In the beginning...

Summer 1976, I was 11 years old and would be entering the 7th grade the following fall. One day I came across a pair of drum sticks that belonged to my mother. Apparently she had played in high school. Now who would ever think something like that? So after beating the crap out of damn near everything in and around the house, and driving the folks to the edge, they figured it was time for me to start taking lessons. Soon I was learning how to hold the sticks correctly, doing the rudimental exercises, and learning how to coordinate my limbs in a concise and deliberate manner, so that what was being created in the brain was being transmitted through to the limbs, through the sticks and subsequently on to the drum head.

About a year later I came home to discover a Gretsch snare drum in my room. Holy moly, a real drum!!! And what a drum it was. A 4" x 14" Gretsch in sparkling champagne. What a classic. Something a punk kid could never appreciate at the time. It was still a joy to have a real drum. But what can of worms had just been opened? Look through this site and ye shall see. More and more drums for me!!!

So now I had one real drum. The music from this era was Kiss, Foghat (live), Boston, and making their spectacular debut was Van Halen. There I was with my one drum and really wanted to experience the feeling of being behind a full set. So what does one do for drums when there aren't any around? Boxes and coffee cans. I assembled a faux kit out of boxes and coffee cans, high pitched ones to the left and working down to the larger deeper toned ones. I think my instructor knew before I did that I would soon be surrounded by more real drums. As it turned out this snare was not just one drum but rather it was one of a complete four piece set that my parents had picked up. It was unveiled to me as a Christmas present in 1977. A 20" bass drum with a 12" tom that mounted to it, and a 14" floor tom. Bye-bye boxes and coffee cans. I think I might have still used the coffee cans as concert toms, though. My first lesson after I got the rest of the Gretsch set was a day to remember. My instructor and I were walking to the sound proof room in the back of the store and I was telling him about my new set. He was impressed that I got a Gretsch kit and that is when I learned that these were not like the Sear's garbage drums that end up in the dumpster after a couple weeks. Upon reaching the open door to the room he finished by saying "Now you are ready for this!", and he used his sticks to point to his 4 piece Ludwig set. A new direction was started.

As time went on I acquired a Ludwig 5 piece kit. Now I had two bass drums, two snare drums, three mounted toms, and two floor toms. Next was a set of Remo Roto Toms, 6", 8", and 10". Then came more cymbals. Finally I decided to rewrap the entire kit in white. This set up would take me through my first experiences of playing with other people and in bands that were at many of the local high school parties. I always liked big drum kits just because there is more to do and there are more voices to be heard.



The turning point...

In 1981 I went to my very first rock concert. It was Rush at the Oakland Coliseum. Can you guess what I was watching the entire show? This was the major turning point for me as a neophyte drummer. It was after the show was over that I said to myself "So that's what you're suppose to do with those things". From that point on it was Rush and not much else. Now began the task of acquiring and fabricating things like the racks Neil used on either side of his mahogany Tama Superstar that held such things as wind chimes, temple blocks, and triangles. I made a set of wind chimes out of aluminum rods by cutting each piece a little longer than the last, and drilling them at the top so I could use a plastic tie to secure them to a piece of wood. Hey! I have some wind chimes!! Let's play Xanadu!! I still have those wind chimes.


Taking the big kit to the big city... then leaving

It was fall of 1987 when I decided to take my shot at being a rock star. I relocated to Los Angeles and proceeded to make my way into the music scene. I hooked up with the first band I auditioned for, but soon found that their music was not in the vein that truly represented my aspirations. We did one show at what used to be Gazarri's, and we did our stuff very well. This only lasted a few months. Then four years later (1991) I ran across an ad listing Rush and Dream Theater as influences, so I made the call. Now this was my kind of music. Top notch guitar and bass player, great singer, and well thought out songs that my style would fit quite well with and compliment the arrangements, ultimately contributing to the forward progression of the band. This was what I came to this town for, and it only took 4 years to find. The band was called Peril.


They began working with the new guy and over a couple of months were ready to present it live. A few shows were done and we were all enjoying it. A four song demo was made, but unfortunately the producer didn't suggest things like removing the outside bass drum heads so the mic could be placed closer to the attack head, thereby capturing more of the punch we all wanted to get. This would not be realized until it was time to mix it down. As a result each of the four songs has a different overall mix to it. Lesson learned. So we continued the routine of rehearsing and trying new songs and play lists, and a few more shows were played at the Roxy and the Whiskey Agogo. But fate had other things in mind, or maybe it was just the singer. She decided that she going to become an insurance agent. Hindsight is 20/20, and had I known what I know now I would have made my departure at this time as well. I would have liked to continue as an instrumental trio and work the current songs into that format as well as creating new pieces. This did not happened.


There began the search for a new singer, none of which could hold a candle to our previous one. There were some good singers, but it just wouldn't be the same. Some flat out refused to perform the old songs as we have come to like them best and ended up ruining them. Different words and melodies that, as clearly as can be described, sucked. We were working in the new singer who seemed to have the most potential and a uniqueness. I was hoping that with enough time things would be fine. Then a keyboardist came into the picture and though it added some nice ambience in certain places, it just seemed to be like having a second guitar because they were both playing the same thing throughout the entire length of the songs.






So this goes on for a while and the bass player decided that he didn't want to be part of it any longer for two reasons. First was the keyboard fiasco, the other was that he wanted to have every song played as though it were being recorded, with perfect metronome tempo from the first note to the last. I told him that it will never be that way, and that the rest of us prefer to allow the music to breath, so exit stage right.


So now we needed a new bass player, which wasn't as hard to find. The replacement was not the caliber as the former, but was adequate none-the-less. So it goes on for a while longer, then the idea to record was brought forth. For several reasons I made the decision to leave the band. Hasta la vista, drummer boy, and the bass player followed suite because he felt the same. 


All this really diminished my desire to make calls and audition, so being a lazy bones jones I essentially decided to take some time off away from the music scene, which ended up being sort of permanent.


In 2004 I relocated to Central Oregon and unknowingly fell into what would become Vengeance Creek, which made waves throughout the Central Oregon and Portland music scenes as a dynamic and melodic metal band. One promoter had been quoted as saying Vengeance Creek was like a breath of fresh air because we were so different from all the other bands that were so heavy, speedy and utilized what has been termed the cookie monster style of vocals. Vengeance Creek had a 5 year run and ended after parting ways with the singer in 2009. After a string of auditions with no good matches, the band was left in limbo. Putting an end to the possibility of ever regrouping was the untimely death of guitarist Don Adams in October 2011.


In May 2012 I received a call from Hannah and Jake of Tentareign. Vengeance Creek and Tentareign both played their first shows together on December 31, 2005. We were together until February 2013 and in that time we did about a half dozen local shows.


Rock on