Me, Music & I – Part 1

Posted on October 1, 2013

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I started playing drums about 17 years ago when I was around 10 years old.  I wasted the first 10 years of my life.  Growing up, I found music to be the one thing that gave me a real true high.  Obsessed I guess you could say I was.  But being the oldest out of 4, I didnt have an older brother to turn me on to anything.  I didnt have someone to say “hey, heres some Guns-n-Roses, check this out!”  I had to find everything out for myself.  My mother was a stay at home mom and was always playing music in the house.  She would play artists such as Kenny G (which I loathed entirely), The Beach Boys and of course the Beatles.  The Beatles were the first group I remember listening to over and over and over again unknowingly stealing my mother’s Beatles Anthology tapes when she wasnt looking.  From there I started expanding genres.  I would listen to stuff from “Michael Jackson’s Thriller”, “NKOTB’s Hangin Tough”, to the Beastie Boys to Nirvana to Guns-n-Roses.  But it wasnt until I got my first Motley Crue record and saw Tommy Lee play that really propelled my interest in the drums.

I played informerly up until I reached High School in 2000.  It was at that point that I decided it was time to see if my skills meant anything.  After watching my mothers shock of amazement when the band teacher of Joppatowne High School told her I could definatly play and wanted me in the drumline, I started seeking professional tutelage.  First up was a m

an named Will DiGeorgio.  He was a little old man who looked like he was ready for a night at the VFW and a smile any grandkids would love.  I had my doubts.  That is until I saw him play.

Saying that Mr. DiGeorgio is a great drummer would be an understatement.  Insane Jazz player, great traditional grip techniques and lots of speed!  I learned as much as I could from him up until his prices became insanely outrageous.  Which was a total shame because I feel I didnt learn enough, much like I feel with all facets of life.  By this time I was already into the start of my freshman year in high school.  I was on the drum line but was playing cymbals. (For those of you that arent music savey, cymabals are concave brass disks that make a crashing sound.) It wasnt my cup of tea but I understood that I was the new guy and had to work my way up the line which paid off within the first year when I was moved to playing on the Bass Drum line. photo 1 (1)

Not under the tutelage of Mr. DiGeorgio anymore I was without a teacher so I went in search of another one.  I tried with this one guy who I cant even remember his name because I only had one lesson with him.  After the first lesson he dissapeared and I never saw him again until later on down the road at a show at Recher Theater where I found out he was the drummer for The Great Train Robbery.

Even though I was without a teacher I was still learning on my own as well as honing my note reading skills in school.  To the point where I was already memorizing and playing difficult snare cadences used by our drumline.  Even though I was on the bass line, I had mastered the snare parts as well.  It had grown into an obsession.  I couldnt get enough and I played, played, played and when I was too tired to play Id play some more.  Needless to say the grey oyster Ringo Starr kit I had in my basement got its fair share of use for almost 8 hours a day.  Not to mention the practice pad I had use to learn snare rudiments had completely worn to the base.  I tried one last place before giving up on my search for a private teacher.  I hadnt tried Music & Arts yet.  Located in the festival of Bel Air I dont know why I didnt try it sooner.  Fortunatly they had a drum teacher there and had some openings.  My mother being the suppoertive one that she is asked the guy at the counter, “Is he any good?”  To which he quickly replied, “oh, hes very good!”  Little did I know my world was about to be turned upside down.  That following week I returned to Music & Arts for my first lesson.  Waiting outside the studios in the back, out walks my soon to be teacher.  He had spikey jet black hair, chains hanging from his jeans, marked up vans tennis shoes and was lewd, crued and tattooed.  He looked me dead in the eye and said, “so why do you wanna be a drummer, to meet chicks?”  I chuckled a bit right before he said, “well my name is Mike Luca, come on back.”

To be continued….

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Posted in: Music, My Life