Steve Who? came alive in May of this year along with my debut news post. A little over half-a-year later, as I begin this post announcing our review of Steve Gadd and Friends and companion video interview with Steve, I can’t help but feel a bit reflective.

From Humble Beginnings…
That first post began and ended with references to our premier video interview with Wizard Sleeve drummer Elvy Brock—who strangely resembled a bandanna-ed Craig Macintyre, our other premier video interviewee—which featured a brief triangle workshop, silent drum “meditation”, and grainy home-video production. Amusing, to me anyway, but hardly an imposing debut. Far beyond the patiently-paced Steve Gadd and Friends set last Wednesday night at Catalina Jazz Club, we were leaving ample space to expand.

A bit of self-indulgent retrospection sweetens the satisfaction at hand. Six months forth from a manic Elvy imploring, “Come and get the rock!” we arrive at a revealing and meaningful sit-down with one of the most influential drummers of all time. The meeting held personal significance of another sort as well. The cassette of Chick Corea’s “Three Quartets” lived in the dash of my first car—a rusted old VW Beetle, if you must know—for months. Al Jarreau’s “Breaking Away” was the first CD I ever bought, and also endured a relentless workout. My own accounting of Gadd’s influence is extensive and hardly unique among drummers. I noticed that I smile a lot in this interview.

…To Humble Endings
“It’s never perfect.” We will take Steve’s words as a working motto, and hell—a raving endorsement, of our efforts here. It’s’s first remote interview production, and I think with this offering we have fully realized the ideal of non-perfection. Special thanks goes to our Swiss Army knife, Carl “El Rey” King, for his total down-ness and madd skillz. One disclaimer begs mention: We procured super-swanky lavalier mics to capture pro audio for just such occasions; regrettably, our sound technician plugged into the wrong hole. Ouch. Please accept our apologies and bear with the background noise of a jazz club after hours. Spin it as charming—works for us.

And now…
We are now proud to present you with Dr. Steve Gadd.

Steve Krugman

Hollywood Picture Show

Hollywood Drum Show 09Hollywood Drum Show 09

Vintage and custom drums? Mostly. Informative, inspirational, and interesting drum clinics? Mostly. A chill hang and celebration for L.A. drummers? Mostly. Raffle girls? Definitely.

I kid the raffle girls, because it’s fun and because the annual Hollywood Drum Show wouldn’t be the same without them. They, along with the usual exhibitors and crowd of drum-geeks (present!), brought continuity to the once-again displaced event. Aside from being invisible from the street, obfuscated in the winding innards of the lot, and generally maddening to find, the show’s homecoming at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood on October 17th and 18th was a logistical success. The remote end-lot gave the gathering a secluded and nestled feel; alfresco clinics beneath a well-conceived tented stage, and in glorious weather, were a pleasure; and the soundstage housing the displays was pro and well organized, if smallish. With veteran experience, or simply some minimal signage, the venue could actually be quite ideal…from a public vantage.

From a business perspective, I suppose we’ll find out next year. As mentioned in our earlier Q&A with organizer Kerry Crutchfield, the Hollywood Drum Show is a pursuit of passion that is often a break-even proposition—sometimes not-even—brought to us by Crutch’s spirit and tenacity. Over the din, he mentioned to me how grateful he’d feel if he could simply walk off the street, pay his $10, and enjoy a show—indeed a day—like this one. He’s absolutely right. Thank you, Crutch. Any critique or jibing from me is duly asterisked. Here’s hoping the thing was an abounding success; I know that we all affectionately anticipate the now rooted tradition. Like Thanksgiving with the family. And raffle girls.

Enjoy our pictorial review.

Steve Krugman