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Rocking The Schlachthofs

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After Berlin we had 3 more sold out shows in Germany, in Wiesbaden, Hamburg and Cologne. The Hamburg show provided us with a day off in the city after the end of 4 shows so I checked off the bus into a hotel and a real bed after 2 weeks bouncing around and trying to sleep somewhat unsuccessfully on the bus. Instead of getting stuck watching the St Pauli football match or just lazing about, Bob, Brad and Gabe and myself took in a cab to the riverside resort area known as the Blankenese Treppenviertel. Sitting right on the banks of the Elbe River, I had been told by a friend who stayed there on vacation about the huge mansions on the hill that overlooked the river. This place did not disappoint and we spent the afternoon eating seafood, drinking dark strong beer and hiking the incredibly steep hills to the resort hotel on the summit. We stood at the top marveling at the tiny islands in the huge river and sheer enormity of the ships passing and rumbling through the thick waters up to the port of Hamburg.

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ON THE BANKS OF THE ELBE RIVER

After starting up again the next day in Cologne, we landed in St Niklaas, Belgium, a town we have never played. This show and the venue and crowd were truly a high point. We were playing like a well-oiled machine and we started a ritual that night that would remain through the rest of the tour. A nightly before show viewing of “Weekend At Bernies”. Just enough ridiculousness to put you in mood to laugh at what you might see in the crowd. On this night the bar was raised by one of the many crowd surfers who we could see coming across the barricade down front. Only this guy was in a wheel chair. And he was holding a full beer, while being hoisted above everyone’s heads. And he did not spill his drink. After completing the run over everone’s head he made it safely to the ground, unharmed but a bench mark now for every crowd from here on out to be compared to….”Well that was a rad show….there was no one in a wheelchair getting crowd surfed,…but still a rad show”

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THE BAR HAS BEEN RAISED….

2 shows followed in Eindhoven and Leeuwarden, Netherlands. In Eindhoven at the end on the show as we were walking off stage, I leaned over the crowd to hand my sticks to this young kid that had been watching intently all night. I noticed him focusing on the drums and bass and he seemed really into it, like he was being transported, even laughing out loud with approval (I hope?) at some of the jam stuff that Brad and I were doing in “ Godzilla” when we hit the heavy groove part after Brad’s bass solo. As I specifically handed him the sticks, he smiled really big and I could see he was stoked, until two other big guys all of a sudden rushed in and tried to grab them out of his hands. This unfortunately made me lose my cool and I yelled at them “ HEY!! Those are for HIM!!” They suddenly knew they looked like jerks to everyone around them and they let him have the sticks. It sucked that as I was trying to just give this kid a little extra these two were trying to spoil it for their own selfish reasons. I regretted later yelling at them but at the time I was really boiling.

Copenhagen provided the next cold day off and a much needed overdue bike ride in the rain across town with Jon and bus driver #2 ,Chris, who has joined us for the long Scandanavian treks over the fjords. We start off in the wet cold and everything was getting well soaked until we get the gift of Danish sunshine. Then the air clears and we ride over a bridge to Christaina and then across the river into the downtown of Copenhagen and towards our final furthest point, The Little Mermaid. I honestly have no real interest in seeing the tiny statue of a mermaid on a rock, but figure its at least a good benchmark to make then head back, as its still cold even with the sun shining. We stopped in front of a train station to get our final direction bearing and Jon says “ I think we are on the wrong side of the road” so as we take his advice and start to cross over I hear a big POP! and there goes his back tire. Gutted that he can’t complete the ride and we cant find a bike store open to fix it (its Sunday), we get him in a cab back to the venue where the bus is stationed. Chris and I finish the ride to said mermaid and ride back through Winston Churchill park. The leaves are falling in brilliant gold and red in slow motion over the lazy lakes and park bridges and it makes it seem like we have entered into some kind of other world where time is running slow. A truly odd wrinkle in the day that only later would make Chris say to me “didn’t that park seem weird that we rode through?”

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NOT DARYL HANNAH

After the next days Copenhagen show I awoke early as we were on our way to my favorite destination of the tour and the place I always look forward to the most, Oslo Norway. Parking outside of Vulkan Arena and getting squared away with sound-check and dinner, I jumped on the bike for a solo bike ride (as in no one wanted to ride in the rain). Starting across the bridge from the arena past the familiar Revolver Bar and Rockefeller’s I rode up the narrow wet streets to the main plaza of town and the old Viking fort on the hill that overlooks Oslo Harbor. Took a pit stop by the Nobel Museum Of Peace and then up the hill to the palace and the guard changing and the sun falling fast so I had to barrel through the neighborhood too fast to my destination, the Vigeland Sculpture Garden with its fields of eerie light and a waterfall of human bodies all falling over each other in a sculpture obelisk stretching to the sky high on a terraced hill. As I reached the summit ,I realized it was getting late and after stopping for a quick photo I got back on the bike and got rolling back across town to the venue. Arriving back at the bus my feet were freezing so I quickly changed to warm socks and rushed across the street to get changed and warm up for the show. Even though it was sold out the crowd was strangely silent between songs. At first I thought it was because maybe I was wearing earplugs and I couldn’t hear them but I soon realized they were just being..well..quiet. All attention was focused and they were polite and everyone stayed the entire show. Maybe because it was a Monday they were just really mellow. Until the very last note of the last song, when they exploded and seemed to unload all the noise they had been saving in a deafening roar. What a send off!!

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THE FU IS COMING

Stockholm ended up being a disappointment, not in the show department (that was AWESOME) but in a mishap earlier in the day as we were going to dinner. As I was walking over to follow the group to dinner, I slipped on a clear piece of plastic that shot me straight up in the air off my feet and scared the hell out of me. I landed on the hard cold concrete on my back and upper left side in sharp pain and just laid there in shock. All I could see in my mind was the cancellation of the last two shows. But miraculously I landed not on my arms or hands and pretty soon I was up stretching and making sure I had full range of motion. Although it hurt like hell, I gobbled a bunch of Advil, threw on some Icy Hot on the sore spots, limbered up the best I could and played the show without incident or tightening up. It wouldn’t be for two days after a long over night ferry to Helsinki and the very last show of the tour that I would feel the excruciating pain every time I took a deep breath or sneezed or coughed. But for some reason, there would be no pain while I played. So for that I am thankful. And that we had a great tour. And that we landed safely at LAX after 2 days of traveling. So now we get to work on finishing those tunes for that new record we want to put out in 2017. Below is a little video summation of some of the scenes described above..and some not described..like Bob composing a video game soundtrack right before we went onstage in St. Niklaas..see if you can spot it.

Posted in Drum Lessons Orange County News · November 8th, 2016 ·

Drum Lessons From The Road 2016 Part 3

Here is the 3rd and final drum lesson featuring the drum fills from “Radio Source Sagittarius” from the album ” Gigantoid”. Contains exclusive onstage and backstage footage from the “King Of The Road” European Tour 2016. Enjoy!!

Posted in Drum Lessons Orange County News · October 24th, 2016 ·

On The Road in Europe 2016/ Drum Lesson Part 2

photo credit; Edko Fuzz Photo / Metal Symphony

photo credit; Edko Fuzz Photo / Metal Symphony

Thoughts on the last week, random and otherwise….

Starting in Paris, feeling now properly entrenched in the Europe and all its ways. Sleep patterns and continental eating habits in place, which really just means even better variations on the ham and cheese theme. What has become a ritual visit down the street from Venue Le Maroquinerie to Cimetiere du pere Lachaise to pay homage to Wilde, Piaf, Chopin and Morrison. Stopping to have wine and a rest at a corner neighborhood café to watch the traffic and people of Paris go about their day. And being thankful to feel safe in the city of light, a feeling I’m sure that is not lost on all who live here. And to be part of that tonight with a blinding show of force and rock, the Parisians being the loudest and the best of this trip so far. Everyone is hospitable and gracious. And time before the show with old friends and new for a toast and plans to return, which makes leaving that night much more bittersweet.

Lake Zurich Watercraft

Lake Zurich Watercraft

Ads for Geneva Show

Ads for Geneva Show

Switzerland brings the first actual glimpse of real Fall weather by the lake in Zurich, a city dripping in money it seems and everything a bit too ostentatious (wow, big word) for me to venture out. I decided having been here and taken part in the beauty and high life many times before to stop and catch up on emails and friends back home…and to make sure of course that my dogs actually miss me. Geneva was about the same routine save for an early day walk around the city until the wind started to blow off the mountains and I retreated for the warmth of the dressing room. During the first song of the set, the side door too the stage blew open and in roared the night-time gales, and Jon rushed to close it. By the end of the set we were wishing it was still open as it turned out to be another sell out crowd and the hottest show onstage of the tour so far.

The dunkel the better!!

The dunkel the better!!

Next day off was in Munich and Bob, Brad, Kevin and I walked from our bus camp past the now closed Oktoberfest grounds being dismantled. Having just missed it by a few days and being lucky enough to have attended 2 years earlier, we lamented our bad timing but consoled ourselves later with a huge feast at Hofbrauhaus Munich. We have had many times over in this fine establishment, and while many see it as a tourist trap, I still am able to find the charm in its blunt staff, who encourage us to hurry up and finish so they can turn the tables for more people. Which is hard to do when you are looking at 2 full steins of beer. We had a long crawl back to the bus for a double feature of Inglorious Basterds (highly appropriate) and Dumb and Dumber Too. Which in this reviewer’s opinion is way better than the first Dumb and Dumber, but again just my opinion.

The next days show day was much needed after carb loading up to my eyeballs. As I took a walk around the neighborhood I was not really paying attention to where I was going and ended up lost, which is rare, so I had to circle a block long apartment complex a couple of times to find my bearings. Direction found, I strode back to the venue for sound check, only to suddenly be approached by 2 of Munich’s finest for questioning. The first odd question was literally “Have you tried marijuana?” to which I could only reply “do you mean today?” Yes that is what they wanted to know, and if I had “any other drugs” on my person. Maybe it was my California ID that set them off. They then asked what was in my pockets and I think I said “coins and lint” so they wanted to make sure .I raised my hands so they could search me. One of them kindly reminded me I was not a criminal so I could put my hands down. Having not been subject to anything like this for at least more than…well….I cant remember how long or if ever…I didn’t really know how to react but kindly and with yes sir, no sir answers. After I showed them the show poster for the nights gig and my web site they were satisfied that I was who I said I was. I walked away feeling relieved but odd, as I hadn’t done anything. Later Wolfgang, our promoters rep, told me it was not legal for them to do that to me, but what was I going to say? I wasn’t about to argue or protest being in a foreign county. Possibly because of this experience, I was a bit rattled and it seemed to carry over that night into the show, where I could never quite get comfortable on stage. A strange blight on an otherwise great stay in Munich

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And then Berlin…..

So much has happened and so much history has transpired in that great city I am surprised its still standing and that its people are so resilient. I remember walking on the other side of the Brandenburg Gate in 1991 past buildings that were still strewn with bullet holes in what was until a year ealier communist East Germany. Now that same street is full of Starbucks and Rolex stores. And a Russian embassy where there are still guards standing with bulges in the chests of their overcoats. Perhaps keeping more than just foot in the door. History that is constantly evolving, and revolving, around you. Today was also the day we switched sound-men from Kevin to our old friend Gabe Anel, who rescued us on tour in 2004 in New Jersey when our then tour manager took “ill”. Gabe ended up working with us for the next 5 years until he decided to get off the road, being more than a bit burned out and ready for a change. So Kevin was leaving for a gig in Las Vegas by way of Copenhagen that he could not miss. Before the show, Jon, Gabe, Brad and myself decided to walk around the old Berlin Tempelhof Airport and airfield across the street. Sight of the Berlin air-lift, an old US army base and now a great park with bike trails and kite fliers, the sheer size of it was daunting but we made it all the way around in the gathering grey cold. Back to (literally) warm up and blast a playlist of Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy before the show. Sound and Vision. Forever. With all this in mixture we stormed the stage and Berlin gave us the longest set of the tour so far. They sounded so good and we just wanted to keep playing because it felt so good. So we did! After the show, I met a girl who had flown all the way from Israel to see us that night. I had noticed her down front on the barricade the entire night with 3 other girls that braved the crush the entire show. Insane to think people travel that far and put up with that much just because they love your music. And also feeling very grateful .We are now half way in…2 weeks and 10 shows to go….no better time then to give you “part duex” of the “Drum Lessons From The Road 2016″series.

Posted in Drum Lessons Orange County News · October 15th, 2016 ·

On the road in Europe 2016/Drum Lesson: Part One

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FLAM FINALE

Here it is….two hands to the sky about to bring down the last flam of the last song in Barcelona. I look at this as I sit in the downstairs lounge of the tour bus and it finally dawns on me why in the heck I am so damn tired. ( WAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!) We’ve been gone a week today from California (well, yesterday actually, since its 12:30 on Saturday morning already) flew like madmen across the water, played 5 shows, took an all night ferry from the UK to France that ended at 6:30 am, had a day off and went bike riding and walking all around Bordeaux France-liked it so much we are going back tomorrow!!-and managed to fight off an allergy attack, sore throat and stomach pains all in one week-and on show days!! If this sounds fun, we haven’t even got to the fun stuff yet!

Arriving in London we immediately embarked on the first adventure…trying to get out of the airport and to the hotel. We were held up a total of two hours because of a protest over a 3rd runway going into Heathrow Airport. Apparently there are too many rock bands still flying to Europe to tour so they have to make room. So by the time we reached our destination and ordered our first round, it was dinnertime and jet lag was setting in hard, but I kept fighting it. All the way through the Amanda Knox documentary on Netflix, which I was surprised was working on my US account. Well, more like overjoyed actually- Netflix the whole tour??!!!-but alas it was only a fluke of technology and soon my viewing access was denied. And so sleep finally came.

The first show in Manchester and the first bus ride through England’s green fields was a fairly easy affair. Crew and band back together and back on solid ground playing the entire “ King Of The Road” record for the first time since last year in the United States and Canada, plus a few other choice FU nuggets. Our tour manager Chris Monks’ wife, Sharon, brought their mountain bikes down from their house to the gig to be loaded on the gear trailer and now we were properly outfitted for any day off adventures of our choosing

London on a ridiculous warm fall day was like none I have experienced there. To call it oddly warm weather would be an understatement. From the moment I opened the top hatch on the bus to get a feel of the air as we rode through Islington, I could feel the heat. Not an Autumn Indian Summer heat like we get in California, just one that was out of place for the first week of October in London. At around 11 AM Bob Balch and I departed to meet Richard Cole, old friend and tour manager, at Edgeware Road for a quick lunch. We got stuck on a stopped train and had to get up to the street for an Uber through tony Primrose Hill, all the while ditching our flannel shirts that we would not need, even on the way back in the afternoon. Richard was in fine form, having not seen in him in at least 5 years he looked healthy and we had a good laugh about his old times tour managing Fu Manchu and of course there were asides to his touring days for Led Zeppelin and The Who. When we asked him to confirm a particularly risqué story in Carmine Appacie’s new book that the legendary drummer had just released that involved Richard, all he could say was “ Well you know, never let the truth get in the way of a good story….what else did he say in the book??” Which probably means you’ll have to get Carmines book and have a read for yourself.

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LUNCH WITH A LEGEND

We headed back to the gig and I was able to slip in a quick dinner at Wagamama, my favorite chain noodle house in England, after a very long sound-check dealing with equipment bugs. No bugs in the drums of course, for they require no electronics so the only gremlins to strike are the ones that creep into my limbs after 3 shows…but more on that later. After dinner I took a quite walk through the neighborhood around the venue, checking out how people were getting on in their cool English basement flats and apartments in olde stately buildings with rents too ridiculous to believe- I thought it was expensive in Orange County!!-but then I remembered that London is just like New York City in that space is at a premium so everyone is crammed in where they can. But London has always seemed a world away from NYC to me, where bigger is sometimes not always better and you of course don’t get the olde world charm. But tonight’s charm would come in the form of a raging sold out Monday night crowd. So loud they forced me to take my earplugs out and just soak it all up. Our friend, bad ass photographer Andrew Stuart from LA showed up right before we went on to say hello, he was in town to shoot the launch of Kat Von D’s make up line for the week, so it was good to see him before he got too busy. After the show we went down to the street to Slim Jims for a quick pint before bus call and the long overnight, all night ferry ride from Dover’s white cliffs to the shores of France, via Calais.

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STILL LIFE IN ROUEN

I awoke at 3:30 PM the next afternoon having taken allergy medication to knock out my sinuses that started getting crazy on the way to the ferry. It in turn knocked ME out and I must have needed the rest. But I got right up, grabbed a coffee and the first ham and cheese of the tour (many to come) and went in the venue for sound check. I opted to skip dinner after a shower and wait until after the show so I could instead get in a bike ride along the Seine into downtown Rouen. I was very tempted to stop and idle along the ornate gothic church downtown or the alleys loaded with shops and cafes, but I had to get back to the venue in time to warm up and stretch out the kinks from raging in London and having a screwed up sleep schedule. No amount of preparation could ready me for the getting through the first part of the show, hands tingling and shoulders hunching with all the miles and time zones on me, but by mid set I was back in form. “Grasschopper” is this tour’s mountain to climb. It’s a mid-set, mid album relentless burner and to get through it with focus and intensity takes…well, focus and intensity. I now remember it being the same way when we did “ KING” in the US and Canada. I have found a few tweaks and subtle dynamic things to throw in and its making it a fun challenge to play it. Well. Every night.

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BORDEAUX MIDNIGHT REFLECTION

For our first day off we ventured to Bordeaux France where guitar tech Jon Priestly and I got on those bikes and took off into the city center this time with no timetable and no need to be in any kind of a hury. We took it all in from the river side walks to the makeshift dog parks (do pugs from China speak French?) and the massive amounts of skaters on the half pipes set up right by the water. Apparently skating is a big export here (keep decks FREE TRADE!!) and there were many tricks and jumps, and even the odd razor scooter on the pipes. Something that would probably get you jumped out of the skate park in the good ole USA. We ended the day at The Dog and Duck Pub before a grand meal with a four-course desert and espresso…which promptly kept me up until 6 Am again!! Or maybe I was just excited to get to Spain.

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MADRID MANIACS!!!

And who wouldn’t be after almost 7 years out of service there? Madrid and Barcelona were all that I remembered them being. Great foods and wine that I could not sample pre-show in Madrid, but I did manage to find a great Thai massage place a 9 minute walk from the venue where my body was promptly beaten back into shape for these two shows. After another sell out crowd that night, Bob, Brad and myself went in search of the after-show post mortem Pizza and were rewarded handsomely. We also ran into quite a few fans from the show that we happily posed for pics and signed some albums for. We had quite a few offers to join folks for drinks but had to decline to get back to the bus in time to leave for Barcelona.

I awoke in the warmth of my bunk around 10 Am, got up and wondered to the back lounge. We were stuck in traffic and moving slow into the city. We crawled past Montjuic Cemetary, established in 1883 and literally a 57 acre verticle tomb setting that seemed to stretch forever. Our sound man, Kevin Raymond, said he had explored it once with a friend of his that lives in Barcelona and it took him all day. When we finally arrived at the gig, I discovered we were 10 minutes walk to the beach, so I took off to view and stick my toes in the Mediterranean after a quick breakfast. I would return later in the evening after sound check for a solo glass of wine to watch the fishing and sailing boats come in and the sun go down on the late afternoon volleyball players and sunbathers. The moon was rising in sliver form over it all and even though it was hard to tear myself away from the tranquil scene and not just order a huge steaming paella, it was time to play a rock show on a Friday night. One of the hottest gigs so far and we all drenched and exhausted by the end. But what a great way to end a great first week.. And so here then is the first lesson from the road with footage from London and Rouen thrown in for good measure…enjoy!!

 

Posted in Drum Lessons Orange County News · October 10th, 2016 ·

New Fu Manchu from the studio…

A quick hello from the studio, while in the middle of tracking drums for a new 7 inch release coming later in the summer of 2016. We are just coming off an amazing gig in Chicago opening for one of the last living masters of blues, Buddy Guy. The show was a private affair at The House of Blues(where else?) in downtown and it was like getting a music education. In other words, we got schooled. So never was there a better time than now to go into the studio. We’ve been getting together working on new material for a new record for most of the year now and its been going well. However it always seems to go a little slower than you anticipated and we wanted to have something out this year, so it seemed like a good idea to take a song from these sessions called “Future Transmitter” and pair it with a cover of classic Foghat tune “Slow Ride” for a summer release. A glimpse of what is to come and a glimpse of the past that inspires us….kind of like the gig we just did. Soon we will be taking off for France for HellFest 2016 ( Sabbath!! Slayer!!) then another “secret” gig in July, shows in LA and Psyche Fest in Las Vegas (Alice Cooper!!Sleep!! Blue Oyster Cult!!)in August, and Riot Fest back in Chicago in September with a special After Show Party gig as well…THEN….something else in October..Any idea why it takes a while to get a record done?? ALL THESE DISTRACTIONS!!! (who’s complaining?) Anyway…this is how the summer of 2016 will be spent. Writing, recording, gigging, teaching. And so it goes…

Posted in Drum Lessons Orange County News · May 19th, 2016 ·

Drum Lesson: Double bass without the double bass

How you ask?? I asked myself that when I first heard it on “Banned In DC” ..the great Earl Hudson of Bad Brains hammering away at the end of “Don’t Need It” How the hell did he do that? Well,I’ve been slightly obsessed ever since so I figured it out and came up with a couple of versions of my own. Although as with everything else, I’m sure its been done before, but none the less…

Posted in Drum Lessons Orange County News · March 18th, 2016 ·

A Day Without Drums…

 

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…is a day wasted? Having not had one in a while I could not tell the difference I suppose. Like any other thing that you do day in and day out, some days you feel like you have your “stuff” and other days it’s a phone in, even though you want to inspire and be inspired. One day two weeks ago was one of those days the “stuff’ was in good supply…thankfully!!

I got up and the first thought that hit my head was “wow, all I have to do today is play drums!!” We were starting the first day of writing on the new Fu Manchu record so I was excited to see what the guys had to throw at me. Someone asked recently “so who comes up with what in Fu Manchu?” Well…usually the guitar players come up with the riffs, the bass player comes up with the bass parts and the drummer comes up with the drum parts!! I know, super scientific, right? However, it’s fairly collaborative. If someone has a suggestion for a part we try it and unless it’s a clear vision, we jam the ideas and try and stitch them together into something cohesive. Brad has a great ear for beat placement so he’s a great foil to have as a drummer if I’m not sure about a part or he hears it going against what he’s playing. Brad is also mean guitar player as well so he usually has some great stuff hidden away that comes out after the riff factory of Hill and Balch has spilled out everything they have. I’m usually good for a riff or bridge or two with maybe a few lyric lines thrown in. The words we mostly leave to Hill though, as his imagination is always coming up with something cool relating to whatever he’s into at the time.

On this day we started with two new pieces that Scott had and they were fairly intense. So much so that the first go around with the first one knocked the power out of Bob’s guitar head. Pretty soon he fixed it and we were off and running. Some great time shifts and tempo stuff going on, a great place for me to try and create (and keep up) on the spot. I usually try and start from a relatively simple place to establish a solid groove with whatever is being played…until someone, usually Hill says “ can you make it more gnarly?”….one serving of gnarly coming up!!

As we got further along during the rehearsal we started to talk about a possible direction that we want the album to go. Some pretty cool ideas that are different for us that I think people will be stoked on. Soon it was time to pack up the drums and get going on phase two of the day. One quick afternoon drum lesson to be taught, and then onto the evening’s entertainment, Sun and Sail Club at The Federal Bar in Long Beach CA

The Thursday afternoon freeway maps suggested about an hour and a half hell commute, so the only option was to take Pacific Coast Highway all the way from Newport Beach to Long Beach. Such torture, looking out at that ocean and that island that lays lazily off our coast. I put on a little “ Southern Harmony and Musical Companion” to listen and get inspired by the drumming of Mr Steve Gorman and soon I was cruising into downtown Long Beach, just up the street from the fabled Long Beach Arena. Yes, THAT Long Beach Arena. Too many rock shows to recount at that venue. Metallica opening for (and mopping the floor with) Ozzy on the “Master Of Puppets” tour with Cliff Burton in full flight.Iron Maiden. Slayer. Foo Fighters. AC/DC. Dio. Even The Eagles last show, the infamous “ Long Night in Wrong Beach” mentioned in their Showtime documentary where they were threatening to kill each other onstage between songs…I was a wee lad then, dragged by 2 parents from the 1970s. By the way, did you know that The Eagles ruined 1976 for Tony Adolescent? Its a great story…ask him if you happen to see him..

Our venue this evening would be a little less historical in the rock-n-roll sense, but still one that was steeped in the history of early southern California. Set inside the basement a beautiful old Security Pacific National Bank building, our dressing room was literally in the vault of the old bank. A tight stage out front crammed the dual stacks of Mr Reeder’s bass amps and Bob’s dual stacks of Marshalls and Blackstar cabinets around my Ludwig’s leaving Tony room to howl up front. The sound onstage was some the best I have experienced in any club recently. We barreled through all of “The Great White Dope” and a tune from “Mannequin” with focused intensity. This music remains some of the most challenging I have ever recorded or played live, so it was almost a perfect crescendo to a great day of drumming. We wont be playing live for a bit as all of our “other” bands are starting up on the previously mentioned projects. So instead we have already started trading riffs via modern technology for new Sun And Sail stuff in our spare time…because there’s oh so much of that. The beast never sleeps.

 

 

Posted in Drum Lessons Orange County News · February 25th, 2016 ·

A New Year…a new Guitar?

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In the middle of 3 exciting gigs for the new year, two with Sun and Sail Club and one (with more to come) from Fu Manchu, its been a great way to get this year of drumming and students off with a bang. On Saturday night January 30th Fu Manchu played to a packed house at The Hood in Palm Desert. Probably the first time the band has played in the desert since 2000 so it was a great vibe with many excited and boisterous folk. In the middle of raging sandstorms and wild California weather we made it out and back safe and managed a packed 14 song set, premiering our cover of the Foghat classic “ Slow Ride” that we worked up in practice. We tried it at sound-check and it sounded sludgy enough so we figured we would open with..that way in case we screwed it up, we would have the rest of the set to recover! Having not played a Fu Manchu show since August in San Diego, it felt good to be back on stage and kicking ass.

I managed to miss the annual NAMM show in Anaheim and the Alex Van Halen kit that was set up at the Ludwig booth. It would have been nice to crawl up behind that beast and get a view from the Reverend Al’s throne, but with rehearsals, students and gigs it was not to be (What do you mean you are WORKING?) The fine folks at Reverend Guitars hosted Sun and Sail Club and The Kyle Glass Band (one half of “ THE D) for a NAMM jam on Friday January 22 at The Slide Bar in Fullerton. We blew through all of “ The Great White Dope” album and one choice tune from the debut ““Mannequin” We were ‘paid’ by Reverend in guitars, and I chose a Tobacco Sunburst Bob Balch Signature model as my payment…so now I’m gong to be putting in some time on playthisriff.com with Mr Balch to try and learn how to do something other than play chords. I’m sure there is a “drummers and/or musicians joke” in there somewhere. Right before we went on, I ran into Tom Rogers, an old friend that I was in one of my first bands in high school. He was with his son Gunnar, who is 20. Because it wasn’t an all ages show, they couldn’t get in, but we made plans to have them come to a show once the lad reaches the ripe age of 21. It made me flash back to tearing up the desert in Tom’s 4×4 on his 20th birthday, blasting tunes and dust while we talked of future world domination plans. Our paths have gone in different directions, but it made me stoked to see him and think of all the great friends I have been lucky to keep in contact with, far and wide.

So now before tours get announced, we will start digging in to writing that new Fu Manchu album,…and I will be getting some of those guitar lessons…

Posted in Drum Lessons Orange County News · February 3rd, 2016 ·

Sun And Sail Club, Los Angeles Ca, November 13th 2015

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Here is some onstage drum camera footage from the Sun And Sail Club show on Friday November 13th 2015. The show turned out to be startlingly cathartic for us, considering the events of the day in Paris. I drove up a strangely empty 405 freeway listening to the radio reports in shock and wondering about the safety of friends and fellow musicians so far away. The thought then crossed my mind that it was a possibility that we may not be able to play that evening due to any safety concerns that the venue may have. I am so glad, as I know the others were, that we got to play and I have to say it was one of those times that music helped us all get through the minutes and hours of numb sensation and disbelief. When you just do all you know how to do to help yourself and others get through.

Luckily the folks we knew were at the Bataclan ended up being safe in the end. And the people that came to our show that night shared hopefully a moment of joy and respite from the surreal and awful happenings in a place that many of us have played and enjoyed music in so many times. There’s a moment in this video that is very pure, Tony’s vocal riffing on the “Cyber Punk Roulette” jam. Howling improvised commands of rage into the night as only he can. In the new year of 2016 there will be more touring for Fu Manchu, more Sun And Sail Club shows, possibly new music from both bands and hopefully a rescheduled tour of Europe sometime later in the year. The music goes on and its times like these I am truly thankful for it.

Posted in Drum Lessons Orange County News · November 22nd, 2015 ·

Scott is an amazing teacher! My son, Cole has been taking lessons from Scott since he was 5. Over the 7 years they have developed a wonderful relationship and Cole has cultivated a serious love of music. Scott’s teaching introduced Cole to all types of music and rhythms as well as an appreciation for those drummers who have come before them. Scott’s teaching has challenged Cole to stretch and grow and play hard! Scott’s energy and enthusiasm and love of music transfers to his students!

-Stacie Daniel

San Juan Capistrano CA

Posted in Drum Lessons Orange County Reviews · December 22nd, 2014 ·