"The art of rudimental drumming is highly developed in France..."
With the amazing amount of incredible drum styles that exist, it is no wonder that my drumming influences come from all over the world. I love Rock, Jazz, Classical, Indian Tabla Drumming, Rudimental, African, Latin, Blues, Funk and more. I encourage anyone who loves drums to absorb as many styles as they can, even if they wish to specialize in only their very favorite forms.
It is important to find a good teacher to help with some fundamental concepts, and to prevent bad habits from developing in the early stages of honing one's craft--far better to grasp concepts such as grip, setup, good study habits and such, properly from the start than to unlearn unproductive methods once established.
Marv Dahlgren and Steve Kimmel, both from Minneapolis, Minnesota, are two drummers who influenced me most in the early years of my career (in the same locale). Marv, world renowned classical percussionist, and author of the incredible book “4 Way Coordination,” had the most control of any musician I have ever heard. Steve Kimmel, drummer and bandleader for “The Whole Earth Rainbow Band” from Minneapolis, was king of eclectic, multi-dimensional free jazz and possessed a staggering technique on everything from tabla to jazz vibes. The open-mindedness, and love of experimentation both of these men possessed in abundance have influenced and inspired me all my life.
I would also like to list some musicians that I have worked with who have taught me many things about music and life.
1. Olivia Newton-John. Although beautiful and a pop star, this lady is as strong as they come. I worked with her when she sang country, and she withstood some truly asinine press beatings, both from the traditional country press and the big city slickers. She beat them all and established herself as all the world's sweetheart. I especially remember her doing two shows a day for four 14 day runs in Vegas, Tahoe, Reno and Miami. That’s 112 shows without a break!
2. Edgar Winter. One of the greatest musicians alive; biggest ears and heart in the business; plays anything; tenacious curiosity about music, spirit and life. If he’s not a genius, there ain’t no such thing.
3. Olivia’s backing band, especially Greg Inhofer, Dale Strength, Doug Nelson, Robyn Lee and Skip Griparis. Dale, Greg, Doug and Robyn ran many a band in many a style with me with an unparalleled work ethic.
4. Jennifer Batten. Her amazing work ethic and depth of harmonic creativity are truly staggering. Slow down her fast stuff and there are lots of surprises that you miss when she burns.
5. Michael Thompson--Master of Rock guitar; best sounds in the world. He can improvise solos that are finished masterpieces.
6. Walter Trout. He has the deepest feel for the emotions of compassion and sorrow of anyone alive; a tremendous performer.
7. Dwight Twilley and Bill Pitcock. Dwight one of the best pop songwriters of all time. Bill made up all the riffs.
8. Eric Sardinas. Bringing the Dobro to the twenty-first century with an amazing amount of live energy.
9. Eric Burdon and his backing band, Dave Meros, Dean Restum and Martin Gerschwitz. Great live band of great players. Could follow the Wildman anywhere, anytime, anyhow.
Add to this list all the drummers, too many to name, that I have copied and learned from over the years. Thank you all for your music and inspiration.