It Was 49 Years Ago Today…

49 years ago, today, The Beatles made their historic appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr, was the drummer for the Beatles on that day and until the end.  John Lennon and George Harrison have left us, but we still have Ringo and Sir Paul McCartney to cherish. Enjoy this great video from that historic show:


Alice Cooper’s Original Drummer: ‘I Was Disappointed In Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame Because It Took Them So Long To Nominate Us’

Neal Smith is a drummer and founding member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Alice Cooper band. The band was inducted in 2011. Smith appeared on the first seven albums, from 1968 until 1973. According to Wikipedia,

The classic Alice Cooper group line-up consisted of singer Alice Cooper (Vincent Furnier), lead guitarist Glen Buxton, rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith. With the exception of Smith, who graduated from Camelback High School (which is referred to in the song “Alma Mater” on the School’s Out album), all of the band members were on the Cortez High School cross-country team, and many of Cooper’s stage effects were inspired by their cross-country coach, Emmett Smith[16] (one of Smith’s class projects was to build a working guillotine for slicing watermelons). Cooper, Buxton and Dunaway were also art students, and their admiration for the works of surrealist artists such as Salvador Dalí would further inspire their future stage antics.

In addition to the Alice Cooper band, Smith has also played and/or recorded with groups including The Billion Dollar Babies, The Plasmatics, Buck Dharma, Deadringer, Bouchard, Dunaway & Smith, Cinematik. Neal’s most recent work has been a solo project, KillSmith.

Smith was recently interviewed by Jeb Wright at Classic Rock Revisited. An excerpt is available below.

Jeb: Were you surprised that the Rock Hall included the rest of the guys and not just Alice for induction?

Neal: I had talked to people at the Hall of Fame and I was pretty much convinced, back in the late ‘90’s, that if Alice was nominated then the entire band would be nominated. They tend to go back to the original genesis of the act and that’s why I thought we would qualify.

We qualified in the mid 1990’s because our first album was out in 1969. You have to be around for 25 years to qualify. We had to wait sixteen years to be put in. The Rock and Roll Hall Fame, good, bad or indifferent, do know there history. They would not just put Buddy Holly in the Hall; it would be Buddy Holly & the Crickets. I hate that analogy but that is kind of where we were. The Hall knew that if Alice didn’t have that original band that Alice would not have had a career.

The people that I knew that were involved with the Hall, ten or fifteen years ago, convinced me that the entire band would go in if Alice went it.

Jeb: Is it pretty cool to be in?

Neal: Let’s put it this way, I was a little disappointed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because it took them so long to nominate us. It took them so long that Glen was no longer with us. I was actually beyond disappointed and was actually quite a bit pissed off. We could have done this while he was still alive. When it finally happened, it was very bittersweet for me. Glen wasn’t there and I wasn’t sure how to handle it. Just for the hell of it, I went to the Hall’s website and I looked at the bands who got inducted on their first try and it was the Beatles, the Stones, Elvis and the Beach Boys—it was all the big time bands. I felt a little bit better about having to wait. It is all really for the fans anyway. They are the ones who made it happen. I know there were people who were out there for years trying to get us inducted.

I can’t believe that we were actually nominated at all. There were fifteen acts, five of which, that would be nominated. If we had got in on the first ballot, that would have been as huge as when Billion Dollar Babies went to # 1 on the charts; I thought that we might eventually get in. I was hopeful that before I left this earth that I would be in the Hall of Fame. It worked out and we got in. Yeah, I have to say that it is a cool thing.

A Tribute to Eric Carr of KISS

I’m sorry I did not get to post this yesterday. This tribute was posted on the KISS website to honor Eric Carr, who passed away 20 years ago yesterday.

Eric Carr Tribute

Twenty years ago today, our friend Eric Carr passed away after losing his battle with cancer. Over the eleven years Eric spent with KISS, he played over 800 concerts to millions of fans around the world, and he brought joy to and touched the lives of so many people. Here are some thoughts and memories that the band would like to share.

At a time when KISS was in the midst of upheaval and turmoil Eric brought calm, and an optimism that refocused our priorities so we could move forward. I can’t overstate his contribution to our rebirth. His dedication to his music was only matched by his dedication to his fans. He was a kind soul who couldn’t say an unkind word about anyone and I think of him all the time.

Paul Stanley

Eric Carr was a beloved member of KISS for 11 years. His drumming was as powerful as his love and devotion for the fans and remains in the hearts of many to this day…

Eric Singer

Eric Carr was a special person and a friend. He would always go out of his way to be friendly and say something nice. I remember the band was mixing Hot in the Shade back in 1989 at Cherokee Studios in LA. HITS was a miss-mash of sorts and everyone was throwing in their two cents on the mix, you know, ‘Turn up the guitars, turn up the bass..” I was listening and remember saying to the engineer, “Where’s the drums?” At the end of the night, Eric quietly pulled me aside and said, “Thanks for mentioning the drums..” He appreciated that.. A good guy.

Tommy Thayer

I never knew anyone more humble in my life.
Eric Carr was a kind soul who never said anything bad about anybody.
He was also a double threat on drums, and vocals.
I miss him.

Gene Simmons

Ray Luzier and KORN to Release Experimental New Album on 12/6/11

I was checking out Ray Luzier‘s very cool website recently and came across a press release for his band, Korn. Ray has been with the band since 2008 and has been with them since. I met Ray at a drum clinic at the House of Guitars, in Rochester, NY in November, 2008.  Ray gave a wonderful, informative, engaging and entertaining clinic. He signed a ton of autographs and his clinic sponsors, Sabian and Pro-Mark gave away great prizes.

Ray Luzier of Korn at the House of Guitars, Rochester, NY 2008 - Photo By Wally David

Ray was one of the first drummers that I’m aware of, to adopt Facebook.  I “friended” back then and he has been more than responsive. I even got to talk football with him via IM.  Since meeting him at that clinic, I have followed his work. Other artists that Luzier has worked with include: Jonathan Davis and the SFA, Army of Anyone, Jake E. Lee, Stone Temple Pilots, David Lee Roth, The Nixons, Tracy G and Billy Sheehan. I hope to do an interview for 4DrummersOnly in the future. Please to order this item from Amazon – Support 4DrummersOnly

Hear the exclusive track, “Sanctuary,” from Korn’s upcoming full length The Path Of TotalityWhat follows is some of the release. The entire press release can be found at Korn‘s and Ray Luzier’s websites.

Korn announced today that they will release their tenth studio album, The Path of Totality on December 6. But this is unlike any Korn record. It’s even unlike any record released before.

The Path of Totality is an experimental album which finds Korn shifting gears and exploring new territory. That should hardly come as a shock to the band’s diehard fans, as Korn exploded onto the scene in the’90s and established themselves as hard rock game changers from that point on.

For The Path of Totality, the band collaborated with some of the leading dubstep and electronic producers in the world, including Skrillex, Excision, Datsik, Noisia, Kill the Noise, and 12th Planet. The result is something completely new, yet utterly and definitively Korn. Leave it to a band like Korn to continue to reinvent itself two decades deep into its career.

Drum Legends Terry Bozzio, Josh Freese, Dennis Chambers, Mike Portnoy, and More To Perform At Guitar Center’s Drum Off

According to Modern Drummer Magazine‘s website, there will be a start studded lineup of drumming greats on hand at Guitar Center’s 2011 Drum Off Grand Finals.

Stephen Perkins, of Jane’s Addiction, will the host Drum-Off.  It will feature exclusive performances by world-class drummers including Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa, Missing Persons), Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, Devo, A Perfect Circle, Weezer), Dennis Chambers (Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic), Aaron Spears (Alicia Keys, Usher), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold) and Ilan Rubin (Angels & Airwaves, Nine Inch Nails).

The real stars of the show, however, will be the Top Five Undiscovered Drummers in the Country. They were chosen at the five regional finals, held in Brooklyn, NY, Arlington Heights, IL, Hallandale, FL, Houston, TX and Hollywood, CA. The competition has helped launched the careers of Cora Coleman-Dunham (Prince, Beyoncé), Tony Royster Jr (Jay-Z), Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta) and Eric Moore (Suicidal Tendencies).

The Drum Off will  be held on January 14, 2012 at Club Nokia, 800 W Olympic Blvd # 335, Los Angeles, CA 90015.

Guitar Center Drum-Off is presented by: DW, Remo, Pro-Mark, Sabian, Roland, Modern Drummer, Converse, Meinl, LP, Evans, Vic Firth, Zildjian, Gretsch, Pearl, Tama, OCDP, and Audix

Click this link for the full the Modern Drummer article. Drum Legends Terry Bozzio, Josh Freese, Dennis Chambers, Mike Portnoy, and More To Perform At Guitar Center’s Drum Off.

Coheed and Cambria Reunite with Former Drummer Josh Eppard

According to a statement on their website, posted on November 16, 2011, Coheed and Cambria has reunited with their former drummer, Josh Eppard.

Travis Stever, Josh Eppard & Claudio Sanchez, ...

Josh Eppard behind Travis Stever and Claudio Sanchez: Image by © Natalia Balcerska Photography via Flickr

Coheed and cambria symbol

That means Chris Pennie has left the band after four years.

Chris Pennie is a dear friend, a superb band-mate and one of the best drummers in the world. He brought a workmanship and sense of professionalism to Coheed that completely improved us as a band, and allowed us to reach new heights. He will always be a member of the Coheed family, and we ask you to support all his endeavors.

With Pennie leaving, the band needed a new drummer. Renter Josh Eppard.  Eppard originally left the band in 2006 in order to seek treatment for substance abuse.


The band noted in their post:

We understand there are risks involved bringing Josh back into the fray. Even with his two-years of sobriety, this is a giant leap of faith on our part. But at the end of the day, we have all grown up, and we have all been through so much, that playing with Josh again is sort of like coming home. It’s comfortable, it’s familiar, it just feels right… it’s hand in glove.

The band also revealed they in the studio, working on a new album with Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner. Birnbaum and Bittner produced the bands first three albums. This will be the bands sixth studio album.

As the songs for the new record began twisting into shape, it slowly became apparent that these songs were very dynamic, and could truly flourish with the groove-oriented approach that Josh naturally brings to the table. We also missed Josh as a person -what he meant to us as friends and the energy and humor he exudes. But this isn’t about nostalgia; it’s about who we are now, and what we can achieve musically and as a family, together going forward.

Click here for the band’s press release and here for Josh Eppard’s note.

If You Want To Drum, Drum On A Drum

“If You Want To Drum, Drum On A Drum”

I heard that practically all my life. When I was a kid, I banged on everything. Pots, pans, doors, little sister, couches, everything. My mom was fond of saying “Wally,  if you want to drum, drum on a drum.” Even though I had a practice pad or snare drum when I was younger, or a drum set as I got older, I still found the need to tap out rhythms that were in my head. I also felt compelled to drum along to just about any song I heard on the radio. Once I started driving, I was in my glory. I loved steering wheel drumming. All the sounds you could make in one, compact place.  However, the constant refrain I heard was ” if you want to drum, drum on a drum.”

Now, all these years later, I still do it, much to my wife’s dismay. She hates it with a passion, especially the great sounds I can get out of modern-day airbags. They really rock. I still get so engrossed in the music when I drive, sometimes I forget that certain passengers find it annoying. Then I’ll catch myself and give a sheepish grin, a raise of my eyebrows and a shrug of my shoulders.  Then I start to whistle!

I’d love to hear your non-drum, drumming stories. Feel free to post them here.

The Missing Link(s)

I’ve added a drum related links page to my 4DrummersOnly, as well as, a list of personal favorites that are on left side of every page on the site. Nelson Drum Craft is the site of a respected custom drum maker in the Rochester, NY area and is owned by Steve Nelson. He is a great resource and a nice guy. I also have found a site called, aptly enough, Drum Links. It is the mother of all drum link pages that i could not possibly hope to recreate. Instead, I’ll try to find sites that might be off the beatEN path or ones that I just feel like sharing.

Speaking of sharing, feel free to post links you like, as well as, link to my site.