A Very Brief History
However, those cheap, non-replaceable heads on my first kit barely lasted the year until I received my next kit on Christmas 1967 — with replaceable heads! I can still feel the excitement of that morning. The same feeling that I still get every time I walk into my studio.
My journey with drumming began at age five, as seen in these photos showcasing my glorious Christmas gift and giving my first performance for dinner guests on Christmas day 1966. It was the start of an incredible journey that would shape and re-shape my life time and time again.
Fast forward to 1980. Upon graduating from high school I knew that I wanted a career in music. However, I felt at 18 years of age that I might starve to death if I was to head to Los Angeles or New York. So, I decided to allow myself to mature a bit and save some money before embarking on a music career and I joined the United States Air Force.
After basic training I entered a 26 week technical training school, where I excelled at such a level of performance that I was asked to remain at the school as an instructor upon completion of my schooling. I was then sent to a 28-week Air Force Instructor Training school where I received intensive training. By the time I was 19 years of age I was a full-blown Air Force Training Command instructor, spending the remaining three years of my 4-year hitch teaching. This teaching gig also allowed me to have my drum kit, as I was able to live off base. This gave me four more years to sharpen my skills on the kit.
When my 4-year hitch in the USAF was up, I declined reenlistment, was honorably discharged and headed for Los Angeles to start my music career.
Fame certainly makes for an interesting autobiography. However, given that I was never famous and that you have most likely never heard of me, trying to sum up my 34 years as a professional drummer and entrepreneur without putting you to sleep would not be an easy undertaking, so I'll keep it brief. And I'm okay with not being well-known or famous. I got to do what I loved, made a very comfortable living and never had to deal with any of the pitfalls that come with fame.
Most of my time behind the drum kit throughout my career was spent in recording studios as a session drummer. When I wasn't playing drums live for an up-and-coming band or a recording artist, I could be found slamming away on the kit for recording artist demos, television or radio commercials, movie or gaming soundtracks and countless other behind-the-scenes music projects (and believe me, the types and number of such projects are almost limitless!). It's not glamorous work, but it makes for a very nice bank account in getting to play your instrument and doing what you love. In later years I also became more involved with songwriting and producing. Trust me when I say that there are far more musicians making a very comfortable living being unknown than there are famous ones.
I also got involved in other entrepreneurial endeavors along the way. My studio connections and my ability to create pretty much any voice that I want to, as well as producing music, led me to many other types of recording projects. Here are some snippets that include samples my voice work as well as my music production. All of the voices are me and all of the music production/drumming/editing was performed by me.
Two other entrepreneurial projects that the proceeds from my drumming allowed me to launch were DIY Road Cases® and Crepe Expectations®.
DIY Road Cases® was an all-encompassing instructional system for building road/flight cases. I had been building my own road cases since my Air Force days, so teaching others seemed to be a logical step. Aside from the instructional programs I also partnered with one of the largest case parts and materials manufacturers in the world, which made DIY Road Cases® a one-stop shopping entity for do-it-yourselfers around the globe. I eventually licensed my concept to other case parts providers and then sold DIY Road Cases® in 2018 to Encore A & S Case Company. If you click here, or simply Google "diy road cases" you'll see that my creation is still very much alive and well today.
Crepe Expectations® is a fabulous restaurant in Las Vegas that my wife and I created in 2010. My wife is an amazing chef and was all things culinary and front of the house, while I handled the business end. The restaurant was featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and has been a popular destination for not only locals, but vacationers from around the world. We sold the restaurant in 2016, but if you click here, or simply Google "crepe expectations" you'll see how well-regarded and popular it still is today.
My wife and I were very blessed and fortunate enough to retire at relatively young ages. I was 49 and she was 43. I did however stay active with my DIY Road Cases® for several more years until I sold it. However, it didn't take long for me to get the drumming itch again.
After getting my new kit and studio together, I embarked on this website project that you have ended up at. I am here to educate, but not in the traditional sense of drum set instruction. My aim is to convey learning essentials outside of traditional drumming educators' content. Being a successful drummer (or musician of any kind) entails far more than just playing ability. Great musicians are a dime a dozen, so in order to be successful, playing well is an absolute given. As I state on my home page, success entails about 15% playing ability and 85% of everything else. I'll be covering a lot of the 85% and some other interesting things as well.