It's been a while since I've taken the time to sit down and fill you all in. Well what better time than 6:40 in the morning my time (7:40 in the morning eastern US time - this is where I am right now)?!?!
The fact is, I am up and can't get back to sleep. Just knowing that all of my devoted readers out there aren't sleeping either because they are waiting with baited breath to hear more of my words and thoughts makes me want to relieve them of their burden, so that they too can get some rest... :-)
So here I am in Rye Brook, NY at the hotel on the first day of the Modern Drummer Festival. My colleague Norbert Saemann is here with me, and it's always good when he and I can spend some time hanging and working together. We always tend to get a lot done when we're in the same vicinity. Meinl Cymbal artist Derek Roddy is here to perform this weekend and Meinl Cymbal artist Jason Bittner is here for the weekend to soak up the vibe, so I'm thinking that the forecast calls for blue skies and a very good time.
So much has been happening in the month of September...on the 3rd I flew to Germany for the Meinl Drum Festival. You've already spent a lot of time reading Norbert's blogs on that and watching videos online, so I won't be redundant by giving you a full report, but I have to say that it was really a great event...and that's not me being a "company guy" either. I really had a good time. Saw some old friends (alter kumpels) and made some new friends too. Meeting Jost Nickel and Jaska Raatikainen was a pleasure. As soon as I met Jost, I immediately liked him, as I think we share the same sense of humor. Jaska, with his reserved Finnish demeanor is very funny (as in "funny ha-ha," not "funny-weird"), maybe without even knowing it. A very nice guy who was a lot of fun to hang with. Everyone else I already knew, and as I mentioned it was a pleasure to see them all again.
So after the festival I flew home for a day of rest, then a day at Meinl USA to frantically catch up on some things, then a weekend with my wife and daughter, which was shared with Barry Kerch of Shinedown, as I went down to the riverfront in Nashville to catch Shinedown live and hang with my good friends Barry and his tech Panda. Barry and Panda have to be two of the nicest people that have ever roamed the planet. Really, these guys would give you the shirts off their backs without complaint. Seeing Shinedown with their new lineup was great. I really think these guys are firing on all cylinders now and it certainly shows live. While hanging with Barry I ran into a friend of mine, Mike Farriss, AR manager from Pearl Drums (US division is in Nashville). So after a nice Sunday at home, then a Monday at Meinl USA to frantically catch up on some more things, I left on Tuesday of last week to fly to Detroit, MI to hang with the always stupendous and never disappointing Rodney Holmes. Rodney held a clinic at the excellent store, Huber and Breese Music.
Terry Breese and his staff (Chris, Randy, Cameron, etc.) are all great people and went out of their way to make sure that Rodney was as comfortable as could be. Rodney gave a smokin' performance. He must be an alien, he is just that good. The crowd wasn't just applauding, they were cheering and yelling with amazement and joy. It was really cool to see. The next day I hung out with the store guys a little bit more and then made my way back to Nashvegas.
Thursday was a little more time with my wife and daughter, then yesterday I flew to Newark, NJ to meet up with Norbert and Heinz from the German magazine "Drums and Percussion" and make our way through rotten NYC traffic to Rye Brook, NY for the festival.
So here I am and I am stoked to see some great drumming today and tomorrow and to hang with friends in the industry who I get to see only every so often.
I am sure Norbert will chime in and give you a blogging report on everything that is going on (he loves to blog), and so will I. Other than that, I want to share some pictures with you from my last few weeks. However, I must make a disclaimer...
When I was at the Shinedown show, I had a plastic cup with a beverage in it in my left hand and my own personal digital camera in my right hand. Well, the camera slipped and fell into the drink taking a complete bath, which effectively ruined the camera. So when I went to the Rodney clinic a few days later, I had no camera, since the one I usually use with Meinl is out on the road with some other staff guys who need it at the moment. So I went and bought one of those Kodak "digital" cameras. Mistake....took terrible pics. So unfortunately I have no pics from the clinic. However I did get some great video footage of Rodney which I will have posted soon. Sorry for the long and boring story of my lack of motor skills and their tendency to give my electronics an unplanned soaking, but I felt it was best to give you full disclosure so that you didn't think I was shining Rodney by not giving him any picture time.
That's all. Signing off. Take care.