Finding Inspiration to Practice

I got to see Fred at the Zepparella show in Brooklyn last weekend. Fred Klatz, drum teacher extraordinaire. We had a bite to eat, talked for a few hours. It’s been 16 years since I lived in New York and took lessons and there is still that old connection. I love having friends whom I can go for months without speaking with and then we just pick up right where we left off when we reconnect.

The next day, Zep had a show in Woodstock, at the Bearsville Theater on Albert Grossman’s old property. Lots of mojo there. I guess Janis’s old tour equipment is locked up in some secret place on the property. There is beautiful land and a radio station and gorgeous converted buildings that are now restaurants. I think I can attribute the free feel in my playing that night to that magic energy. Those tall wood-beamed ceilings are the best for drum sounds, and with the history and the good monitor engineer and the fantastic dinner and wonderful people, it all worked up to be one of those nice shows where I am able to open up, let the music play me. Try some new stuff on stage and have it work out. read more

In Defense of Peter Pan, and Learning Drums at Any Age

Nothing was working as I thought it was going to. Everything was hard. I moved to New York to be a writer, to throw my hat in with Capote and Fitzgerald, to rush the steps of Grand Central as Salinger had, to breathe the early morning fog in Washington Square where Cather had walked. To ride the ferry, very merry, and to stand at cocktail parties where editors and writers traded bon mots.

It was 1992. I stood behind the bar at a diner, Tom Waits on the stereo and an array of working stiffs asking for stiff drinks. The glamour of literary society never passed by Broadway and Bleecker. There was a stratosphere above 14th street where such things existed, but it might as well have been across the ocean, across a galaxy of time. read more