My passion for music began when I was around 8yrs old. I would take the subway into Manhattan every morning with my father to his electronic store and listen to Z100 on the radio all day. One of my fathers favorite workers “Yul Vasquez” actually had a lot to do with my interest in heavy music, and would always keep me entertained. Yul was the Guitarist for the Rock/Metal band “Diving For Pearls” at the time and every day I saw this guy walk into the store with his long “metal” hair, I knew I wanted to be just like him when I got older!
Years later, Yul left the store and left my dad and I with acopy of his CD signed to us (with big thanks in the CD booklet),T-shirts, A VHS of their #1 hit video, and a bunch of awesome CD’s that I would later be in CONSTANT ROTATION on my Walkman! Remember those things? lol.. Whitesnake was amongst the awesome CD’s Yul left behind, which never left my side.. I believe it was the “Slip of the Tongue” album, but I went on to buy all of the tapes & CD’s I could find of these guys. Yul’s Diving For Pearls CD & Whitesnake were in constant rotation in my dad’s car and my walkman and I would soon become OBSESSED with theamazing solo’s and beautiful work of Yul Vasquez & Steve Vai (Whitesnake). Yul ended up moving on to Acting and appears in many of today’s hottest movies!! You can Google him “YUL VASQUEZ”. He’s still doing what he loves and has risen in the entertainment business which I totally look up to till this day.
It was only a matter of time before I started taking Guitar lessons a few times a week, and got my first acoustic Guitar and Metronome!One of my guitar teachers names was “Peter Hand” and I believe he was also missing one of his fingers. I kept with the guitar playing for a while but it didn’t last.. I didn’t feel like it was the ultimate release for me, and I continued to obsess over the drums. I was the kid in class that would get yelled at for tapping on the desks all day, and would pull all of my Mom’s pots and pans out of the kitchen cabinets to rock out on. If you’re a drummer or have known any drummers growing up, you know EXACTLY what Im talking about :). My parents would always ask me if I heard music in my head because of the continuous tapping I would do on walls, desks and pots. I remember telling them that I did actually hear music in my head, any song I wanted, any time of day..I would just play along the drums along to a song in my head.
Here’s where the fun began.. Music class in second grade when our music teacher would call on the kids to play any instrument of their choice in front of the class. One of my best friends in first grade “Jefferey Heckelman” and I, could not get enough of the drums & he actually got me into “The Red Hot Chili Peppers” “What Hits” Album at the time. Every time we got a chance to get on those drums, we would just go nuts on them! We always spoke about starting a band together one day (both on separate drum kits) and making our dream come true together in a band. We didn’t care about how it would work.. we just knew we would make it happen. Sadly, Jefferey ended up committing suicide a few years later after we graduated. Jeff had a tough life growing up and It was a pretty confusing and really sad time for me to deal with his death, but I knew I had to keep our dream going for him and myself …I would never quit.
Jumping forward a couple of years, I was turning 13 and had my Bar-Mitzvah. I was always really good with computers when I was younger, so my grandfather (Dad’s side) gave me the choice of getting a new computer, or a drum set as my Barmitzvah present.. Of course I went with the Drum Kit!! I’ll never forget the day my Dad and I walked into Sam Ash on Queens Blvd. (Queens, NY) to pick up my first drum kit. All of the drum guys in the drum department already knew me from coming in and jamming out on the kits all the time. I picked out a 5PC Red Pearl Export Series drum kit, and that’s where it all began!!
Finally after years of dreaming of having my own set, and running to my basement after school hoping to see a kit just appear.. my dream had come true, the drums were mine. The first time I actually jammed out with a guitarist was with my best friend at the time (and still till this day) “Jean-Claude Cahen.” I have no idea what we played, or even if we played anything that made sense, but it was the most exhilarating feeling I have ever gotten.
Every time I sat behind the drums, I would go into another world. I still get the same feeling today when I sit behind the kit – nothing else matters.
The drums became a part of me, and would continue to be my outlet to release the ton of energy I had growing up (especially being an A.D.D. child) not being able to concentrate well in class, just hearing music and tapping away. That’s all that really mattered to me at that point, and still all that matters to me till this day. 🙂
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!!
|Recording with TTD back in 2000. Scranton, PA (Tama Rockstar Drum kit)|