So who are you guys behind the screen name?

jb111

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I turned 60 last December. I started playing drums in 1972 at age 11 and am self taught. I joined my first band at 13 and played semi-pro and professionally until my mid 20s when I moved to Los Angeles and started working in the drum industry. Ironically I moved to LA to pursue music, but my life and career took left a turn. By the early 90s, I stopped playing drums due to the time demands (travel etc) of my last job.

I worked for three well-known companies in the drum industry over the course of almost 30 years, met a lot of great people and made many lifelong friends and was paroled in 2013 for good behavior ;) (I retired/got out).

In 2014 I joined a band with several old friends that I first played with back in 1975 in my second band. I had to basically start over which was a great experience. We worked every weekend before Covid and things are looking good for us to pick up where we left off. I also started collecting vintage drums and cymbals somewhere along the way and that’s been fun.

Last year during Covid lockdown I started doing a live show on Facebook where I chat with some of my old drummer pals and it’s grown into a fun little endeavor.

I’m probably leaving out a lot of stuff but that’s about it. Oh yeah, my two children, two grandchildren and wife are the best things that ever happened to me.
Always enjoy your playing in the videos you post. Saw your name pop up a few times in the DiMuzio book. Good stuff.
 

jb111

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From my recently (as in a few minutes ago) added About section of my profile:

Art Director and design educator from San Diego. I've been playing drums since 1986 in many different local situations. Formed my playing around the pocket players, and my favorites are Starks and Stubblefield, Al Jackson Jr., Earl Palmer, Idris Muhammad, etc. Also a major jazz fan who bows to the alter of Coltrane, but I love my Hank Mobley records equally (especially those with Billy Higgins). Well, almost anything on Blue Note is good with me, particularly records with Al Harewood, Joe Chambers, Art Taylor, Mickey Roker, etc. Spent the bulk of the 90s looking for soul jazz records—especially anything with Idris, Purdie, etc.

For some reason I was late to the Tony thing. I had records with him playing (especially the Herbie stuff), but it was Nefertiti that really did it for me (obvious, I know). I could actually say the same thing about Max Roach. Always appreciated his foundational contributions, but something really clicked with him for me last year. Deeds, Not Words is my favorite.

Finally getting my jazz playing act together after too many years of avoiding it. Now I can't see why I always overly-mystified approaching it as a player. Better late than never, and I approach it with respect.

I currently play in three different projects that gigged a lot pre-Covid. Things are slowly getting back up and rolling now. Mainly rhythm/roots and raw R&B music. And I look forward to my first jazz trio gig—whenever that will be.

Cheers,
jb
 
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hsosdrum

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I officially started playing in 1962 when I was ten (got a Ludwig Porto-Pad and a pair of mis-matched sticks from my Pop); got my first snare (Pearl MIJ) at 12; my first drumset (E.W.Kent 12/20/5" snare) at 13. Took lessons from ages 12 – 16; practiced 3 hours a day until I moved in with my band at 19 (the band practiced 3 hours a day). I expanded the Kent set to 12/13/16/16/20/22 and a bunch of Zildjians.

The band hit the road in 1972 and played well over 1,200 gigs (more than 6,000 hours total) all over the upper midwest of the USA (CO, WY, NE, ND, SD, MN, IA, WI, IL). We played mostly prog-rock and hard-rock cover tunes, sprinkled with around a set's worth of prog-rock originals. In '73 I replaced the Kents with a Carl Palmer-inspired Ludwig Vistalite set (double-bass, lots of concert toms, gong, chimes, more Zildjians). Played for crowds between 10 people and 1,000 people (our draw, not festivals). The rise of punk and disco, along with ego battles killed the band in 1977 and I quit and moved back to sunny/warm Southern CA. That was the last time I ever played drums for money.

Back in L.A., in '77 I became a productive member of society, holding down jobs (sales, technical rep, technical writing) in the audio and electronics industries for more than 40 years. I sold all my drums in '82 (kept one 1930s-vintage 13" Zildjian, which I still own), but realized my error in '84 and started from scratch with a brand-new Gretsch USA kit (12/13/16/18/22/22) and brand-new Zildjians in '85.

In '89 I put together an experimental fusion band which was the most musically-satisfying situation I've ever been involved in. The guitarist and I were immediate musical blood-brothers, and we conscripted a keyboard player from a new wave band and a metal-head bass player and molded them into improv monsters. Most of our material was developed through improvisations at rehearsals (I taped every time we played). We played live between '89 and '92, with anywhere between 40% and 85% of what we played on stage being improvised. Some audiences didn't know what to make of us; some did and liked the music. We loved what we played and didn't give a damn what anyone else thought about it. In 1990 I replaced the Gretschs with Ludwig Classics (13/14/16/18/26/26).

That band ended in '93 when the guitarist moved to Portland, OR for personal reasons. He and I have since recorded 10 CDs as a duo playing improvised music that can range all over the map but is still firmly centered in jazz/rock fusion territory (the last time we got together was in 2003). Since then I've put together a CD's worth of my own material, but I find working completely on my own awfully slow going.

In 2013 I retired the Ludwig Classics and replaced them with Ludwig Legacy Maples (12/13/14/16/22/22). I finally got my Zildjians squared away (three 22" K-series rides, a half-dozen post-2013 redesign A-series crashes, and a couple of chinas, with some K and Avedis crashes in my cymbal bag) and replaced my 34" Paiste gong that had been stolen in 1977 while I was still on the road.

I've been married and divorced twice (no kids). In 2014 I converted two of my home's bedrooms into a recording studio and finally retired from the working world late in 2019. Since then I spend my time practicing drums at least an hour a day, fiddling around on a large Moog-format analog modular synthesizer, listening to music, and watching old movies and LA Dodger baseball. Not a bad life, not bad at all.
 
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drummingbulldog

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51 started in 1982 at 12 on a round badge 60s kit that I still have. At 14, took lessons with local mallet phenom who is now head of percussion at JU. Spent time in college but didn't finish. I've been playing professionally since 1986. I started recording in 1986 as well. Live in Florida. No kids/2nd wife/no kids/2 cats/6 kits/36 cymbals/20 snares. I collect guns & hot wheels. Favorite drummers: Gadd/Bonzo/Tony/Copeland/Cobham.
 

RogersLudwig

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My name’s Bill. Turned 72 last month. Been playing drums since about 1973 when my room mates wanted to form a band but didn’t have a drummer. I’m a Dead head, but my first drum teacher was Bob Levey, Stan’s son. I always loved drums and drumming, but I’ve never payed all the bills as a musician. Went to the Military Academy at West Point and decided that wasn’t for me and after plebe year I transferred to UCLA. I got an MBA and worked as an investment banker for 16 years and then went back to school for a PhD in anthropology. I specialized in the archaeology of Peru. When I couldn’t get a teaching job I got a job with the US Forest Service where I still work in archaeology and Tribal relations after 17 years. I also work as a Smithsonian expert in Peru, serve as an officer in the Institute of Andean Studies, and I’m a lifetime member of the Malibu Surfing Association. My jazz combo is shooting to start practice next month. I’m pretty frugal and still have drum sets #2 and #3…never had a #4.
 

varatrodder

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I'm 45, and I've been playing since I was 11. Started off in school band, and then quickly picked up drum set. Played in church, and then started playing in a few bands - mostly punk, rockabilly and country. I took some time off - just playing at home - and then started gigging heavily again around 2005. I gigged pretty steadily until last year when I moved to DC.

I love building and working on drums as much as I love playing them. I'm just as happy to build a drum or refurbish a kit as I am to play a gig.

By day I'm a graphic designer and creative consultant. Married with an awesome kid.
 

dtk

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I'm 57, David.

Started as a preteen...dad wanted to be a DJ so the radio was always on. Heard 'Ballroom Blitz' and wanted to play drums.
Because I showed some signs of dyslexia my parents encourage my drumming as a form of therapy.
Took lessons...dragged a kit to college even though I wasn't a music major....took some lessons after...have taken a few on line during Covid...a great teacher is so important.

Now-I play in an Italian Marching Band (I'm not italian though I may bleed marinara, its a paying gig...good musicians...excercise). I play in two original bands...one with some 30/40 somethings who are big music lovers (singer puts shows together)...the other is more ska/pop with a bunch of late 50s/60s folks. I also play 'folk' gigs with a guy I've known since I graduated college...while he plays acoustic guitar its more like if early Elvis Costello was american and played an acoustic.

I've been learning and fooling around with Abelton live and have always been interested in Electronic drums and drum machines though its rare I find a band that wants to use them.

dtk
 

Lazmo

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I’m in my mid 60’s… started in drum corps at high school when I was 12. Kit soon after, and stopped having lessons (big mistake) to play in bands. Nothing special but had fun.

At 24 I took my right kneecap off in a motorcycle accident, then recovered by travelling and hitchhiking around Asia, Europe and the UK. After the accident I had taken up guitar, so busked in Amsterdam, Italy and Greece… then when I got back to Oz, got heavily into electric and played many gigs on my trusty Strat.

At our Y2K NYE gig, our drummer didn’t show, but his drums were there, and the guys asked “didn’t you play drums” … so I played and loved it. My Wife and eldest Daughter were at the gig, and were very surprised, as I had never mentioned being a drummer. Sue had no idea, and insisted I get a kit.

Joined DCI drum forum and played in cover bands, house drummed for a mates open mic… but my main thing was playing originals in three different line ups with my amazing bass player/song writer mate… some of my best gigs ever.

I’m a hack, but enjoy it too much to stop.

Edited later… to pay the bills, I’ve worked in ICT since studying electronics / telecommunications / software development… at uni in the 70’s.
 
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drumstuff66

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Always feels a little a weird talking about myself, but I'm really enjoying this thread...

I'm 55 and caught the bug around 8 or 9 years old. My dad was big into Fife & Drum Corps Musters (Deep River, CT anyone?). Those little bass drums played with wooden mallets - you feel it in your chest as they walk by and I loved it! And like a lot of boys in the mid-70's, KISS had taken it's hold on me as a wannabe drummer.

Started at age 11 with schools lessons. First public performance was The Hogan's Heroes March in 5th Grade Concert Band. Pretty much the last decent solo I ever did! Kept up with it long enough that I was given an old re-wrapped Gretsch RB (Thanks, mom!) that I played day and night. Sophomore year of HS an older student that had a weekend gig asked if I be interested in joining his Dixieland band. I did my first paid gig Memorial Day weekend 1982. We played almost every weekend until we graduated. (Bill's Seafood in Westbrook, CT).

Attended UCONN in 1984 to study Music Ed, but by '85 had transferred to Berklee. Lasted a year there until I was playing 4 or 5 night a week and starting to record a little. Studied with Mangini for a year, but as great as that stuff is, it wasn't really the avenue I was looking to go down. I was really trying to hook up with singer-songwriters that had something going on, a local buzz, label interest, etc. so that I could get my name out there as a reliable, contributing, professional side guy, live or in the studio. House drummer at Dick's Last Resort in Boston for 6 years while playing with different people, recording, doing small tours, etc. Once the house gig ended I did a ton of cover/function/original - anything and everything. Over 4000 gigs since 1992 (Started keeping track of every one for tax reasons). Been lucky enough to play behind and open for some great musicians and bands.

These days I play with a well-regarded blues band that performs live at some great venues, records and does a few small east cost/midwest tours every year - last year notwithstanding. I fill that in with cover/function stuff and an fun original band with some old friends. In a normal year 75-100 gigs.

Few regrets and very happy I made the decision way-back-when to follow my passion & see if this "drumming thing" might work out...

Kits throughout the years:
-Gretsch RB re-wrapped in what looked like white counter top covering...ugh.
-Sonor Phonic's in Candy Apple Red (Steve Smith Journey Red!) Sold them to my buddy and still record on them every couple of years.
-Gretsch Cat Jazz - Walnut Glaze. Gave in to a nostalgic yearning for the early days and my first kit. I know, I know - Sold within months.
DW Collectors (1999) - Black Cherry Satin. Used on every non-backline kit since day one.
Ludwig Classic Maples - Satin Cherry. Should be here any day now!

Thanks for staying this long if ya did...

-Paul
 

ppfd

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Tony here, 53 years. 6th grade it was choir or band, so my parents got me a Premier snare kit in 1980-81. I started lessons with a great teacher and did that many years. First kit was a Ludwig rocker 7 piece with zildjian Amir crashes and a giant medium ride. Highlight back then was buying a set of Paiste color sound 5 hats that Rod Morgenstien used in a clinic. He pulled them right off the kit when I asked if I could buy them.
Played in a few bands in high school, practiced to a lot of CDs and cassettes. No you tube back then to make myself famous. I was heavy into sports in high school so I wasn’t in band.
I played into my early 20s and lost interest, and didn’t pick up the sticks for 10-15 years. Went through a break up and had no where to set up a kit so I gave my ludwigs to a friend. Some day I’ll get a kit. I’ve got the cymbals, snares and extras already.
Personal side I worked as a firefighter paramedic for over 25 years. I’m a nurse now (rn). Worked ED, critical care and pediatric ICU. I’m now working in a maximum security women’s prison.
Other interests are hunting, fishing, firearms, hiking, backpacking, bicycling, reading.
 

ludwigjim

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Hello! Here lately I’ve been wondering who I’m talking to! Figure some of us may be weekend warriors and some may be playing on billboard top 40 hits! I thought it would be really cool if everybody could just post a few sentences about their musical endeavors and maybe some highlights and what not… I’d really like to learn more about y'all's drumming career!

I’ve been playing 21 years (33 now). Played in a couple bands in my teens/twenties. Made some albums and toured sparingly. Now i mainly do church drumming and play on my own in my drum room. I’d like to get another band going but there’s not too many pickers here in Bluefieid!

How about you guys?
I’m 71, been playing since age 11. Took what I called formal lessons from a wonderful gentleman who drilled rudiments and sight reading into me. Played in high school dance, concert and marching band. Played in the US Navy band in boot camp. Also played in two Pipe bands, thanks for those rudiment lessons so many years ago. Drum set hasn’t really changed in all those years. Did any number of gigs in several bands during my lifetime and still love playing classic rock. Have had the pleasure of becoming pretty close friends with the Chief over the years and miss him. Met J Cat and my buddy Chuck from Ludwig dozens of times and always had a blast with them. Met Bun E several times & enjoyed our chats.
I play for the love of the music and the instrument and always try to learn something new when I have the chance. God bless all the worlds drummers we have lost and thanks for everything....
 

Cauldronics

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One observation is that almost everyone here including myself didn’t really start collecting drums until social media became ingrained into their lives. Much as I hate to admit it, we’ve become a “me too” drum culture and got married to sharing what we have, for better or worse. Actually I think it’s for the better.

It seems like the culture was there for much longer than it has been and it was waiting for a platform to really explode..
 

shuffle

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Ok,ill play.
70 y.o.
Started drums at 20 y.o.
Was a singer since 16 y.o.
Self taught ie,a hack
Became a bottom feeder blues drummer.
Lots of bar band mileage.
Played clubs,events,opened for several knowns. Edgar Winter,Tommy Castro, Kim Wilson Fab T Birds,Bruce Conte.
Lots of church mileage too
Played prisons,biker rallies,churches street corners.
Opened for Phil Keaggy,Issac Airfreight, Rich Mullens
Left the local music scene,lost my passion and health,retired 8 yrs ago but like teching, tuning and talking drums.
3 granddaughters, 1 grandson, 1 great grandson, 2 ex's! Lol!
Life is good!
 

Cauldronics

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My overall story isn’t different enough from most others here to be interesting enough to write about. Neither are most of yours. haha

The little stories, observations and experiences we collect are far more read worthy IMO. We’re not applying for a job here, are we? :)
 

DanRH

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Taken from my About section of my website....

Born and raised in Miami, I began my musical journey in 1965 after seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. Since my best friend already played guitar, I gravitated to the drums. I built a drum set out of Charlie Chips cans and garbage pales. That Christmas my parents surprised me with a top of the line Ludwig Downbeat drum kit. After that, I played in the band World of Matter that was managed by my dad for eight years, who didn't have an ounce of musical talent but wanted to be involved with me. A truly loving gesture that I treasure to this day.

I played in several bands before moving to Northern California in 1984. A defining day in my career in 1983 was having the opportunity to play one night with Jaco Pastorius. Since then, I've played with many bands. Since 1965, I've only stopped playing once, from 1993 to 1996. I've always played covers except for a brief excursion into the world of Disco in 1979. I played in a band that had a minor hit (we were a rock band reluctantly doing Disco) and was signed with Warner Brothers for a couple minutes in the 80's, who also did a movie soundtrack which was a lot of fun but very hard work.

My main influences are Ringo Starr, Bill Bruford. Neil Peart as well as Gavin Harrison and Charlie Watts. Yeah, my musical tastes are all over the place. I currently play in several other musical projects such as a very popular Tom Petty Tribute act, and in a Funk/Classic Rock band with great musicians as well as subbing out to other bands. I live with my beautiful and supportive wife (Number 4 BTW and I promise, the last!), ride bicycles 10,000 miles a year and like to wood-shed daily in my "drum cave" when I can. During the pandemic, I formally started playing guitar and bass. I've always tinkered with and loved keyboards and record "ambient" music for my wife's business. My keyboards consist of a Hammond A101 with a 122 Leslie , a Yamaha MX49 and a Roland Juno DS.

Also, I'm a retired Federal Government worker. I worked for the IRS for 31 years, primarily as an IT Analyst.

DanCravsBandWhite.jpg
 
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steambent

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I am Ron Dodge, 61 years old. I am married and have a son.I started playing drums at about 13 but never really in the school band as I played the baritone in the school concert band but never in marching band as I played football. From the late 70s till the mid 90s you could find me playing bar room rock in many small bars in central Ohio 3-4 week ends a month. Most of these establishments you could smell the urinals when you walked in the front door. I started collecting old drums around 1980 and have a basement full of them now. I just resigned from my day time job of industrial chemical water treatment after 41 years. Gonna take it easy July and Aug then start getting rid of drums.
 


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