Born: December 18, 1978 Primary Instrument: Drums
Eric Allen began his career in percussion with a proverbial bang (no pun intended). He was spotted at the age of eleven while doing outreach work in south central Los Angeles by an advertising executive for Wuhan Percussion, who after taking one look at him decided that this was the kind of child that America would love to see run headfirst into one of the company's gongs. This advertising campaign was wildly popular for approximately two weeks (Eric even became a bit of a cult figure in the high stakes world of professional gong playing) at which time Wuhan decided he had outgrown his initial child like appeal and turned him out of their studios.
Eric however was hooked. He knew that the only way he could go through life was by hitting things, and since he was obviously too scrawny to be a prizefighter, and not rich enough to marry Whitney Houston, the world of percussion beckoned like a beacon in the night. Eric started out playing in various elementary and middle school orchestras, but the life of resting for 45 measures followed by playing two measures of quarter notes, did not satiate his creative impulses. At the age of thirteen he began dabbling in progressive rock, even going as far as forming a Rush tribute band with two friends. Though moderately successful the band broke up after deciding that the bass player did not posses a sufficient love of obscure science fiction, the works of Ayn Rand, or mullets to do justice to the superlative music of that legendary Toronto Trio.
In High school Eric tried to unleash his Lennonesque creative impulses through the marching band, but soon realized that there is nothing less musically creative than a high school marching band (with the exception of Yanni, any Boy Band, and Styx). Still he slogged through for the next few years, all the while knowing that one day he was going to leave this town and when he came back he would be a huge success, bringing with him enough money to save the family farm.
The end of Eric's marching career occurred during the 97 Rose parade when a horse died immediately in front of the band on Colorado Blvd. Eric interpreted this as a sign, and at that moment he decided that he was only going to play creative and challenging music, that would force the listener to do some soul searching, and hopefully become a better person. In short, he decided that he did not want to get paid.
The next few years were tough for Eric. He had to resort to playing in country bands with names like Southern Comfort, and Big Bob and the mud flaps on the weekends, and ghostwriting tunes for aspiring signer songwriters who desperately wanted to sound angst filled even though they were from stable middle class families, to pay the rent. He even taught private lessons for a while but had to stop when he drove a drumstick through the skull of the five hundredth person who asked to learn the drum part to Wipeout.
It was not all adversity though. Eric did earn some decent funds playing tambourine on Ricky Martin's Living La Vida Loca, and as a result of that gig was all set to be the primary drummer for Lou Vega after he recorded the timeless classic Mambo Number 5. Unfortunately as many of you know Mr. Vega's career did not quite take off as planned.
Through all this Eric still tried to make challenging and compelling Music. On October 25th 2002 he reached what may have been the apex of his career. At a performance of an original suite entitled Ruminations on the Ampersand (&) (Which included 25 minutes of Eric scratching his fingernails on a chalkboard) he was able to complete his professional dream of playing a piece of music that not one person enjoyed listening too. (however, a small San Francisco paper did comment that the piece was edgy).
Though he now had become a cult figure to many insecure individuals who wore predominantly black and grew up carrying 20 sided dice with them everywhere they went (if you get my drift), Eric started 2003 feeling very unfulfilled. Finally one day while driving his 1978 Yugo to a gig at a senior citizens retirement home he decided that there was only one challenge left: completely and utterly selling out! Thus this is what he has been trying to do as much as possible over the last year. It has been a difficult road but he has made great strides towards this goal. The most successful was the starting of a cheap U2 knockoff, err tribute, band called Coldplay. Still he will not rest until he is playing behind over hyped teen bands, and being paid obscene amounts of money to do so.
Hopefully you found all this enlightening, and will soon find time to enjoy this incredibly mediocre artist and joins the thousands who, when they hear Eric Allen's Name mentioned, stop and say Who?