A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 18, 2016
“What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?” (joke)

A popular riddle about drummers is:

Q: What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?
A: You only have to punch the information into a drum machine once.


The joke has been cited in print since at least 1991.


27 July 1991, New Musical Express, “LAUGH? I NEARLY BOUGHT A ROUND! A short guide to roadie humour,” pg. 16, col. 5:
Q: What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?
A: You only have to punch the information into a drum machine once.

Google Groups: alt.guitar
drummer jokes
Gordon Brough
3/26/93
A little joke I heard a while age:-
What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?

Google Groups: rec.music.makers.percussion
Drummer jokes
Peter Stefanczyk
8/15/93
(...)
What’s the difference between a drum machine and a drummer?
you only have to punch the information into the machine once

Google Books
The Musician’s Joke Book:
Knowing the Score

By Nancy Groce
London: Schirmer Trade Books
1996
Pg. ?:
What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine? You only have to punch in the rhythm once on the drum machine.

Twitter
Ciaran
‏@tgchen
What is the difference between a drum machine and a drummer....you only have to punch info into a drum machine once.
4:01 AM - 5 Mar 2008

Google Books
The Musician’s Joke Book
By Jim Green
London: Omnibus Press
2010
Pg. ?:
Q: What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?
A: You only have to punch the information into the drum machine once.

Google Books
A Prairie Home Companion
Pretty Good Joke Book (6th Edition)

Inroduction by Garrison Keillor
Prince Frederick, MD: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
2015
Pg. ?:
What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?
With a drum machine you only have to punch the information in once.

Twitter
XTC
‏@xtcfans
Q- What’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?
A- You only have to punch the information into the machine once.
12:55 PM - 28 Nov 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Sunday, December 18, 2016 • Permalink