1985 - Buddy Rich                                   Home

                                  Once Known As the World's Greatest Drummer

    Around 1985 or so I was watching the local TV late night talk show. The host had a local insurance salesman on (Bryan) whom I was acquainted with and who also played the organ and was demonstrating the latest organ model. I had been into drums off and on throughout my life and I became so frustrated that I called in and the first thing I said when I came on the air was "Can you play a drum solo on that thing?" I had heard that the new ones could do that. He said sure and pushed a button and played a short drum solo which sounded pretty good.

One of the reasons it sounded so good was probably because of the contrast to the organ music that I had been hearing for 20 minutes. When it finished the host asked me what I thought. I said "It's no Gene Krupa, but not bad." That got a laugh out of both of them and then Bryan said that actually it was Gene Krupa and that it was from a song that was later put into a movie that had just played on American Movie Classics a couple of weeks ago.

I can't remember the name or year of the movie now. I said "Oh Yeah?" I had watched the movie and told him so. I told him that when I was a kid just starting to play drums the older people I knew would tease me about being another Gene Krupa. The host then asked me if I had ever heard of Buddy Rich. I said "Oh Yeah. I've got one of his albums - Stick It!"

That was about it, but about six weeks later my brother Rick called me and asked me if I was going to see Buddy Rich play at a bar in Naples. He was playing that night. I was so into computers and my business that I wasn't even aware of it even though the bar in Naples where he was playing was one I had been frequenting lately to see bands. I wish I would have went but I didn't.

I had gotten tired of going to watch bands by myself and told myself I had too much computer work to do before the next day. It's something I regret deeply till this day. I wish I could have gotten up close and watched Buddy play that night. He died in 87 and I realized that that must have been one of his last concerts and I'm sure my talk on that TV show must have had something to do with his coming to Naples to play.