Things We Lose. Analog Books

Hopefully this will be the start of a series. Things we lose. Maybe it could be called the Get Off My Lawn series, but I don’t have a lawn. The flavor is definitely one of a guy getting older and wondering about the past and future. Its Christmas morning 2018. I’m at moms. Mom and I have this ritual when i come for a few days. We both love to read. And mom is a reliable source for new material or new authors. I love her excitement when telling me about a new author she’s found. Its the closest she comes to being a sales person. Another thing we have in common is we both have iPads. Mom is pretty high tech for 75 years old. Maybe all 75 year olds are jamming along on their Kindles or iPads. But when I visit, mom always ends up passing me Analog books. The ones that use actual paper. Hard cover and soft. Like passing on a mix-tape. Or a burned CD of your favorite record. Mom passes on books and its these rare times at moms, between tours, that I get to hold and read Analog Books. I like cops and robbers. Murder mysteries. Business books and nuts and bolts spiritual books (a category I hope to invent one day) Since I tour, I’m constantly having to consider the implications of space. Since I drive rock bands through the night I also listen to books on tape. Although theres no tape involved. I can’t really bring myself to use the term “audio books” I burn through at least a book a week. And since I tour non stop, we’ll say i read at least 52 books a year. Or consume I should say, since the audio books are part of that consumption. So, Ive got to consider how much room 52 books takes up in my life. Theres no question the iPad is handy. But as mom passes a handful of books and I dive in, i realize what is missed with digital books. The BEGINNING and The END. The experience of these. When you have an analog book thats 2 inches thick in hardback form, you have a concept of how long you’re going to be stuck in this thing. You may have to talk yourself into it a bit. Mom has passed Greg Iles, The Devils Punchbowl on, ┬áin hardcover. Its a hefty one. It took me a few minutes of handling it, while mom did her sales pitch, to even crack it. I slowly read page one and now I’m hooked. But now I’m stuck carrying this...

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Is This The Real Life

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, so escape from reality. Punctuation probably off a bit. How did we get from Bohemian Rhapsody to where we are today? I remember hearing that song for the first time and being actually terrified. The implications of the words in the opening line of this song are about as direct a set of questions as has ever been asked. For me, my whole world stopped. I was around 7 years old when i first heard Queen, A Night at the Opera. I heard Bohemian Rhapsody on the radio first. And I kind of went into a daze. repeating the opening lines over and over. And not coming up with any real answers. I was literally terrified. A few days later I was in the basement where we had the stereo. My dad had bought the record a week or so prior and I was now listening to it down stairs. By myself. For the first time. I knew the name of the song that had shook me to the core. I put on side one and track one, Death on Two Legs came on. I was even more terrified. I was almost completely frozen, sitting on the floor, looking at the cover of the album. I kind of blanked through Death on Two Legs and then the second song came on. Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon. The terror let up for a minute and a half, or whatever the length of that song is. Im In Love With My Car was next and it was kind of confusing. Like “can you really be in love with a car?” I had no idea. Then, You’re My Best Friend came on. Great big drums. A beautiful melody and a happy concept. I had friends. I think John Norris was already my best friend. He lived a few blocks away. I knew which direction his house was in. I thought about him and started to come out of my daze. By the time I flipped the record and Bohemian Rhapsody came on I had been through an incredible range of completely intense emotions. Then, “Is this the real life?…” I was right back to mental lock down. I was literally completely terrified. I “knew” that if I thought about the meaning of the words I was hearing, I would probably die. My dad was upstairs cooking dinner. In a state of complete terror I shouted up the stairs. “Dad, what happens when you die?” I heard him stop cooking. He came to the top of the stairs. He said...

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Drums and Reading Glasses

I just watched this new HBO documentary on surfing called Generation Momentum Super great doc. Still digesting the implications. As I’ve just started writing articles without any real update on whats happened in my life since the last chapter in the evolution of this website, I’d like to start filling some of that in. Over the past 4 years I’ve built a pretty great business. Towards the middle of about 2013 (I think) I started feeling kind of basically old. I started wearing reading glasses. And as simple and insignificant as that may seem, it sort of set things in motion. It was the first time in my life where I actually started to realize that our bodies DO age. I had basically completely ignored this idea up to this point. But it was kind of unavoidable.I couldn’t read things. For a few months I was sure I had a tumor. Not sure if it was better or worse to just settle into the fact that I was getting older and needed readers. So this started me thinking and kind of worrying about the future. Probably for the first time in my life. Like, how was I going to survive if i eventually got to crusty to work. I’ve always been a hard working guy. Pretty much to the point where most people think I’m totally crazy with how many things i juggle. But things had never fully clicked and here I was playing drums in a moderately successful band and all of a sudden I had to start with these reading glasses. Long story short. (I’ll continue to fill in gaps in the story) I had the idea to buy a tour bus. This way, the touring costs of the band would stay in house. Or more specifically, I would lease the bus to the band and keep those costs in my pocket. Id charge the band a discount rate, so it’d be a win/win for both of us. Also, when we weren’t touring, I could take other bands out on tour in the bus. Thats the basic sketch. The reason for this was to start to build a future for myself and my love. Something beyond wearing a wig and playing in a Led Zeppelin tribute band. As fun as that was, I felt the end of that chapter was on the horizon for me. It was hugely rewarding and fun. But i felt the end was near for me, so I set in motion this next chapter. Now that chapter is in full swing. I have 5 buses and have been touring non stop for the...

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Touring and Texting and Touring and Texting and Texting

When you tour, you get lonely. Its weird to play in front of 1000 people. To have people respond to you playing drums is pretty weird. I beat the fuck out of drums and people cheer. Its a thing I don’t thing has been very well understood. I don’t know of any studies on it. I read once that Keith Richards said his drug use was from when the tour stopped. While he was on tour, it never got out of control because he had the excitement of the shows as a drug high. Makes sense. But that thing sticks with me pretty hard. Theres a lot of angles to it that I often think about. I don’t really like drugs. I did them and now i don’t. I think they have a place. Not the point of this article. What happened is I was texting my wife here in my hotel and we had the most insignificant difference. She was excited to help me with my social media and i changed a password. About that level of serious. But i got super upset. Like actually started crying. Pretty dumb for sure. But, I think its all part of this same phenomena. On the one hand technology allows for us to be in contact with one another. I run my whole business through my phone. I get texts from drivers 24/7. I do all my quotes and sales through email and my accounting through the quickbooks app. But there is a down side to this. I think a massive one. The spiritual connection you get with someone is one of the things that Im always thinking in the back of my mind. Or the front of it. Its always there. But I’m in love. I truly have a person i love to the core. Many people don’t. So its super lucky and rare. But my point is that the method by which we communicate, through these little sequential texts, these instagram posts, these emails. They seem to be breaking down something. The best way I can explain it goes back to Steve Albini and his love for tape and analog recording. He’s pretty well known as the guy who carried the torch for analog. This is the best analogy, although its a fairly abstract one. When you record on tape, you get a continuous magnetic wave form transferred from the source (microphone or plugged in instrument) Its a continuous energy transfer. Compare that to digital recording. A computer hard drive takes 1000’s of pictures of you singing a continuous note and converts it into 1’s and 0’s and stores...

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Today On Tour. Fan Clutchs and Friends

Since my last entry into TheBestDrummerInTheWorld.com, a lot has changed. I started a tour bus /tour support company. It has completely consumed my every waking moment. The business has expanded super fast and has given me a massive pile of inspiration to write from. To simplify, for the purpose of just getting back into it. I drive bands around in a big tour bus. I have 5 buses, which means 5 guys plus who drive for me. Over the past few days I had a fan clutch go bad. Remember, I’m still basically a drummer. Rule one of touring is always GET TO THE SHOW. or Make the show happen. Long story short. It took me 10 hours in the engine bay of the bus to pull out the old fan clutch. This began as soon as i parked after driving 7 hours through the night to Madison Wisconsin. It was about 20 degrees out. After spending $500 to have the $1400 new fan clutch overnighted to my hotel, I spent another 9 hours putting this new one in. Slept of 6 hours and drove another 7 hours to Detroit, where I now sit writing this. The juice of the story however is the fights I had with my friends and loved ones while all of this was going on. We have this situation where we have the potential for instant communication with everyone in our lives. My wife is on a different tour and she was texting me for a play by play. My best friend lives in the bay area and we got in a girlfriend type of fight because I wasn’t really engaged in our conversation. Today, on the other side, It really hits me that the pace of these things is way out of whack. Instant communication is a blessing and also a huge curse. But a curse, because its out of synch with the actual pace of life. For 19 hours, literally every second of my life was completely consumed with the logistics of swapping out a fan clutch. Something I had never done before. 2 Ubers to Harbor Freight to get tools I kind of figured I needed. I couldn’t get this bolt off. I stripped 3 of the bolt. I had to cut them off with an angle grinder. There was no room to fit an angle grinder in between the fan and the radiator. On and on, in my mind non stop for 19 hours. All the while, I have no room to bail out. Blow it off. Take a step back. Relax, it’ll work out fine. None of that. If...

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