I’m just back from the USA after a short but useful 10-day trip. I only do short these days. Flying doesn’t get any better. I continue to be astonished by the huge interest in all things drums and drumming, and grateful for the continuing interest in my modest contribution in that area. Thanks to hundreds who turned up -it was great to meet as many of you as possible, and thanks also for the kind commentary on Facebook and the Guestbook on this site. I’ve signed my last book for a bit!
The trip ended with my speaking to some business people up in Portland, Maine. These folk were under the impression that we musicians are in possession of some special knowledge when it comes to creativity, innovation, and vision, and that I could introduce some of it to them.
I was a bit sceptical, but evidently large sections of US business is risk averse, tied in by outmoded patterns, mis-manages its creative people, misses opportunites and regularly fails to act. And it’s losing confidence daily. We’ve done plenty of all that of course in all the bands I’ve been in, but somehow we did manage to lurch forward and still put bread on the table. I suppose the story of my / our careers was digging for the best way to get at music, to get it to happen. Key to that was to avoid getting trapped in patterns. If you lay a pattern on a pattern, due you get a third pattern? Thanks to Frank Laurino of Backbeat Creative Strategy and partner John Rogers of Vtec Education Center, jazz afficionados both, for spotting the connection between small (jazz) group dynamics and possible models for business. There was genuine illumination on all sides.
Next stop Sweden.
Lovers of progressive rock might like to take George Myers’ recommendation – Date: 04.10.2011 – “Spread the news around…”HANDS”,”ALL THE IN CHINA”,”FISSION TRIP”,”ELEMENTS” These are some fantastic “progressive rock bands” for anyone out there that has an interest in great original sounds…”
Alan – Date: 08.10.2011 – Hello Bill, you are my only musical hero and I believe I have seen you with every group you have ever played with in the states including an obscure one with Jeff Berlin at Michaels Pub. A quick question, Men and Angels is one of my favorite BB tunes. Have you ever played it live?
Alan, thanks so much for your support – that’s an incredible attendance record! Top of the class! No, never played it live, and I wish I had. It cropped up on a Kazumi Watanabe album as I recall.
Michael – Date: 12.10.2011 – My Father casually mentioned that he had several “Dragon Toms” in his kit in the early ’80s. I have spent several hours trying to figure out what these things are. Thus far, I have found very little information. My Father had three of these things in total. One was fitted with a tube, which produced a “booong” sound. The other two had no shell at all, they produced a “back-back-back” sound. Mr. Bruford is the only person I have read about that used anything called “Dragon Toms.”
Michael, as I recall, Dragon Drums were clear acrylic drums made by a small company out of Denver CO, now out of business. I don’t remember how I came across them, but there were usually several manufacturers of unlikely looking instruments backstage at Crimson gigs, trying to interest relevant band members. I liked their boobams – derived from the ancient oriental instrument of bamboo cut to varying lengths, but with uniform diameter. The varying lengths give the pitch variability. I used them for years with KC in the 80s. Tama then went on to market it’s own version, called Octobans.
Jonathan – Date: 13.10.2011 – wants to know “…how you first came to wear the Boston Bruins logo on your shirt(s), aside from the obvious appropriateness. Are you an NHL fan, as well?”
Jonathan, when I first came to the US as a kid and saw the Bruins logo in a store, I just thought it was a neat lettering to adopt, and I had no idea it was connected to a team. I’d never heard of the Bruins. Regret I am completely ignorant in all matters of US sport, NHL included! We’ve just issued a retro- B- T-shirt of the last Bruford tour of the US with that band in 1980, at the shop, which might amuse you.