E. Doctor Smith, inventor of the Drummstick, began his musical journey as a teenager playing percussion in the District of Columbia Youth Orchestra and in Maryland’s Montgomery County Youth Orchestra. Inspired by the Miles Davis fusion bands of the mid-70s, he continued his studies with Paul Sears, drummer of the Muffins. His first group, Oranus Rey, featured guitarist Paul Bollenback, bassist Ed Howard, and saxophonist Tim Chambers.
In 1980 Smith moved to New York where he met fellow Music Building tenants Madonna and her co-writer, Stephen Bray. With Bray, Smith performed in the Breakfast Club and The Same. The Same was produced by Brian Eno and featured keyboardist Carter Burwell, guitarist Chip Johannsen, singer Clodagh Simmons, bassist Stanley Adler, and the motto Semper Mutants.
Following Bray and Madonna to Los Angeles, Smith assisted on many of Madonna's biggest albums as well as other of Bray's projects including Nick Kamen, Gladys Knight, The Breakfast Club, Bryan Ferry, and Steel Pulse. In L.A. Doc’s sound engineering skills were honed in sessions working alongside Michael Verdick and Tony Shepperd. Back on the East Coast, Smith performed with the New England groups K2, Flash to Bangtime, and Feat of Clay using a Simmons kit he called the “Beast. Inspired by that of British drummer Bill Bruford, Smith’s 12-piece kit was the first embodiment of his love of digital drums.