Dirk Hamilton Band’s Tim Seifert Passes
Sad news, I’m afraid. Tim Seifert died of complications from a surgery yesterday in Oregon.
I met Tim at a gig in Santa Cruz many years ago. He was the drummer in a jazz band that opened a show for us. I was immediately impressed by his sophistication and touch. He introduced himself to me after the show and wanted to buy a couple CDs! That’s not normal. Jazz cats don’t buy CDs from singer-songwriters! I told him he was a great drummer and he told me he really dug my stuff. We exchanged contact information and that was about it. Soon afterwards I was putting together a band to tour Italy and he was my first call for drums. He passed the audition with colors flying in the wind! So with Timmy on drums, the extraordinary lead guitarist from back in the glory days, Don Evans, on lead guitar, my buddy and co-songwriting partner Eric Westphal on bass and quirky magician Steve Shufton on keyboards, we really had one helluva band. We jelled immediately and toured all over Italy and it was a gas!
A few months later I was living with an Italian girl in Naples and getting ready to do a different project touring with a hot Italian band called The Bluesmen. We were going to tour and make a live album for Comet Records as Dirk Hamilton and The Bluesmen. It was kind of a big deal. I was set to train up to Ferrara in a few days and begin rehearsals with The Bluesmen when I got a call from Paride, my manager, telling me the Bluesmen’s drummer had to drop out for some reason and asking me to call Tim and ask him if he could do the gig. I called Tim and he somehow found a way to make it happen. Within a few days Timmy was on a plane to Italy and he learned two hours of Bluesman material by listening to it on ear pods on that plane flight over! He blew us all away at the first of the two rehearsals we had before we hit the road. Traveling between the shows Timmy always had those ear pods stuck in his head. He never stopped learning and refining his parts. Tim took great pride in doing a great job on whatever music he was playing. His focus and dedication was inspiring. I used to like sitting there and watching his Zen concentration as he tuned his drums before each show. As Zen as he could be though, he would not tolerate half assed musicians. He’d bust guys’ chops if they weren’t pullin’ their weight in the band! I had a lot of respect for that. There was much to respect in that quiet, good man.
A sound company recorded that last Bluesmen gig in Ferrara and a film crew filmed it. The CD dropped later as “Sometimes Ya’ Leave the Blues Out on The Road”. Tim and the American Band also played on the double CD live album, “The Relative Health of Your Horse Outside”, “The Ghost of Van Gogh”, “More Songs from My Cool Life”, “Dirk Hamilton Band – Live at The Palms” and “Thug of Love Live” (the 30th anniversary tour celebrating Elektra’s “Thug of Love” album).
Tim was a born drummer. His passion for percussion radiated out from him like visible heat waves. One night in Nettuno (southern Italy by Anzio) we were offered a deal; dinner for the band and myself if I’d play a short set afterwards. I said hell yes cuz the restaurant people were all fun and kind and I knew that that dinner would be a great one (and it was!). I figured just Don and I would do it acoustically and that’s what we did until Tim couldn’t restrain himself any longer. He picked up a wooden chair, flipped it upside down, and played upside down chair percussion fit to please the Greek gods and we played a lot longer than I’d planned. I’ll never forget it.
Wherever a song went Tim could go there. Whatever was laid down he could lie there. He never had to sweat over what to play he just felt the music and jumped right in. I always introduced him as Tim ‘Feel’ Seifert ‘cuz Tim was the most sensitive drummer I’ve ever known. He was a very sensitive mantoo. A religious painting on a cathedral wall could make him cry. He loved his wife Susan and all animals. He was always humble and self effacing… too much so. No matter how hard you praised him he just wouldn’t hear it but he truly was a world-class musician. I always believed that that band would ride again but now that will never be. Arrivaderci, Timmy! To those of us who knew you well and loved you… you will never be forgotten.
“A beautiful man, phenomenal drummer, a great friend to all – I am proud to have spent such quality time with him, laughter and love, and mannnnnnnn…. did we make some beautiful music together” – Eric Westphal