With Genesis c.1976: L-R front: Rutherford, Collins, Hackett. L-R rear: Banks, Bruford.

Continuing thanks to all for kind comments about my literary efforts. The book continues to sell steadily on a growing word of mouth to which you all – I’m happy to say- contribute!

George H. Myers – Date 08.02.2011 – is ‘looking for a “new or used in “Great Condition” TAMA STARCLASSIC MAPLE… MADE IN JAPAN. I am not sure if I can find a new Tama kit made in Japan? Please let me know A.S.A.P’

Can anyone help George? I’m afraid we don’t trade or deal in drums here George. I have two very nice Bubinga Starclassic kits, one with bigger rock-size drums tuned for rock, and a smaller sized kit tuned more for jazz, and I’m holding on to both of those. Suggest you find your nearest Tama dealer from the Tama website and start by asking him.

Gimber – Date 22.02.2011 – would like to know what makes that “TIC” sound on the “Discipline” album. It sound like an electronic thing. Is highly listenable on “The sheltering sky” alongside the slit drum, on “Discipline” and on the “Frame by Frame intro”. I think is doing the role of the hi-hat. Can you tell me what’s that?

Gimber, that’s the electronic hi-hat that came along with the early version of the innovative Simmons electronic drums SDS5 kit, around 1980. It was an open-and-shut foot pedal triggering an analogue module that produced various white-noise or metallic sounds. I was looking to play less on conventional cymbals and hi-hat, so didn’t even carry a hi-hat on the road for a few years. Much of the ride cymbal work ended up on 6 or 8 Tama Octobans.

Adam Renz – Date 24.02.2011 – specialises in Real Ale pilgrimages to the UK from NY, and congratulations, Russell, on completing your 10th. You’ll know more about the UK than I do, quite probably!

Russell Scarborough – Date 25.02.2011 – wants to ‘purchase lead sheets to Beelzebub & other tunes, so i can coerce others to perform them’.

Doesn’t sound like it’s going to be much fun Russell! BTW, it’s always helpful if you could look at this site’s very comprehensive FAQ section if you’re looking for answers. FAQ 17 points you to several of my tunes currently available at www.sheetmusicdirect.com. Might be worth checking to see if what you want is there. I also found an excellent transcription of Hell’s Bells by Lucas Pickford on the web the other day. Could start with that!

Tony Foley – Date 26.02.2011 asks – “You probably read about the recent death of Anglo-American jazz composer/pianist George Shearing. Considering his classical background and the development of his signature double melody block chord (which certainly made his form of bebop accessible to me), just wondered if you had any thoughts on his influence/legacy?”

Despite the British connection, Tony, I regret Shearing’s music remained only in the deep background for me, albeit as an instantly recognisable sound. That alone is such a hard thing to do in music – to corner and then inhabit your own small area such that anything you apply your technique to instantly becomes ‘yours’. I respect anyone who can do that. On a slightly broader note, musicians tend to spend so much time working on their own skills that they devote much less time to the absorption of other people’s work than is commonly imagined. Shearing is but one of probably many players who’s work I regret I missed.