It all started with Tinkertoys.....
I discovered at an early age that Tinkertoys made great mallets! My parents had round plastic wastebaskets which I played to my Alvin & the Chipmunks LP and the radio. This was just the beginning.
During the mid-80's I began taking lessons, and while in 6th grade I received my first drum. It was a 14" Ludwig aluminum shell concert snare, and is still the main snare used on my set today. It has held up well. I also received a Musser mini xylophone as part of that beginners kit, which is also used on my set (blaming 'The Professor' for that one!).
My first drum set was a 4pc Ludwig that featured the extremely cool "clear" shells of the 80's. It was awesome when hit with colored light. As of 2005 I've seen them offered again.....I suppose could make a "throwback" set! Anyways, I only had that for 2 or 3 years when I sold it to a friend that was just starting out. I then heard about another friend who was selling his deep ocean blue Pearl Export series. By now it was about 1990, and his set was only a year or two old. I had never seen such a nice color on drums before......I had to have it! $600 later it was mine. A complete 7 pc. kit plus hi-hat, ride and 2 crash, in mint condition. I remember trying all kinds of setups with the toms......I never imagined owning that many! The set made appearances with my high school's rock, jazz and concert bands. Playing it during the basketball games was the thrill of a lifetime, especially during our Van Halen tributes. I knew I'd probably never get to play with a real band (by now I had a strong interest in drawing and animation), but I decided to keep playing when I had the chance. I spent a lot of time playing along to everything on the radio, but Journey, Van Halen and Rush were by far my favorites. I clearly remember our drumline speechless while listening to Neil Peart's solo from A Show Of Hands.
Over the years I have improved and obviously wanted to expand the kit further. I've added pedals, cymbals, cowbells, etc. I remember thinking that bigger drumsets meant better players, though Max Weinberg proves that you don't need a lot to get your point across! Still, my favorite drummers are (big surprise) Steve Smith, Neil Peart and Alex Van Halen. (For the record, Neil does not use a calculator to figure out the timing in Rush's music! I've also discovered that the only time he keeps a 4/4 beat is when my CD skips lol). My drum setup, inspired by what Neil uses for his amazing performances, can be seen here:
22" bass with P100TW double pedal, 14" deep shell snare (used as tom left of hi-hat), 14" Ludwig concert snare, 3 accent toms from a Jr. set, 10", 12", 13", 16", & 18" toms, SIMMONS electronic tom (love their look!). Paiste 13" hi-hat & 10" splash, Zildjian 17" rock crash, 14" thin crash & 22" heavy ride, Pearl 17" medium crash, NuVader closed hi-hat (right of ride), 2 Wuhan 18" chinas, cowbell & temple block set, Pearl PPS-20 left foot accessory pedal (for cowbell, etc), Ludwig/Musser acoustic mini xylophone. Stands and hardware by Pearl, DW, Premier, TAMA. My latest addition is the 2 leg 5200TD hi hat by DW, which allows for pedals on either side as shown here. It has great response - highly recommended.
Would love to play in a tribute band....if you're in Ohio and interested, drop me a line. >:D
R30 - RUSH 30th anniversary tour
RUSH in RIO - The band's triumphant return in 2002, filmed in Brazil.
Neil Peart - Anatomy of a Drum Solo
NeilPeart A Work In Progress - Using the music from Test For Echo, Neil explains the changes in his drumming techniques
Steve Smith - History of the US Beat - Steve can be heard on nearly every Journey album from the mid 70s through the mid 90s. He has a strong background in jazz however, and is currently toruing with his group Vital Information. Steve's techniques will amaze you. Voted best educational DVD in 2003.