Thanks for the music!

When I was in 6th grade, my 5th and 6th grade teacher, Mr. Murray, told me , in the presence of my parents, that I had a lot of IOU’s. Debts to people who gave their time and energy to help me in school and in life in general. That list keeps getting longer and longer and I’ll never be able to pay it back. But I can say thank you and then pay it all forward when opportunity arises. So here’s short list of “Thank You’s” to start with:

aug-12-09(note. at this point, I have had to edit this a few times. A few more people I thought it appropriate to mention in this entry. But keep in mind that this is a very specific music list. My life is more than just music. And some of these mentioned here also belong elsewhere. So there will certainly be many more expressions of gratitude to be read.)

Today I was thinking about all the people in my life who in some way influenced me along the way as I developed as a musician and helped me at some significant point in my career. I figured I’d start with those people:

Mom and dad who had the BOMB record collections. Because of that I can play music that didn’t even get airplay anymore by the time I was born. I’ve been on a number of gigs where I had to play songs I’d NEVER played before and sometimes hadn’t heard since childhood. I can recall thinking “MAN! I wish Pop could hear me playing this song right now” and other band members being surprised at how many songs I knew. Aside from that, they’re mom and pop. They do and have always done EVERYTHING they knew to do to make sure I shot straight.

Grampa Norris- Who introduced me to Chuck Berry’s music and country music.

Aunt Dot- who let me beat up her pots and pans until they were all beaten up from the dents! lol She still talks about that pot that she saved under her sink.

Mike Stovall (my homie from Hts. High who turned me on to a TON of music. Thanks Mike)

Sean Skeete and Victor Demelto (these two guys are my all time favorite shed buddies. I could practice with them without the typical petty competitive thing that a lot of drummers get into. Victor was Jr. High School and I met Sean after I graduated from Berklee. Learned a lot from those sessions whenever they happened)

Martin Van Blockson (super talented saxophonist/singer/songwriter/producer and my friend. I first learned how to create tracks on my own through his coaching and encouragement on his gear because I didn’t have my own. lol)

These are roughly in order of their appearance in my life. A few are famous. Most are not. A few have passed on. But they ALL deserve my gratitude. But they’re alive in me and others who have been been in their circle of influence:
Jimmy Landers
Mrs. Blackmon
Mrs. Brigado
Pam Sharp
Mr. Canfield
Mrs. Tomberg
Neal Gould
Rasoul Jackson
Robert Bergantino
James Bain
Roger Clary
William Tarter
Thomas Owens
Dave Brewer
jim Lightman
Lenny Anderson
Leon Stevenson
Bruce Golden
Bruce Collie
Tommy Campbell
John Ramsey
Dean Anderson
Herman Johnson
Rob Rose
Hal Crook
Jackie Beard
Tony Germain
Greg Badolato
Denton “Rico” Tyler
Greg McPhearson
Ed Kaspik
Motoaki Makino
Walter Beasley (one of my first gigs after college. Walter is also responsible for getting me on the Brian McKnight gig back in the day)
Lalah Hathaway (Lalah gave me my first professional touring opportunity)
Ron Savage
John Hazilla
Skip Hadden
Ralph Peterson
Dan Whitner
Brother Dennis Slaughter
Jonathan Singleton
Andrew Braxton
Frank Wilson
Dom Famularro
Frank McComb
Nate Morton
Darrell Diaz More on Darrell later.
Darrell Alston These last four guys were the FIRST people to put me to work in LA after I moved. Those gigs were crucial to my survival in more ways than one.
Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. – I was a fan of their music as a duo and with the Fifth Dimension and now I play with them.

Posted in blog on August 11th, 2009 - Tags: , , ,

4 Responses to “Thanks for the music!”

  1. Holly Spencer-Trueman says:

    I just remember you doing “we are the champions” in 7th grade Mrs Hershey’s class (pulled that name outta my….)while the rest of us banged on desks and sang with you!!

    You amaze me, my friend!

  2. Stove says:

    Dave-very humbling. Truly God only knows how far our influence reaches. You have seen the world, played with cats that I only have been able to listen to, and yet you mention me in this space…I can only say that I’m truly honored and appreciate our friendship. Love ya’ bro!

  3. yP says:

    Mike. The fact of the matter is had it not been for you and others I mentioned I wouldn’t have been able to do any of that stuff. Everywhere I go , I bring you with me. Because you exist at my very foundation.

  4. yP says:

    WOW! Mrs. Hirsch!!! Yeah, any other teacher wouldv’e assigned me detention! lol Mrs. Hirsch was cool!

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