Hollywood Drum Before Dark: Dresel Brothers


Dresel v. Dresel
A pattern has emerged. Our last two video interviews have either preceded or followed companion Hittin’ reviews here in the News blog. We hold consistent with our latest interview featuring Bernie and Jonathan Dresel.

Not long ago here, I indulged some impressions of a performance by BERN—Bernie’s namesake twelve-piece band—at Vitello’s. As it turned out, he liked it. He wrote in an email: “In a sea of lame reviewers, you stand at the top. No exaggeration!” I’m presuming that meant he liked it. I followed up with the inspiration of sitting down with him and Jonathan, drummer for Jimmy Kimmel Live, and getting the drummer/brother story. They were down…for a sit-down.

Pony Shows And Bunnies
In a further thread of consistency, we filmed the proceedings back at Vitello’s with the venue’s gracious and appreciated support. Indeed, we put on a little show with this one. No ponies, but we did have a bunny. In a distinctly distant nod to Hugh Hefner’s late-60s TV show “Playboy After Dark,” we themed our day-time production “Hollywood Drum Before Dark.”

In place of a swank Manhattan penthouse we had a second-floor jazz club in Studio City. The singular semblance of a tuxedo adorned our alternately manic and disinterested announcer/sidekick, Billy. Our disgruntled, cigarette smoking Before Dark bunny had a charm of her own. And we were out by 2pm. Success. Still, the format promises to evolve with live performance and greater audience interaction. Stay tuned.


Drum Fraternity
Emerging through—perhaps despite—all of this, came the story of two brothers rising from a basement in Sharon, PA to high-profile careers as successful professional drummers in L.A. It’s a good one, including tales of Beatles revelations and Elvis guitars; baton-twirlers; tap dancing and short-lived ballet classes; Sunday drives in the ’61 Caddy; hand-me-downs to full-on double-bass Slingerland drumsets; bell-bottoms and Dingo boots; and other assorted brotherly intrigue.

Actually, the brothers paint the picture of what seems a largely charmed childhood together, and disciplined and purposeful journies to the heights of their profession. All with humor and genuineness. Great players and great guys. It was a true pleasure hanging with them for the afternoon. Watch it now.

Steve Krugman

Thank you to April Williams and Vitello’s.

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Hayward Bound


Down In Dixieland
My medium-rare flesh slow-roasted on a shadeless stretch of sand beneath an intense South Texas sun. I was already an unnatural shade of saturated pink well on the way to an alarming red that would find me enduring the remainder of my first college spring break in an aloe-and-sweat-soaked motel bed. I didn’t care. Little Feat had taken the beachfront stage.

While the musical experience wasn’t the only thing I shared with that peaceable mass of slow-swaying collegians, it was the swampy music of the band with the inimitable Richie Hayward on drums that truly set my cares free and colluded with the sun in my baking.

For Richie Or Poorer
I was reminded of that show and the impact of Richie Hayward’s joyous drumming on me that day when Phil Hood, publisher of DRUM! magazine, contacted me with news of an upcoming drumming event organized to benefit Richie. The profits from their Rhythm Night on August 13 will be donated to help Richie in his now year-long bout with acute liver disease.

In Phil’s words: “He is highly regarded by generations of drummers and music fans, and sadly stands as a stark reminder of how challenging it is to make a living as a professional musician, even when you are at the top of your game. That’s why we are donating our time and resources to help spread the word about his pressing need for help, and raise some cash for his medical treatment.”

The event, to be held at the San Jose Repertory Theatre from 6:00 to 8:30pm, will feature performances and clinics by David Garibaldi, Marco Minnemann, and Thomas Pridgen. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and include admission to the following George Clinton concert that night.

The Way To San Jose
For the record, San Jose is about 350 miles and over 5 hours from L.A. HollywoodDrum.com doesn’t generally stray so far from home when covering events; after all, there are more than we’re able to dutifully keep up with right here. We are making an exception.

Our L.A. friends—the majority of our readers—just might consider the same. Road-trip. Ride motorcycles. Book a romantic drum-filled weekend getaway. Thumb it. Or…simply buy tickets for the cause, and cozy up at home with a warm copy of Waiting For Columbus and whatever else you got. You can also make a donation on Richie’s behalf through Sweet Relief musicians fund.

Steve Krugman