I really hope we get a few responses here, I'd like to hear how is it you all came to be drummers. I had always wanted to play an instrument, and from a very early age I had been attracted to the drums. In my grammar school they offered music lessons right after school. However the instrument's they offered didn't interest me at all, but learning how to play one did. I remember my parents telling me you can always switch to something else but at least you'll get the basics of playing an instrument. I thought about it for awhile and I was just so fascinated how people could do what they do with a piece of wood with strings or a head stretched across it, or a piece of brass twisted into crazy shapes I decided to take up the .......... Violin. I hated it. but I schlepped through a year or so of after school lessons and even did a concert with my class. After the show I realized I had reached the pinnacle, The Zenith of my Violin career it was on to bigger and better things.
Now our school for some reason did not offer drums or guitar lessons. The was after all the late 60's so maybe it was just long haired hippies who played those instruments I really don't know. But your choice was limited to what you could play. In about 5th grade I took up the Trumpet, I hated it. A year later and my trumpet career followed my Violin career it was over. it appeared to me at least I would never find a " cool" instrument to play. The next few years came and went All through Jr High I watched as my friends and kids at school took guitar, bass, drum and saxophone lessons. This was about the time Kids began to form Proto bands on their own.
I started High School in September 1975, I often would take a different bus home than the one I was assigned to if I were gonna hang out with some of my friends. My oldest and one of my dearest friend Antnie had an older brother Who was out of H.S. and had a job, Gerry was probably about 20 at the time. One day in school Antnie told me his brother had purchased a drum set and I should come over and mess around with it after school. His brother was cool and had no problem letting us fool around on it before he got home from work. For the first time in several years I was excited about playing an instrument again. I thought about it all day.
On the bus ride home all my friend did was describe the kit, what color it was ( Blue Sparkle) He talked about the cymbals the drum heads everything. It would probably be hilarious to listen to that very conversation today, two kids talking about an instrument neither one of us really knew anything about. My friend spoke with great reverence about his brother and how much the kit cost and how good a quality his drums and cymbals were. The bus ride seemed like it took 6 months to get us the 4 miles we lived from the school, I remember looking out the window to see if a dog sled team was pulling the behemoth of a bus. We finally got to my friends house and ran up the stairs , my buddy opened the door to his brothers bedroom and there lay before the coolest looking Blue Sparkle 5 piece pearl drum kit.
Initially the kit seemed to have a halo around it an aura if you will. I just stood there looking at it. My friend instantly jumped on the kit and began to play the one and only beat he would ever learn. We would take turns playing along with records, just messing around and having fun. I thought to myself now this is COOL. We had a blast on that kit. It wasn't long before I approached my parents and asked about taking drum lessons. My parents God rest their souls were always very supportive of my musical endeavors. They agreed to pay for lessons and I was soon taking Drum lessons at a music school in the next town over. The school sold practice pads and sticks, my first practice pad was 3 pieces of wood in an A frame tipped on it's side with a big piece of rubber on it. My first drum book was the classic " progressive steps to Syncopation for the Modern drummer By Ted Reed.
Who knows if I ever would have taken the steps to play the drums hadn't that happened. I was always interested in the drums, Drums and bass guitar were always my favorite instruments but I often wonder if I ever would have become the drummer that I am today. Perhaps I owe it all to a guy named Gerry Petoia. The drums came into my life in the fall of 1975 and have never left. Things come and go in my life but the one thing perhaps the only true constant of my life have been the drums. I honestly don't know what I would do without them. How about You ? Till next time. T