A Band Of Drummers


A Curious Tail
When at one point during my interview with drummer Nate Wood, he told me he was playing guitar with Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders, I wasn’t shocked. I had just witnessed him simultaneously play drums with his right hand and bass with his left the night before. A quick study of Wood exhausts all incredulity; and, I figured, given two dedicated hands he could handle rhythm guitar duties alright. Still, I wanted see that.

The opportunity arose last Tuesday, April 20, when the band was booked for a hometown album release show at The Troubadour. My curiosity extended, as well, to seeing Hawkins’ drummer-as-front man spin-off project. Nate had mentioned the possibility of his playing some drums during the set too. It wasn’t until the day before the show that I heard Dave Grohl would be pinch-drumming. That turns out to be a lot of drummers for one band.

The initial thought was to make the hang, enjoy the night, and hammer out a quick Hittin’ blog here the next morning. Thanks to my award-winning photographer and a remarkable performance, I had a few hundred more pics and a couple extra thoughts to sort through than I expected come morning. The sordid results of which, I now present in this here review.

Steve Krugman

Photo by Deb Jordan

Drums Along Sunset


“You’re Invited: Hollywood Drum Shop GRAND OPENING April 10-11.” I received the over-sized postcard promotional mailer from Guitar Center and—against protocol—was compelled to give it a second look. Grand Opening? Capital letters?! Hasn’t this place been around since 1985? Indeed it has. It seemed conspicuously clear that this artificial grand opening (no capitals for you!) was inspired by the last authentic Grand Opening along the north side of the 7400 bock of Sunset Boulevard in December of 2008: G.C.’s newest next-door neighbor, Sam Ash Drum Shop.

Party Like It’s Yo Birthday
Promotional audacity and competitive mettle are hallmark qualities of the company. No surprise there. With over 200 retail stores nationwide, they are simply dancing with the one what brung ’em. Really, the one thing that saved that three-color little piece of cardboard from instant recycling, was the two-day list of events on the back. Clinics from Famularo, Roddy, Perkins and Erskine. A Sunday meet-and-greet with Aronoff, Lombardo, Blaine, Mangini, and about fifteen other profile L.A. drummers. A drum circle. In-store infomercial—sorry, “dialogue”—with John Good. It doesn’t necessarily need to be your birthday to throw a super party for yourself. This was to be an L.A. drum happening, and your online Home for L.A.’s Drum Community—that would be us—was going to be there.

A quick call to G.C. corporate in Westlake Village, CA, and we were officially credentialed for the event. In practice, this amounted to little more than talking our way past the marginally-invested security dude and heading up to the drum department in between the meet-and-greet and set-up for the evening clinics. Yeah, we missed the full-on flesh-pressing and shoulder-grazing of the early afternoon’s reception. Fine with me, but it does account for the dearth of party pics in our pictorial coverage. I knew when I passed Vinny Appice walking out on my way in that the last streamer had fallen.

_ _ _ _ Thy Neighbor
Minutes prior, I stopped by Sam Ash Drum Shop next door for their own little reactive fete they were calling, “Drumfest on Sunset.” It seems Vinny had been doing double duty—also billed for their contemporaneous meet-and-greet. Not only are these two neighbors not sharing their lawn tools, they’re walking their dogs without a leash and looking away with a wink. Good doggy.

The good news for us is that we have two competitive, well-inventoried, and inviting drum shops in our community for the price of one parking meter. It’s our gain. Ultimately, it’s hard to complain. And if they both want to throw a party on the same weekend, then call a cab and belly up.

As for this GRAND OPENING, it was a modest remodeling. New carpet; the percussion room is now the electronic room; some Hollywood-sign-type letters on a fake brick wall—that type of thing. Luckily, Moonie’s gold Tommy kit is still in the front window. All is well, if a bit tense, on Drummer’s Row. Party on.

Steve Krugman

For The Record
Shortly following the posting of this blog and accompanying feature, we were contacted by Glenn Noyes, national drum and percussion buyer for Guitar Center, requesting an opportunity to share additional information and the GC perspective regarding this event. We are happy to oblige. Please find his addendum here.