Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Lonster's Tale - The first 60 years. Part 1

I was born in 1955, just ten years and one week after the end of WWII. So it was that growing up, WWII became the reference point of many conversations. Things happened either “before the war,” “during the war,” or “just after the war.” It was sometime in one of these three time periods that my father had played guitar in a band with a number of his friends, most of whom he would remain in touch with until his death. One such man had a Music Room in his basement, where he kept a number of Musical instruments, a drumset included. On one of our visits, “Mr. L” took us down and showed us that room. I was immediately drawn to the Drums; a 4-piece kit in White Marine Pearl finish. (although I didn't know what the finish was called back then) At roughly the same time, a small group of students in our school had formed a band and played in our school gym for a “sock hop” every Friday at noon. Again, I was drawn to the drums, and eventually began asking many questions of the Drummer; “What's that for?” “What's that do?” “What do you call that?” “How did you DO that?” He was extremely patient and answered all my questions with his characteristic smile. That band even got to play on a TV show in the early 60s, and I felt special because I knew them!

A couple of years later, a neighbour of my cousin's returned from Germany where his father had been stationed in the Canadian Armed Forces. “W” had purchased a set of drums there, and I would often see him carrying them into or out of the house as he came and went to the various gigs he was playing in the area. I remember once his younger sister (who is my age) took me upstairs to the room where he kept his drums. I was in awe. Completely speechless!

It was during this time period The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and I saw Ringo Starr. Game over! A few of my friends can probably remember me before I got bitten by the Drum bug, but not many. To most of my friends, I have always been a drummer, or interested in drums.

My parents recognized my overwhelming desire to become a Drummer, but (as I can now understand) they were not in a financial position to make that happen. Besides, Dad had always dreamed of me following in his footsteps and learn to play guitar, but I was too undisciplined and the strings hurt my fingers. In 1967 they got me a toy drumset from the Sears catalogue.
I was grateful, but felt I was too old for them and a REAL set would have been more appropriate. Still, I played along with the radio every day after school and after I finished my homework in the evening. Once the fibre heads on those drums broke, I found various ways to patch them, and eventually replaced them with plastic Ice cream containers. (empty, of course)

Finally, on Christmas day, 1969, my first “real” drumset arrived. Again, from the Sears catalogue, it was a 3-piece set with the brand name “Saturn.” I was overwhelmed! The three pieces were a 14 X 20 Bass Drum, a 5 X 14 Snare Drum, and an 8 X 12 mounted Tom, all in blue sparkle. (still one of my favourite colours) There was a 12 inch Cymbal mounted on the Bass Drum, which although it didn't sound so great, it was functional.

I was a DRUMMER! The Lonster was born.

~Still Wandering...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


When I first began this blog, named "Wanderer," it was my intention to use the word "wandering" in some way in each title.  It became evident after a short time that it would not be entirely possible to do so, so I switched to a more relavent method of titling.

Recently, I posted on Facebook how I'd like to get back to writing by sharing the story of my lifetime at the drums. I say “back to” because for a while in 2009, I was employed as a writer/PR agent for a company in New Brunswick named Los Cabos Drumsticks. I may elaborate at a later date as to why I left the company, but for now let me just quote Gary Oldman as Dracula in the 1992 movie, That relationship was not, entirely.... successful… ”

I received a great deal of encouragement from Facebook friends to pursue the idea, although one detail stands out as worrisome. I said I would not mention names, but soon realized there are some events, no matter whose names are withheld, that I just don't feel comfortable revealing. I have not always made the wisest of decisions and many things are embarrassing to not only myself but to those whom I may have offended or hurt along the way. I'm sure I have long since been forgiven or the offence has been forgotten, but it could re-open some old wounds (even for myself) to bring up certain past events.

Therefore, I have decided – for now at least – to present my tale as a series of short stories on my blogs. Yes, blogs, plural. I have been keeping this one for many years; it is reflective of my life in general, 
the non-drumming side of me. (although drumming comes into it many times as reference points) When I got my website, there was an option to add a blog to it, which I started doing earlier this year. It is supposed to be an account of my activities onstage or in the rehearsal halls etc. Sadly, there has been neither since the end of August, so short stories of my life of rhythm would be an ideal way to keep it active. I can see no reason why I can't have the same content in two places, provided it belongs in both.

Obviously, non-drumming related stories would not be published in my website blog, simply because I want to keep the website career-related.

So, follow the links in this post to get to my blog, and my website, and feel free to scroll through the current content. Let me know what you think; I'd love to hear from yo

~Still Wandering...