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Drummers Centerfold

Legend to Legend
Your favorite artists get the inside beat
on some of their favorite artists!
Walfredo Reyes Sr - Beat goes on for percussionist

Walfredo Reyes Sr., a tall, thin man with olive skin and heavy-lidded eyes, moves with the elegance of a bygone era.

Standing in the kitchen of his Concord home next to his wife, Debbie Bellamy-Reyes, he cuts an impressive figure. It's a hot June day but the groundbreaking Cuban-born percussionist and drummer is thinking of an espresso, explaining that it's a Cuban tradition to have your coffee and then a cigar, "if you like such things."... GO to interview!

Mike Botts's Tour 2003 Road Log
Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Rehearsals

Well, after a very, very long travel day I finally made it to my hotel. All the band members' flights arrived at approximately the same time and although we had all worked together on many previous tours with Dan, this was a relatively new line-up. Long time Fogelberg veteran, Robert McEntee was doing guitar and keyboard parts as well as adding his vocal talents to the ensemble once again. Jim Photoglo, an extremely accomplished singer / songwriter in his own right, was taking over on electric bass and background vocals with that beautiful high tenor voice of his. And of course, the inimitable Michael 'Zoot' Hanna was on keyboards, which meant he would be covering everything from Grand piano and Hammond organ to complete orchestral string parts ... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - On to D.C.

After our initial rehearsals, we had a few days off at home while our equipment was being trucked across country to D.C. for the big production rehearsal. That's when it all really starts to come together. No more playing in a small room wearing headphones trying to imagine what it will all sound like on stage. We'll finally be in a concert hall with a full set of lights and a kick-ass sound system. It will also be our first chance to meet the guys who make all this stuff work, the crew. These guys are the backbone of the tour and deserve a lot of credit for what they do but I'll talk more about that later... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Now It Begins

After we touched down in D.C., I grabbed a cab at the airport and headed off to my hotel. The route to the hotel took us by most of the major monuments in Washington. And although I had seen them many times before, I had never seen them at night. The stark white lighting which illuminated the monuments made them stand out even more than usual against the night sky. It had rained earlier in the day and the city looked clean and beautiful but I was tired and hungry and anxious to get to the hotel. By the time I finally got into my room it was a little past 10:00 pm and, of course, the first thing I did was call room service. Remember, the only thing I had to eat on the flight coming in was that wonderful Sourdough / Turkey surprise and a Bag 'o' Chips which was all washed down with a couple of Gin & Tonics and that was quite a while ago. I needed real food!... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Raising the Bar

This is the day when reality comes up behind you and kicks you in the butt. You've got one day of production rehearsal to make everything work. After that, you'll have one shot a night to do all of it right! That's definitely raising the bar. Keep in mind this is the first time for the lighting and sound crew to run the set list of the show on stage with Dan and the band. And although these guys have most probably studied the set list and made some pre-production notes, I'm always amazed at how fast and efficient they are at getting everything together when they're under the pressure of a one day rehearsal... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Raising the Bar 2

It was time to take the stage, get behind our instruments and test our memory banks. The crew had done about everything they could without our presence and were ready to fine tune the lights and sound while we ran the set list. This was about as close as we would get to a real concert situation and we had to make it all work today because our first concert was the following night... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The Tour Begins

The first show was in Virginia, at the Wolftrap Filene center to be exact. I had played there so many times with various artists that, to me, it was just plain Wolftrap. It's a beautiful old amphitheater that provides a wonderful natural environment for a summer concert. I knew all the Dan fans would be out in force and they'd be ready to listen. Plus, the venue was just a short drive down the highway from our hotel in D.C. What better place to start the tour than right here! Of course, that short drive stuff would change rather quickly, as you'll see in later episodes... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The First Show

Yes, it was the first gig and it made me think of something a great L.A. session player told me when I was first getting started in the studios. He said, “Aspire to 100%, expect 90% and accept 80% and you'll be OK". Well it certainly applied to the situation at hand. Being that it was our first concert, I knew there might be a few glitches here and there but that's part of the charm of a live concert. There's a different energy level for live gigs. You can't go back and re-record or overdub -- it is what it is. There's just no way to replace that one take feeling of excitement that you get in front of a live audience... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The First Drive

Our first show went well. We had finished our encore, finished our "meet and greet" backstage and we were now getting ready to board the land yacht for our first real drive, albeit a relatively short one. It was only a couple of hundred miles. The crew had already loaded up the trucks and were well on their way. Yes, the electric circus was leaving. We were leaving the sublime natural serenity of Wolftrap for the ridiculous casino chaos of Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. I swear, every time I walk through the main floor casino I feel like I'm in the middle of a Fellini film, but that's another story... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Casino Chaos

All the food, drink and other distractions we enjoyed, while we cruised down the highway on our land yacht, did the trick and had the desired effect of dulling our senses enough to get to sleep shortly after our arrival at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. Adapting to these strange hours and new surroundings was to become second nature for all of us after awhile, but right now it was going to require some time and effort to get used to it... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The Chair

Since it was only about a 60-mile drive to our next gig in Philadelphia, we wisely stayed in Atlantic City for the night and hit the road the next day. That's when I discovered The Chair... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The Day Off

We'd done three concerts in a row and now, here we were in Philadelphia and it was our first day off, a beautiful day. Would we use this day in the city of brotherly love to sightsee or maybe to catch an afternoon movie followed by an early dinner? Of course not! We were going to do something really different. We were going to spend our first day off driving 539 miles to Dayton, Ohio. It was pretty clear that I was about to leave a firm and possibly permanent imprint of my butt in The Chair... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Hilton Head

I woke up at mid-morning to an absolutely beautiful day on Hilton Head Island. We were actually staying at a private resort in Harbor Town, which has two of the finest golf courses in the country. I mean, these are championship courses! So, on a day like this I figured I'd have a nice leisurely breakfast, for a change, and then I'd go to the clubhouse, rent a set of clubs and play 9 holes before the sound check that afternoon. After all, who knew when I'd get an opportunity like this again, right? Well, I was in for a big surprise... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Onward

It was around ten or eleven in the morning when we boarded the bus and bid, a not so fond, farewell to stormy Hilton Head and started rolling on to our next show down in Raleigh, NC. It was just a mere 328 miles down the highway, a virtual breeze compared to some of the drives coming up later. But after our show in Raleigh, we were going to have to travel another 404 miles to Atlanta, Georgia! It would be another night of trying to sleep in the bouncing bunk beds... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Goin' round in circles

Our show that night was at a place called the Westbury Music Fair. This is one of those 'theatre in the round' concepts that were so popular in the fifties and sixties for summer stock musicals like 'Oklahoma' and 'The Music Man.' Now, that may work fine for summer stock but it's not very good for concerts... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - A Real Day Off!

We'd been on the road for a little over two weeks. Sixteen days to be exact, but who's counting. Of course, it sometimes felt more like we'd been out for two months! I guess that's why I sometimes refer to a tour as a "Whale Expedition". But by now, we were all pretty well adjusted to life on the road. We were also getting more comfortable with the new set list and the band was getting tighter with every performance... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The 21 Day Theory

We were on our way to Madison, Wisconsin for our next concert and after I checked the date in my road bible, I realized that we had been on the road exactly three weeks. This was a significant event because it meant that we were approaching, if not at, the threshold of something I like to call the "21 day theory"... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Chicago and Rule #51

After our concert in Madison, we once again boarded our land yacht for a short overnight drive to Chicago. Our driver, 'Jeff the Invincible', figured that we would probably arrive at our hotel sometime around two in the morning. As usual, Jeff was right, we arrived in downtown Chicago at just about 2:00 a.m. and we were only a few blocks from our hotel when the strangest thing happened... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Memphis

After our rather soggy concert in Chicago we left for another long overnighter, this time to Memphis, Tennessee. I won't tell you how many miles it was from Chicago to Memphis but I will tell you we left Chicago just before midnight and got to our hotel in Memphis at approximately 8:00 a.m. the next morning... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Beale Street to Biloxi

Our long drive from Chicago to Memphis was only the halfway point in a very long journey. We still had another long drive all the way down to Biloxi, Mississippi for our next show. We had a great day off in Memphis but now it was time to leave the ducks, the barbecue and Beale Street behind and start driving through the heart of blues country. We had a concert that night and even with an early departure we would probably arrive just a few hours before show time... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Roadzilla Returns

Our next gig was in Houston, Texas and according to the road bible it was a 416 mile drive from Biloxi. Not only were we in for another long butt numbing ride, we also had a show that night with a 7:30 start time and no opening act. Oh, and the concert was going to be simulcast over the internet as well. This all meant that we absolutely had to leave very early that morning if we were going to make it to Houston with enough time for an extensive sound check. It also meant that we were going to be vulnerable to another attack by Roadzilla!... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The Big Drive

After our horrendous drive from Biloxi to Houston, it was nice to know that we had a relatively short distance to cover for our next gig in Dallas, a mere 240 miles. So this became a rather normal travel day, there would be enough time to get settled in our hotel and we'd still have plenty of time to get everything together at the sound check for the show that evening. How refreshing!... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The Big Drive Part 2

After our marathon drive through what seemed to be an endless desert, we were pretty happy to see the Tucson city limits since it meant we were just minutes away from our hotel and a stationary bed. We finally arrived around mid-day and after checking in, we immediately crashed in our rooms like three hibernating bears... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Greetings From The West

Our two-day cross-country adventure was fun but there was no doubt that it had taken its toll. The three of us were exhausted so naturally we slept in very, very late. Let me put it this way, lunch was my first meal of the day. Now, a cheeseburger may sound pretty weird for breakfast but if it's a good cheeseburger, what the hell. Besides, I love a good cholesterol burger occasionally even if it may be at an odd hour of the day... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Normal People

We'd completed our journey through the great Southwest, did our concert in Redwood City and now we had a real day off. However, our hotel, though very nice, was located in the epicenter of a sprawling Silicon Valley industrial park with nothing around except an occasional strip mall for entertainment. Not good. Boring, to say the least. I think it's road rule #25 that states; "There is always a one in three chance that your real day off will be somewhere where nothing is happening." This was a perfect example... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

It's a good thing that we had a chance to recharge our batteries with a day off because today was going to be a very full day indeed. We would be driving from Redwood City to Lake Tahoe and then doing a gig that night in the show room at Caesars Palace. Now the drive was only 215 miles but a major portion of it was climbing up into the Sierra Mountains on a beautifully scenic highway that ran along side the American river and it was like an uphill slalom in an Italian road rally. It was great for someone driving a Porsche or a Ferrari but very slow going for a forty-foot land yacht... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Konocti Harbor?

Dan was booked into Caesar's Palace for two nights and we had a couple of really great performances. The second day was a real pleasure. I could sleep in late, spend a leisurely afternoon outdoors and when it was time to go to sound check, I could just take an elevator instead of a tour bus to get there. With no traveling to do, it was a perfect combination of a day off and a concert night. It was also a chance to get some rest in preparation for what was coming next... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The Bus Hair Special

After our concert at Konocti, we re-boarded the bus and spent the next hour and a half careening through the night, down the coastal mountain range east toward interstate 5. Once we connected up to the interstate, we would make a right turn and head south to San Diego. Of course, this period of time was officially designated on the "Land Yacht Bar & Deli" as Happy Hour!... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Humphrey's

"Humphrey's" is a very unique venue and I always look forward to playing there. It's a typical sprawling California style two-story complex with walkways through the beautifully maintained gardens and a huge courtyard in the center which is turned into a concert venue every summer... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Rockin' at Humphrey's

There was an early morning fog over the marina, which eventually lifted to reveal the beginnings of another perfect day in San Diego, a great day for a concert. And after seeing last night's show with Taj Mahal and Sam Moore, we were especially anxious to get back in the groove and take our turn on stage. We'd been on the road for a while now and the band was as tight as a Swiss wristwatch and ready to rock... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The Band With One Brain

After the show we did at Humphreys, I figured we were ready to knock the socks off of the Fogelberg fans in L.A. And I was right! We had now become "The Band With One Brain", a formidable musical monster. We had achieved that rare level of polish and professionalism that we all strived for as a musical ensemble. We were thinking and playing like one fluid, intuitive musical entity. We were... a BAND!... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Band On The Run

So once again, there we were careening through the night, waving goodbye to the city lights of L.A. while unwinding with our respective cocktails and speeding on to Grand Junction, Colorado. Why Grand Junction? Because the distance to our final destination, which was Denver, was so far away that they didn't even print the mileage in our itineraries, probably for fear of a rebellion... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 -

We knew we still had a long drive ahead of us so we all agreed it would be best to leave Grand Junction fairly early. We had a concert in Denver that evening and getting there would require another long twisting ride through the mountains in the land yacht, this time over the Rocky Mountains, through the ski resort of Vail and then down the other side to the "Mile High City" of Denver... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - The Last Day

After spending the night in Denver, we started out early for a rather lengthy drive to our next and last concert of the tour, in Durango, Colorado! To be more specific, the concert was actually going to be at a place just outside Durango called the Echo Basin Ranch and getting there was going to be an adventure in itself. This place was so remote that we did the last few miles on a two-lane dirt and gravel road, and as you can probably tell by now, it was an outdoor venue, a kind of mini, no, make that a micro Woodstock. Not my favorite kind of gig from an acoustic standpoint but what the hell... GO to interview!

Fogelberg Tour 2003 - Epilogue

When I started this road journal, I had no idea how involved it would eventually become or how many lives would be touched and entertained by it. It was supposed to be just a few short installments but it slowly grew into a lengthy piece of personal literature that consumed many more hours than I had originally intended. It just seemed to grow exponentially -- the more I wrote the bigger it got. The installments increased in number and also in length as my memory banks began to empty on to the pages. Each time I started on a new chapter, more memories would come flooding into my mind and more paragraphs would be necessarily added to each successive installment... GO to interview!

Steve Smith's DVD Diary

The making of Steve Smith: Drumset Technique and History of the U.S. Beat.

The original idea for this educational DVD started around 1995 when my playing started to take on a new ease and my thoughts about being a U.S. Ethnic Drummer started to mature. I was also inspired to work on a new educational project by all the drummers that attended my gigs and clinics and for years have being asking me to put out a new video on hand and foot technique... GO to interview!

Sailing the seas with Rod Bland and some friends

This past May, I was a part of the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage Cruise 2001 as part of the Bobby Blue Bland Orchestra. The cruise itself was short for us, as we did only three days as well as Al Jarreau, whom we shared a stage with, and Isaac Hayes and Boyz II Men. So after a lot of hateful IM's from Pam, I decided to finally sit down and try to recall the events of the cruise. So here we go, and keep in mind, I haven't kept a journal whatsoever since I have been blessed to be able to play drums. So let's see what the Rodd can come up with, shall we??... GO to interview!

Steve Luongo
Steve Luongo and Justin Kreutzmann visited John's (Entwistle) estate to film new footage for a "rockumentary" concerning John's career up to and including his preparations for the upcoming US tour.

Thursday the 18th [May 18, 2000] started like any other day except for the fact that I was getting ready to fly to England. Why? To begin shooting a documentary on my friend, business partner and of course the bass guitarist of the millennium.... John Entwistle... GO to interview!

Steve Luongo
This is the complete journal from the Left For Live mix sessions in England

Day 1

I have a 10:55 PM flight from JFK this evening and I am packed on time for once. We had been out running errands and when I returned home there is a message from the airline saying that my flight was canceled. On one hand it's a bummer because I need all the time I can get to mix and master this project with John (Entwistle) and Bobby. However leaving home has always been the hardest part of the business for me so now I get 1 more night and day with my family. John and I decided months ago about which songs we were going to use and the record company agreed before we signed the contract. I feel that we picked the best material to represent this band. We have chosen to keep the track list private for now but I can say that the cross section of songs should provide something for everyone... GO to interview!


Chris DeRosa

"You want me!.... To do what?...... With who: )"

Few people would dispute the fact that one of the queens of rock & roll would have to be Debbie Harry, so when the phone rang as it does most times when someone wants to hire me to play drums for them the voice on the other end says, "Are you available for these dates ? xx/xx/xx" sure... and xx/xx/xx?" This one i'm not sure about.... VALENTINES DAY! (sH!t... My girlfriend's going to kill me!) This one I'll definitely have to get back to you about. By the way who is it with anyway? Oh!.. (short pause) Deborah Harry and Chris Stien... Yeah, I think I can make ALL those dates: ) ya' got anymore?... GO to interview!


Mark Schulman

Here is a little fun story about my auditioning for and getting the Cher audition

OK, it's the end of April of this year and my wife, Kelly and I have just taken on a new singer, Glenn Sakazian for whom we are producing and shopping a record deal under our new production company, Jammin Planet Inc. We've got people in our office till all hours of the night, and we are incredibly busy. Of course this is the time that I get called for the Cher audition- I think it was on a Tuesday. I was scheduled to audition on Friday... GO to interview!


Dony Wynn takes Jose' Rossy, On-line!

Jose' is currently out on a US tour with Patti LaBelle and Dony is out with Brooks and Dunn live on an arena tour until the end of this year.

Well, well, well........,

Has been a most interesting time editing this piece. I have purposely left the "look" of the piece in the way it was transmitted, ie: instant message, e-mail, chat room, etc., etc. Given this is an online project it will be true to form to leave it in the multimedia vein. Much cooler this way... GO to interview!


El Negro hooks up with
Robby Ameen and Ralph Irizarry

El Negro is at Gonzalez y Gonzalez, in Greenwich Village, New York, New York. Tonight, El Negro talks with great friend and peer, Robby Ameen. Currently working with Paul Simon in his upcoming Broadway play, Robby is best known for his innovative work with Dave Valentin and Ruben Blades. His "Sure, there's room for me in there!" approach, creating parts for full drumset in Latin music, introduced a new style of drumming now known as Latin-Funk. Also, Ralph Irizarry, timbale player with Ruben Blades, stops by the table to make a few comments... GO to interview!


Drummer to Drummer Interviews
Steven Scott Fyfe talks with Ian Paice

S.S.F.: How does being known as a "legendary rock drummer/artist" make you feel?

I.P.: It's not something you think about. At the time when my career started, music was very open and free and that was an opportunity and a chance for musicians to actually give them a way of building their individuality... Go to interview!

Steven Scott Fyfe talks with Joey Kramer

S.S.F.: You've given so much of your talent to the world and influenced many drummers, how would you define your own approach to drumming?

J.K.: Less is more. I had some great influences too growing up, Dino Denelly, Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham, Clive Bunker. I come from a rhythm and blues background. I play hard, but I like to play with feeling... Go to interview!

Steven Scott Fyfe talks with Alan White

S.S.F. So many bands come and go, what would you say made the difference in the success and longevity of "Yes"?

A.W. We do pay a lot of attention not only musically but also sonically. I would say that basically Yes has always been keen and paid attention to details. I spend many hours in the studio getting exactly the right drum sound for the right song... Go to interview!

Steven Scott Fyfe talks with Gary Novak

S.S.F. How did you adjust playing with Alanis after being with jazz great Chick Corea for several years?

G.N. Everytime I get involved in a new kind of music style, I immerse myself in that genre to change my headspace. You just have to change gears. With this type of music, it's not about improvisation but rather about finding the right part to support either a dark vocal , a happy or dramatic one... Go to interview!