Author: Amendola, Billy
Date published: November 1, 2011
Hi, everyone, I hope you all enjoyed your summer. Thank you for the kind responses to my last editorial (June 2011 issue). They were very much appreciated. The subject for this month's Overview was inspired by conversations I've had with friends over the past few months. Several told me that their child has either recently shown an interest in playing drums or has already started studying-and that's always music to my ears. My first response to them is, "Congratulations for being supportive!" Trust me, I know how hard it is to have drums banging away in your child's room/basement/garage-even if you're a drummer yourself. So I salute you all.
When I became a parent, I began to really appreciate what my parents went through when I was growing up. The band always seems to end up practicing at the drummer's house (it's usually most convenient), so you have to listen not only to the drums but to the whole kit and caboodle. Still, I have to admit that I do get a bit annoyed when I hear a parent react to a child's request with, "Oh, no, not the drums!" Yes, I know it's expensive, and I know it's loud-but I want to tell these people, "At least try it. You might have a budding drum star in your house!"
If you were to ask most professional players about their early drumming experiences, they would agree that they'd never have gotten where they are today without the support of their parents. And that includes me. My band practiced at my house throughout my childhood, while my dad worked in the back of the basement. He was a jeweler, which was intense work-he'd be putting little tiny pieces of watches back together while we blasted Led Zeppelin through a stack of Marshall amps! Then we'd all be driving my mom crazy-running up and down the basement stairs, taking meatballs out of the pot, acting like typical wifd teenage boys with girls running in and out....
Sadly, my dad passed away at a relatively young age, over thirty years ago. But he'd played trombone in the big band era, so when he was alive he was very supportive of my being a musician. As for my mom, it's her eighty-fifth birthday this September 30, and she still enjoys reading my articles. So happy birthday, Mom, and thank you for everything!
For all the young drummers reading this, think about the sacrifices your parents are making so you can play your instrument, and please don't forget to show your appreciation.
This month's cover artist, Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, is certainly the product of a supportive family. Mason's dad was a well-known documentary filmmaker, and he passed his affection for automobiles and audio equipment on to Nick, who's found similar enjoyment from the mechanical aspects of artistic creativity in the drums. This year Pink Floyd is releasing greatly expanded, remastered versions of its entire catalog, and to commemorate that we're featuring Nick on the cover for the very first time. Pink Floyd's masterpiece The Dark Side of the Moon still holds the title of the longest-charting record in history, and Mason offers little-known insights into the making ofthat classic album and many others.
Our November issue also features the talented John Fred Young of Black Stone Cherry, whose family knows a thing or two about what I've been talking about here. (I won't give it away. You'll have to read the article.) And if school's your thing-remember, after parents, teachers are often a young drummer's biggest influences-check out our Backbeats report on the new Drummers Collective in New York City.
Enjoy the issue. I'll see you next time!