Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Twice a week now, I venture out after work to a studio in Bayview, a residential neighborhood capable of illustrating that San Francisco is not actually as blisteringly white as it appears to be. It's supposed to be a "bad neighborhood," but it has more pink and blue houses than most bad neighborhoods I've seen in the United States. It also seems to have a higher incidence of studio space.

I park on a virtually empty street, avoiding some glass from the latest car break-in, and knock on a bright-green door. A nice young man opens it and we walk through umpteen other doors to get to a cold, dimly lit room, the centerpiece of which is a shiny and spectacular drum kit. I pay just $10 for the privilege of spending an hour in that room, sucking at playing the drums.

The first time I got there, the guy who runs the studio asked, "Do you need a ride?" I stood there dumbly. He held up a cymbal. A ride cymbal. "Oh. Um, I don't know. Sure." Whatever dude, I'm just here to suck.

In fairness to myself, I can now play a relatively solid rock beat through a song, as long as you don't ask me to do something crazy like play a fill or hit something other than the snare drum (low tom? hi tom? tom cruise?) while maintaining the beat.

It's slow but steady progress, and in my optimistic moments I imagine playing with some mediocre band on weekends when I get good enough, which should be in about five years or so. I try not to get too regretful about the fact that it's only taken me about 25 years to get started on drums, after realizing that I wanted to learn them. Having the prospect of playing in some dismal garage band at the age of 17, or even 27, is one thing. Contemplating my future 40-year-old self in that scenario is a bit more depressing.

Still, it's fun for me. So I keep on rockin', and keep on suckin', each time getting ever-so-slightly less terrible, hoping to eventually near the skills of this kid, who is 31 years younger than I am.

Igor is my hero. So are Sheila E., Questlove, and Sam Fogarino, the drummer for Interpol. Please feel free to share your drummer-related thoughts here, or anything else about rocking, or trying to rock.


pbdotc said...

i recommend the tommy lee upside down solo if you've not seen

probably on the youtoobs

Christina said...

This is GREAT. Or as Tommy would say, "fuckin' choice."


Christina said...

Whoops -- I guess it should be Tacoma... I'm used to Takoma Park, Merland.

Anonymous said...

The guy from the melvins of course was the bomb, but the very best drummer ever is todd traynor of shellac (I mean, of course besides bonham).

Mary said...

hey thanks, loved your post, amazing. Short Independence Day Quotes in Malayalam 2018