Throwing in the Towel

jmcohen

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
117
Reaction score
180
I saw an ad for a drummer today. It was from a local band I had seen play before and envied the guy on the drum throne. Now was my chance!

WRONG. After talking it out with my wife (the smart person in our union), I had to admit that my drumming “career” was likely over. Due to injuries sustained during my real, actual career, my back will go out on me without warning two or three times a year. And when it is out, I am down for the count for several days, unable to even walk without extreme, debilitating pain. There is no way on earth I would be able to load in and out, perch myself on the throne and play for a few hours during those times.

Being in a band is a team sport. Not holding up my end of the deal would devastate me. Dependability has always been my hallmark. I can’t possibly commit to a band of that caliber. A very tough reckoning for me.

I just need to accept that the fun and excitement of public performance is behind me and just have to channel my drumming into something else.

Okay, I have wiped the tears away and have not contemplated suicide, so don’t worry about me. Okay, you can feel a little sad for me…

Josh
 

Houndog

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
8,169
Reaction score
10,162
Location
Oklahoma City
Dang . I’m never going to get down on myself again …….

Man I couldn’t imagine ……..
I have no words of encouragement , sorry . Dang ……………….
 

stevesmithfan

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
Messages
1,782
Reaction score
574
Location
Gilbert Arizona
I can relate to back pain issues. I saved and bought a third floor tom 18” for my SQ2 kit. Now my kit looked like my hero Steve Smith! I was practicing and did a fill all the way down to my third floor tom and screwed up my back I was out of commission for 7 months! That was a few years ago. I’m now been playing 2 ft’s (16” 18”) instead of 3.
Don’t give up, I almost did.
 

CC Cirillo

DFO Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
2,987
Reaction score
5,913
Location
Northern California
Sorry to hear this, Josh.

I have always found that I must end one thing to begin another, and that there can be unexpected fulfillment and success when we reinvent ourselves.

Be it another band that has more flexible endeavors, or recording, or whatever other drumming opportunity rises from the ashes, I wish you luck, joy, and success in how you confront this next chapter.

Modify, don’t give up.
 

Rivot

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2022
Messages
115
Reaction score
83
Location
Australia
Sorry to hear all of that mate I know its hard try your hardest not to through in the towel I'm sure your strong mind can make you drum on good luck mate.
 

Ian S

Island Time
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
707
Reaction score
961
Location
Northern Hemisphere
Josh, I'm sorry this particular opportunity doesn't appear within realistic reach. But if music and drumming is your passion, then I strongly agree with CC's words of encouragement above. Rather than give up entirely, maybe adjust your sights. Best luck to you!
 

pwc1141

DFO Veteran
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
2,613
Reaction score
2,442
Location
Pattaya, Thailand
Sorry to hear about your back and having to give up gigging. I was contemplating the same but due to age. Then I saw a vid of Roy Hanes still killing it in his 90's and said, nah.....if I still can, I will..........
 

Angelo Zollo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
Messages
329
Reaction score
205
Location
North Carolina
I am in agreement with everyone.
Re invent
Never quit
Work with the local school and give free music lessons. Whatever you do, stay in the game. I don’t know you but I know you have value to the drum community.
Pick yourself up
Dust yourself off. AND
Start all over again
 

langmick

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
870
Reaction score
1,045
Location
East Lansing, MI
Even after devoting our entire lives to the pursuit of music, our bodies can let us down in the blink of an eye.

I am a big believer in PT and yoga and movement, not sure that would help you but, keeping the body flexible and happy has helped me get over issues. It shold be a core part of any musical instruction or lesson plan. If only...

And perhaps paying someone to load-in would help get that issue out of the way. Anything to keep it going.

I was going to quit years ago, saw an ad for a Floyd tribute and got the gig, haven't stopped since.
 

evolving_machine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2021
Messages
73
Reaction score
56
Location
New Jersey
I can also relate to back issues. When I do gigs it is very tough on me as well. I am not saying this is a solution to you, because I know that each individual has their own degree of what sets off another bout of back pain issues. However, this is what I do: For a gig, I use the light weight Yamaha stands, the drum set is a Catalina Club Gretsch with 18" bass, 12" tom, 14" floor, I use what ever snare drum I think goes with the sound I need. I get a decent sound from the kit using different heads. I take whatever cymbals I need without going too large or too many. Again, this is not a solution for everyone, but by keeping the equipment lighter, saves my back. Also I like using a back rest on the throne to help support me while playing. For practice, I have some cheaper drums I leave at the practice location and leave a decent kit at home set up to practice with. This way I don't have to move drums to practice either.
 

doubleroll

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2015
Messages
1,812
Reaction score
464
Location
NY
Sorry to hear Josh! As someone who has undergone lower back surgery, I can relate. Like you, I thought I was done to be honest but the best thing I ever did was have the procedure. That was several years ago and while I still need to be careful and at times will have some pain its nothing like prior to the surgery.

Anyway I wish you all the best, Take care of yourself…
 

jmcohen

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
117
Reaction score
180
Wow! I never expected to get the outpouring of support! Thank you all so much!

Yeah, I have tried so many of the things you all have mentioned:
- went light. Bought a Yamaha Stage Custom Hip set, small drums, super lightweight. Yamaha Crosstown aluminum stands. Two small hardware cases instead of one big one. Rack and Roll wheeled cart.

- throne with backrest. Two of ‘em so I always have one to practice on and one to gig on.

- back/core care. Saw a physical therapist for a while and developed a daily flex/stretch regimen for core development and strength. Regularly see a chiropractor to get snapped back into alignment. I am not a candidate for any back surgery. I just have lingering tweaks that show up at inopportune times.

- switch gears. I have been doing some recording stuff, and still am in a jazz quartet that plays infrequently. Those gigs are small: at a small pub or winery, and not the end of the world if we should happen to cancel. The “dream gig” band that just announced a drummer opening was a few levels above that. They play as headliners at festivals, state fair, etc and would be a bigger deal to miss.

- limit playing time. I have found that if I limit my playing time to 90 minutes or less, I am less likely to trigger my back. I have had to deal with acid reflux most of my adult life, and that is kept in check mostly by behavior. I try to follow the same philosophy with my back: don’t do things that have a high probability of hurting myself. I mean, it’s embarrassing that my wife is the one who lifts the heavy stuff when we go to Costco!! But that’s my back survival.

Again, thank you all for your genuine and sincere comments. Group hug!

Josh
 

rayboomboom

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
364
Reaction score
96
Location
Northern New Mexico
Wow Josh. This sounds like it could be really difficult and I'm sorry you're in this position. Now that I'm about to turn 62 and have had both shoulders repaired I have to think very carefully about what I do and how I move. One thing I've encountered is how much I enjoy the rehearsal process. I love to create and work with other musicians to put material together. Possibly more so than the actual live performance. So when I read your post I thought to ask you, what about setting up a space at your house, or someone else's house you could keep your drums setup. Play with the people you really enjoy playing with, and do what my partner and I try to do sometimes, which is we have people over to our house, everyone brings food and we play music. She loves to dance and hear me play good blues so it works out. She's even asked me to talk to my band mates about playing for some of our friends and put out a tip jar for a little appreciation.

Also, I read your wife has to lift the heavy stuff at the store. To some men that could be emasculating. Hopefully you're okay with that, it sounds like you two have things worked out well since you said she's the "smart one in the union," and that isn't something you struggle with. Good on you guys!

Best of luck.
 

jmcohen

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
117
Reaction score
180
Wow Josh. This sounds like it could be really difficult and I'm sorry you're in this position. Now that I'm about to turn 62 and have had both shoulders repaired I have to think very carefully about what I do and how I move. One thing I've encountered is how much I enjoy the rehearsal process. I love to create and work with other musicians to put material together. Possibly more so than the actual live performance. So when I read your post I thought to ask you, what about setting up a space at your house, or someone else's house you could keep your drums setup. Play with the people you really enjoy playing with, and do what my partner and I try to do sometimes, which is we have people over to our house, everyone brings food and we play music. She loves to dance and hear me play good blues so it works out. She's even asked me to talk to my band mates about playing for some of our friends and put out a tip jar for a little appreciation.

Also, I read your wife has to lift the heavy stuff at the store. To some men that could be emasculating. Hopefully you're okay with that, it sounds like you two have things worked out well since you said she's the "smart one in the union," and that isn't something you struggle with. Good on you guys!

Best of luck.
Ray,
It absolutely is emasculating! I could be the hero and lift the 40pound bag of whatever and maybe have no issue, or maybe spend the week in a chair with an ice pack, suffering her disapproving looks all day. I turned 62 five months ago. At times I feel far younger, but half the time I feel every bit of 62. She’s ten years younger, so as long as she is comfortable lifting that stuff, I swallow my pride and push the cart…
 

little rock

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2012
Messages
500
Reaction score
491
Location
AR
As I always say," When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." There are many opportunities out there, you just have to look for them. Best of luck to you and remember, something will turn up.
 

glaze148

Very well Known Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
1,087
Reaction score
474
Location
NYC
Not far behind you. I’m a definite candidate for a back fusion. I’m 76, and still in a band with all the physical exertion that goes along with it. I only use bop sized gear, but it’s still quite a bit of work.
Im expecting at any time to be put out of commission during the gear movement process. Boom, !!! It’s going to happen at some point. OUCH The playing part is the joy of it. Getting into that Zen space and playing through pain and injuries.
Until that time I’ll keep going.
Wish you well in the re invention of your drumming.
 

Stone Wilcoxon

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
647
Reaction score
175
Location
The Great Midwest
I feel you, man. I'm now 67, and had lower back fusion 4 and a half years ago. That took care of a lot of the back related problems I was having, but now I have discs bulging in vertebrae above where my surgery was, and I'm right back to where I was 5 years ago. I did the PT, I got my first shot of cortisone in my spine the end of March, and I just made my appointment for a second one the end of June. I gig regularly in a fair-sized city. Sometimes, I play a club where I'm with one band from 4:30 to 8:30, and then another one from 9 to 1. The past couple of months, I've been playing 9 gigs a month. By the standards of my early years, that's not much, but at my current age, it's starting to feel like mile 22 of a marathon, and I start contemplating the idea of hanging it up, which can get depressing if I dwell on it. I'm hoping for the next shot to get me over the hump, and equally, I'm hoping that you can find a niche that allows you to keep playing on a level that can still feel satisfying.
 

glaze148

Very well Known Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
1,087
Reaction score
474
Location
NYC
I feel you, man. I'm now 67, and had lower back fusion 4 and a half years ago. That took care of a lot of the back related problems I was having, but now I have discs bulging in vertebrae above where my surgery was, and I'm right back to where I was 5 years ago. I did the PT, I got my first shot of cortisone in my spine the end of March, and I just made my appointment for a second one the end of June. I gig regularly in a fair-sized city. Sometimes, I play a club where I'm with one band from 4:30 to 8:30, and then another one from 9 to 1. The past couple of months, I've been playing 9 gigs a month. By the standards of my early years, that's not much, but at my current age, it's starting to feel like mile 22 of a marathon, and I start contemplating the idea of hanging it up, which can get depressing if I dwell on it. I'm hoping for the next shot to get me over the hump, and equally, I'm hoping that you can find a niche that allows you to keep playing on a level that can still feel satisfying.
Cortisone is my friend. Probably had at least 12 over the years.
Still get them in my fingers, and wrist twice a year.
It works well w Sciatic type pain particularly. Docs cut me off after a while.
Hope you get some relief.
 

T_Weaves

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
299
Reaction score
527
Location
Pittsburgh
I don't gig anymore mostly because I'm not interested in the logistics aspects and I really don't want to be in clubs after midnight anymore. I gigged my butt off in the 70's/80's complete with drum tech, sound company, roadies, the works. The thought of schlepping my drums around and doing setups/teardowns doesn't appeal to me in the least. I like big kits in standard sizes and those aren't light. Studio only for this cat.
 

cashmanbashman

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2013
Messages
1,659
Reaction score
878
Location
South Dakota
You should check out a inversion table. My step father has the same problem and it has helped him immensely. He is a machinist and since he started hanging upside down on that thing he has only had one relapse. They can be had for $200 to $400 nowadays.
 


Top