time about late hip-hop producer J Dilla. Perpetua wrote, “A fun thing I learned from Dan Charnas’ J Dilla book is that the clap in the original Linn drum machine that Prince used extensively in the 80s was a recording of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers clapping backstage as a favor to [Roger] Linn who was struggling with getting a good clap sound.”

Some people were floored by this revelation. One person commented, “I love that! The idea that Tom Petty is to thank for the claps in ‘Movie Star,’ ‘Nasty Girl,’ ‘Lady Cab Driver,’ ‘We Can Funk’ etc. is just crazy. I wonder then if Eric Clapton recorded the toms …” Another person commented, “Welp I’ll be telling people this after three beers every time an ’80s Prince song comes on forever.”

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The drum machine referenced is the LM-1 Drum Computer and is referred to by the shorthand of LM-1. Roger Linn is the inventor of the LM-1. He co-founded Linn Electronics which created a variety of drum machines that utilized digital samples.

In March 2017, he appeared on The Current’s Prince Remembered podcast where he talked about the artist’s use of the LM-1. Linn said, “It was a very big deal. First of all, it was an absolute godsend for me. I had made this new product, and people liked it, but it was his prominent use of it on his hit recordings that was a tremendous help to me.”

He added, “The exposure of the LM-1 Drum Computer to other people. Because I didn’t know, at the time, that it would be something people used to produce recording demos or small-time, and he had the vision to see it as a new sound. A new essential element in creating his record. So it was very nice for me.”

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights

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