After suffering through five long years of piano lessons beginning when I was five, I decided that I wanted to become a drummer. I was inspired by listening to the great drummers that played with my father's favorite bands including Joe Morello, Sonny Payne, Ronnie Verrell, and Ed Thigpen, among others. I took lessons for a year at my junior high school and when my father decided I was serious, he hooked me up with one of his musician friends, John Oblon. This was a great thing
I studied privately with John for the next five years at Jimmy Azzolina's Music Box in Meriden, CT. John was a tremendous drummer and an even better instructor who quickly became my mentor. His technique was beyond my comprehension and his playing inspired me to practice religiously. On Christmas Day 1964, my father gave me my first drum, a Ludwig Black Diamond Pearl Jazz Festival snare. I was so excited I was almost in tears
In 1965 the music world was turned upside down. A new set of rock drummers suddenly appeared that I could listen to and try to mimic. I spent countless hours playing along to my new favorite drummers including Mel Taylor, John Steele, Bobby Graham, Charlie Watts and Ringo Starr.
And here we are fifty years later. Last week I had the good fortune of meeting Jim Oblon, the extremely talented musician son of John Oblon, during his gig at the Owl Shop in New Haven, CT. We had a wonderful chat about his Dad and then Jim and his trio blew the roof off the place for the next two hours.
Some things never change...