Hollywood Five-O


From Press Release:

The Professional Drum Shop in Hollywood, California is a must-see attraction for visiting drummers and a regular hang-out for Los Angeles locals. Activity at the Pro Drum Shop is intertwined with the history of drumming and percussion, and has been for over 50 years!

Visitors to the Pro Drum Shop have long been inspired by the vast collection of historical photos, drum sets and other music memorabilia sharing floor space in the store with an incredible collection of new and used percussion instruments. Finally drum enthusiasts all over the world can share the experience, and long time Pro Drum Shop fans can get the behind-the-scenes story.

Pro Drum is pleased to announce the release of its highly anticipated documentary DVD, “Professional Drum Shop’s 50 Years”. This 105-minute informative and entertaining documentary takes the viewer on a historical journey through Hollywood’s recording and
drumming industry, with rare film clips, pictures, stories and interviews with some of the most famous and influential drummers of our time.

“We wanted-to share the stories that we’ve been hearing (or telling) at holiday parties for years” says Pro Drum Shop owner, Dolores Yeager. “What started as a history of a small store became a collection of interviews with some of the greatest names in drumming history.”

“Professional Drum Shop’s 50 Years” covers milestone moments such as the invention of the drum set, the rise of the plastic drum head and the arrival of the Beatles and their impact on the music scene from the 1960’s to the modern day. Well known names such as Hal Blaine, Jim Keltner, Joe Porcaro, Emil Richards, Jake Hanna, and Remo Belli share their memories of the music scene in Los Angeles and the role of the Pro Drum Shop in their lives and music.

Hilarious and sometimes bittersweet, the stories are inter-cut with never-before seen photos and recordings from the Pro Drum archives as well as a musical soundtrack featuring Buddy Rich, Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Steely Dan, Tower of Power, Doobie Brothers and many more. A must for any music fan, this unique DVD will become a favorite for drummers and music historians.

Purchase here.

Hittin’: Steven Nistor @ Three Clubs


Steven Nistor is Brian Blade’s drummer. Forget that he is also a regular call for artist/producers Daniel Lanois and Danger Mouse. That Nistor is the musician’s-drummer’s-drummer is plenty to motivate egress from the cozy pad on a cool and wet Wednesday night to an anonymous Hollywood dive bar to hear him play.

Money, Baby
You’ve likely driven past the place on Vine St. at Santa Monica Blvd. You may even have noticed it. A dull flat slab of a building-front with a miraculously in-tact 60s green blown-glass lamp hanging above the Vine St. entrance and that gloriously stark, monochrome bug-zapper of a neon protuberance that plainly reads, “COCKTAILS”.

Like all superficial facades and illuminated aliases in Hollywood, there is more (or less) than meets the eye, and it has an actual name: Three Clubs. Turns out it is one of the triumvirate (two surviving) of old-school Los Angeles bars forever asterisked by appearances in the movie Swingers. The old martini lounge has withstood its cycles of hipness and relevance and is reemerging as a happening and vibey performance venue.


Wood And Metal
Nistor’s drums were already occupying a sliver in the rear of the smallish stage when we entered the main room. The 28″ x 8″ DW satin veneer woofer as bass drum helped shrink his footprint and elevate his style. A 14″x14″ floor, forward-tilted snare, right-side crash and equivalent-diameter hats completed his set-up.

Glass And Rock
A glass of Redbreast in hand and agreeably seated, the mirror ball began its hypnotic rotation and the band—the drippingly named (and umlaut-ed) Boyz Sküle—ambled on. Class was in session. Essentially a trio, the group is led by guitarist/singer Brett Farkas, with Jonathan Ahrens on bass, and an evidently revolving drum throne. The overall effect evokes the scuplted pop-rock of Elvis Costello and The Attractions. Minus Elvis Costello, naturally. Ahrens’ bass lines are melodic, lifting and deep; and Farkas contributes driving, precise rhythm along with some of the Baddest guitar solos you’re likely to hear in any current rock band, let alone one playing beneath a mirror ball in south Hollywood on a Wednesday night. Tucked in the rear of the constricted stage, Nistor had plenty of room to stretch out.

The set matter-of-factly and inexplicably began with the familiar intro to Yes’ “Heart of the Sunrise.” Familiarity can breed contempt; it can also fluff a few ears at the beginning of an original rock show. The incongruous start aroused attention. Nistor’s drums were buttery and warm. Here comes the sun. In a way, this opening salvo was a fitting signal of things to come…

Composed and precise; loose and earthy. That is Nistor in a fragmented sentence. He maintains a strong and balanced sense of commitment to form and arrangement with improvisational daring and presence. His groove is propelling and relentless, yet relaxed and rooted—never manic. With traditional grip choked up high on his left stick and with full, round strokes, he approaches the instrument and music with sensitivity and strength. Nistor’s drumming reveals a hallmark of most powerful art (and happy souls): contridiction in harmony. Too heavy? OK, the dude rocks. And rolls.

Apparently, I’m not the first to notice.

Steve Krugman

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