Woodrock Rehearsal and Recording Studios, Raritan, NJ, August 4, 2017
Photograph by Nick Romanenko
How did I come to be a drummer? No one has asked me that before...Haha! Now you're in for it...WARNING! Long winded text wall follows:
In the beginning
I believe it was 1960 that Bobby Darin had a hit song "Beyond the Sea". Which I really liked, but it was the drumming explosion that occurs during the
instrumental break that caused this very young kid to sit up and take notice. WOW! what the hell was that? That was incredible! The hook was firmly set.
(It was only a few years ago that I became active in a well regarded drum forum on the internet. Us drummers were engaged in a thread about what got you
started, and I wrote a response similar to what I just related to you. Closing with "I don't know who that guy was that played drums for that session, but he is
responsible for triggering a lifelong passion". Turns out, one of the other forum members was a close friend of "that guy". He told me it was Don Lamond that did the
recording, and that he would have been thrilled to learn of the effect it had on me. Unfortunately, Don Lamond passed away in 2003. But now I had the name of the
responsible party. Thank you Mr. Lamond.)
The kid grows up..(well, as far as drummers do anyway.)
As a very young teenager, I would tape several cardboard boxes together to form a spectacularly crude drum set. My Mom's frying pan cover suspended from a
bent coat hanger made a handy ride cymbal. Some where, some how, I obtained a beat up bass drum pedal, and attached that to the largest box which now became my
bass drum. I would then spend hours playing along with records, until my "drums" were reduced to pulp.
I had a deal with the local A&P supermarket. They would set aside appropriately sized boxes to keep me supplied. This went on for quite some time, my parents seeing this was not going away, took action. My Dad bought me a used set of Ludwigs in 1964.
(I still have them, and those are the drums I play to this very day.)
This opened the door to joining a band, and I did. (I'll show some mercy and spare you the somewhat funny details.) We did the usual stuff of the era, Beatles,
Stones, Animals, Young Rascals, Gerry and the Pacemakers...etc.
This continued until I joined the Navy. In 1971 we somehow convinced the Captain and Executive Officer of my ship that we should have a rock band.
They said "Sure". I gotta say we had a kick-ass little band. Also, I can say "Yeah, I "toured" the South Pacific, played in Hong Kong,
Phillipines, Da Nang, Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand."
Kandy on Tour in the South Pacific!
The demilitarized zone:
After the Navy, picked back up with my pals in NY. Formed a new band, Did a lot of Allman Brothers , Beck-Bogart-Appice, then more progressive
light rock/jazz like George Benson, Chuck Mangione for the more stuffy situations.
This continued until the late 80's. Moved to NJ, bought the house, had the kids, started a computer & network sales and service company.
No time for the drums. They stayed stacked in the basement until about 2010. Sure, I would set them up now and then, crank up the reel to reel, and cut loose.
The itch returns:
In 2010 my wife and I went to a wedding of one of her friends who works at the school my wife does. Great 10 piece band!
Horn section and all....but the drummer....well...let's just say...lackluster.
I recall telling my wife "I can get up from this table and do better than that, cold". Hmmm, company now closed, kids grown, house just about paid for.....IT'S TIME!
Well now, glad you asked? Hey, I warned you up top.
Not quite finished. (Didn't think I'd let you off that easy, did ya?)
For your further amusement I've attached some photos from those periods. Don't worry, you can laugh, I can't hear you over the internet.
Oh, you asked what kind of music do I like to play. Well, really anything, as long as it's not Rap, Disco, or Metal. Anything else is fair game.
(OK, OK, you got me, I HAVE played some Disco, but I didn't enjoy it and it didn't mean anything to me.)
Nick 2.0 - February 14, 2017
This page last updated May 2, 2021 by Gary Radford. Many thanks to Kurt Wagner, Marie Radford, and Jon Oliver.