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This is a tad offtopic but it is one of the things that led me to the love
of repetition in music, as I've been a groove drummer all of my life
and I'm proud to share this announcement with my family here at Loopers 

40 YEARS of DRUMMING   (12/15/1966 - 12/25/2006)

Exactly 40 years ago, on Christmas Day, I received a snare drum, sticks 
a practice pad
from my parents for Christmas and started a lifetime of drumming.

I was, frankly, really disappointed that they didn't get me a drum set (as 
I'd asked for one) ,
but I had been sent through 2 years of piano, a few months of cello and 5 
years of clarinet
and had dropped each instrument one by one. I know my parents were 
about whether I would last with this instrument or not. LOL, so much for 

For four years, we had lived in San Jose, longer than anyplace we had ever 
lived in the first
9 years of my life. My father had been a doctor in the United States Air 
Force and had been
through residency and medical school as well so we moved almost once a 
during my
early years. We live in California, Texas and Tripoli, Libya before we 
settled in San Jose
when I was in 3rd grade.  Consequently, I had never formed any lasting 
attachments with
friends until I met Bob Murphy a couple of months before this. He became 
first 'best friend'
that I'd ever had in my short life.

In a very white suburban school where the Beach Boys won popularity 
against the
Beatles and that's as funky as people's musical tastes got, Bob Murphy and 
confessed a love for Motown and James Brown (who I sadly, just learned 
passed away
today at the age of 73) and we had decided that we would ask our parents 
drums and
an electric guitar, respectively; start a band and become famous Rock and 
Roll stars.
We were dead serious.

His parents bought him a Fender Mustang guitar and a Fender Champ amp and 
my little snare drum kit.

I ran over to his house right away that afternoon, which was several 
away and we started
my first band, by learning how to play "Sonny" which was a light R&B hit 
the day. I just tapped
out the hi hat pattern on the rim, playing the two and the four on the 

We practiced every single day for almost three months, learning "Just Like 
Me" by Paul Revere
and the Raiders and other Brit pop rock and roll songs. I practically 
at Bob's house because
we practiced so much.

We were so into it that my mom prevailed upon my dad to go out and buy a 
$300 Stanford
(no name Japanese) drum set and I was off to the races.

Bob and I played together for three years in the "Concave Image", the name 
of our new hippy
band. I made bass drum artwork that had a big blue eye with the letters 
looking like they had
been projected by a , well, concave lens. A little later, David Handloff 
(who had true talent and
now owns More Music in Santa Cruz) joined our little band on Fender VI 
string bass. We had
no vocalist and everyone was to scared to sing much.

All of this happened right at the very inception of the hippy era. It was 
magical time...........
an intoxicating time..............a time when it felt like music could 
change the world.

I was just in love with music.

The band broke up two years later when Bob walked home one day, holding 
hands with my first
ever girlfriend, A Mormon girl whose name was Linda Brammer. She had 
up with me the
day before after 3 months of blissful and magical record listening, 
handholding and light kissing.
She broke up with me because I had tried to 'feel her up' (as we used to 
so innocently in those
days) at a Janis Joplin concert at the San Jose Fairgrounds. She called 
next day and broke it
off because we were 'getting too serious'.

Bob walked home holding hands with her the next day and I had my first 
romantic heartbreak
of my life. I stayed in my room after school for several days and cried 

As it turns out, three years later, Bob came to me and confessed that she 
dumped him the same
way and that he realized that he had lost the best friendship he had ever 
had because he wanted
to go out with her. For the last few months of high school, we laughed and
referred to her as 'The Spoiler' but the damage had been done and we were 
never close again.

He gave up music and became a Dentist and I haven't heard from him in 32 

I never really stopped drumming and I can remember every single 
part in the song
'Sonny' to this very day.

Happy Western New Years, everyone!

Rick Walker