Very well Known Member
- Aug 6, 2005
- Reaction score
- LaVale, Maryland
Hey John ditto on being brought up in New York, I used to visit all those shops and 48th Street and the walking over to the Metropole, I was 18 in 1966 and stood outside the Metropole watching KrupaI was born and raised in Manhattan. In 1966 I was 17 and the Metropole was between 48th & 49th St. Right around the corner from the biggest collection of music stores on one street anywhere. On week-ends the routine was that myself and two of my band-mates would haunt the stores on 48th Street checking out all the new equipment that had arrived that week. It was religiously followed by a trip to the Metropole to catch Woody Herman and his orchestra or whoever was being featured that week. We were too young to go inside because they served booze. But the front door was always wide open and there was generally a crowd out front on the sidewalk of about twenty to thirty people. We would weave our way to the front and watch some of the greatest players in the world play their asses off. Gene was one of the old-school great musicians that I got to watch from about thirty feet away. I watched his hands and feet like a hawk hunting food. That man always had a look on his face while he was playing like he had died and gone to Heaven. Gene would throw his head back sometimes and close his eyes while he wailed the tar out of those drums. It's the same look I saw many years later on a Sufi dancer who was lost in the ecstasy of deep meditation. Gene used to get that same 'far away' look as he played sometimes. It was a gas and a master class to watch him play.
I was a very lucky young drummer to have been able to see many of my drum heros up close and personal as I was growing up. See? New York isn't just a hell-hole and den of iniquity. It is and has always been, a hub of culture, music and art.