Action Drum and Guitar. Every Thursday night for years. Kevin then me then Brett. Or it was Brett then me then Kevin. It changed a lot depending on baseball or soccer practice schedules. But we were all there. The Three Musketeers of Drumsetting.
John was our sensei. Among the paradiddles and page thirty two lesson sixteen’s there existed a brilliant glimpse into the rest of the world. We learned as much, if not more, about life in those half hour lessons than we did about how to play “The Trooper” or “Tom Sawyer”.
The Groove. Our most important lesson. Everything is all supported by the groove. You need to know when it’s time to throw in a fill, lean in for a kiss on a date, kick the band into high gear, leave her with enough mystery to be interested in a second date. John was the big brother I didn’t know I needed. Encouraging, supportive, disciplinary (when he knew I didn’t practice enough), and always ready with a really fucking filthy dirty joke.
Sitting around the table with our drinks last night, transported back to being ten years old again in spite of the beers and whiskey. We traded stories about music, family, drumming, politics, philosophy and of course, really fucking filthy dirty jokes. All of us married now. All of us dads. All of us still lost in the groove.
For us drumming has always been more than playing in bands, touring or making records. Our shared bond tighter than snares stretching across bottoms of drums sharper than sticks piercing through broken crash cymbals. Didn’t matter that more than twenty years passed since our last meeting. Just a break in the groove still playing on and on in the background of life.
Four different paths. Four different lives. Four different songs. One deep groove.
With me shoehorn stuffed in his tiny convertible, John dropped me off at the end of the evening we talked more about philosophy and the world. Much like two drummers playing the same song will never sound the same, turns out we have come to very similar conclusions about almost everything. After all, drumming is life.