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Rotating Drummer

Updated on May 21, 2012

Adventures of a Drummer

One Thing Leads To Another

One New Years eve about nineteen ninety nine I was looking for musicians to start a new band. My old band had broken up due to illness with the bass player who was the lead singer. A serious illness that disabled him and could no longer play in a band. I spent months calling old musician friends trying to find leads or open up situations that draw musicians to forming a band. I have bookings and many contacts for new gigs that pay good money, if I can put together a band. Then I get a phone call early that afternoon that "Hollister" was needing a drummer and has a gig for that night.

I don't know Hollister but I can play for any gig with any musicians because I need money so I try calling Hollister but cannot get an answer to make that performance. Two days later Hollister calls and said he had a gig at a little place down the road for next Friday and he needs a drummer. I took the job with no rehearsal or song list and I went on a blind gig not knowing what was going to happen. This turned out to be a not so hot gig, with a three piece band, and they needed a drummer because the bass player was not good, but Hollister was playing like a pro and I was following him with skill and perfection. It was mostly drums and guitar on this gig, and Hollister and I hit it off and decided we need to put together a show.

Keeping the same bass player Hollister and I got together at his mothers house where he lives and set up rehearsal in the garage. Hollister was pressuring the bass player to play better now that they had a good drummer with gigs, but the bass player was struggling. I knew most of the songs chuck played and was able to do a good job on the ones I didn't know, and the bass player was still struggling, but the band was building a set list for the next gig.

Hollister was a true musician. He didn't have a job, lives with his mother and had an old guitar that was given to him as a child, but Hollister could play that guitar better than Jimmy Hendrix. This would be the "jump start" I needed. I found a guitar player who had a place to practice and knows other musicians. I had not played in Knoxville for a decade and don't know anyone. Most of the past decade I was playing music in a house band at a hotel lounge near Chattanooga and those musicians don't travel. Now I had to start over with new musicians in a town I didn't know.

Exciting to have a new challenge and goal to work towards, this may be the band that makes it! I immediately began making promo material and phone calls to my contacts on the marinas about my new band and bookings started coming in that spring. This was a different style band from my last band and a must to impress my contacts. A few gigs were pulled off before the bass player was let go in favor of another guitar and keyboard player. Hollister was tired of teaching bass and called Frank and Kenny to try out for the band. It was an instant hit, all four musicians played the first song from start to finish with no interruptions. This was a good time to add musicians because a big show was book in two weeks and the impact of the show set the Hyrus Moore band into motion for the next seven years.

I booked the shows, recorded the demos, set the stage, and carried the equipment. I also had to wake Hollister up from him beauty sleep to play a show. Once the band became popular with steady gigs, Hollister quit having interest in playing music and became dead weight. Kenny and I recorded a CD of original songs while Hollister slept. Kenny could play guitar just a great as Hollister but with a different style that made the two of them sound so well in a band. Sometimes he would wake up and record a guitar lead track to a song and go back to bed.

The band played for a couple of years before giggling became stale at the same old places, Hollister didn't want to play, and I took another drumming job for an oldies entertainer for the summer and left the Hyrus Moore band. Only to return after that tour was over because there was no openings for a drummer.

I had new enthusiasm coming back to this band and book more shows in new places and the Hyrus Moore band was touring again. It was the same situation after a year the band was getting stale and not getting return bookings. Competition is hard with many bands going for the low dollar to book a gig. I started looking for another drumming job and found an add in a musicians guide for a rock drummer. I got the audition and won the job, and both the new band and myself had gigs to finish before making the change in drummers. But as it always happens in this business situations change and once the other drummer found they had a replacement he quit not finishing the gigs. I was in a position to make a quick change and I made this the last show with Hyrus Moore and started Hanover Fist the next day. I got out of being a band leader and booking agent and started being a drummer concentrating on perfecting my skills and putting on a show.


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