I was born in the prairie town of Knoxville, Illinois September 27th 1964. I was lucky to have cool parents who encouraged me in my creative pursuits where it was music, theater, writing or weird art. I became interested in playing the drums in the third grade after seeing Buddy Rich on the Lucy Show. He was judging a local drum contest featuring Ricky Jr. a fine drummer. Inspired, I pooled together some capital and purchased some Ludwig 9a sticks at the local Byerly Music store. With sticks in hand I began exploring a wide range of suitable cookware and five gallon buckets as sound sources. Soon my parents made in investment in a used of brand snare drum drum and cymbal. My middle brother played the saxophone and we immersed in the local PTA and 4H concert circuit at a very young age. It was quite a duo, Mark with his Beuscher tenor and me with my minimalist set up of orange sparkle snare drum and 10” sheet metal cymbal. We had a book that explored all of the hits of the 60’s and 70’s. (We were serious Herb Alpert afficiandos). We even had some cool schtick: I guess times have not really changed.
I played in all of the groups in school and finally learned how to read music.I had a cool high school band director who started hiring me to play drums in his weekend dance band. I t was fun and I made some cash which was nice for an eighth grader. Soon I was playing in local groups of all kinds. A big band, very creative rock band called Common Denominator, country bands, Dixieland bands anything I could play. I was also extremely fortunate to study with a great local drummer who taught me music not just how to play fast. He was very inspirational and was very helpful in my pre paring for college.
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