Tom Sawyer by Rush is one of my favorite drum songs. Everyone and their mother knows Neil Peart slayed the drums on that song. They get more intense with crazier fills until you hit the bridge. After that it's like they said "Okay, Neil, let loose and improvise." And that was a wrap.
I once saw him play the entire Moving Pictures album live in Atlanta. At one point, the stage his drums are set up on spins 180 degrees and he turns around on his stool where he's now situated in front of a giant 30+ MIDI triggered drum kit with a full-on UFO light show. It changed me forever. Have you ever seen a man play the role of an entire string symphony orchestra... on drums?
That's why I'm constantly watching people try to learn and play Tom Sawyer on YouTube. There's a lot of noble attempts out there, but very few drummers ever land all the right hits and breaks. So when I found this video by Ricky Syers purportedly playing Tom Sawyer to perfection, I was tempted to click.
When I saw that he was doing it through a puppet on a set of tin cans... well... SOLD.
He even has his own light show! Check out the video below:
The puppet's name is Chopsy and this rendition is called "Chops Sawyer." Ricky Syers has monumental talent. I don't know if he created the puppet, but to translate drums at all, let alone such a complex song, down to a tiny drum set is next level. I'd also like to point out that this gentleman has far too much time on his hands.
Chopsy looks like Tommy Chong to me! I can tell you that I'd try this and immediately end up ripping off his tiny little arms by moving them too far. There's a lot of precision work being done here. Now I done seent some things, including a dog playing the drums for Enter Sandman. Now I can add this marionette craziness to the list. Chopsy for president!
This concept could make for one of the best music videos ever. If you made a guitarist, keyboard player, bassist, singer, and a crowd and made it like concert footage, you'd have a hit on your hands. Better yet, what if you could make your puppet be controlling an even tinier puppet that plays the drums. We've gone too deep.
One time me, my brother, and my cousins were at our grandparent's house making hand puppets and doing stuff like this. Our youngest cousin was too little so she made a doll out of yellow play dough and put it in the microwave to cook it a bit and make it hard.
As you've guessed, she cooked that sucker for god know's how long and it came out a crisp, stinking, shriveled dog turd. She cried so hard that 25 years later we still talk about it. She shouldn't quit her day job, but this Chopsy dude could pull it off full-time.