Kevin – The “Ringo” Lad of the BeatLads
Imagine, if you will, a small child banging happily on a toy drum, refusing every effort to be silenced. This image is helpful in understanding my musical beginnings: I’ve never really outgrown this basic impulse. Since I was a young child, I have loved all things associated with drums and drumming. As an elementary school student, I eagerly played the drums in the school band. In high school, I became proficient in this skill, becoming the Drum Captain of my drum line. Of course, my interests were also in playing in a group or combo setting. My first drum set was a white Premier 4 piece set with a chrome snare, and, as always, Zildjian cymbals. (I would have gotten Ludwig Black Oyster Pearl had it been my choice, but this very good set was a nice surprise Christmas present from my parents) I have played in a variety of settings: rock, jazz, and contemporary Christian.
Of course, my passion for playing the drums cannot be separated from my love of The Beatles, and my musical mentor, Ringo Starr. I remember the day in the late 60’s when my brother came home from a friend’s house with a Beatles Album (Rubber Soul), and nothing has been the same since. Lawton and I began collecting all things Beatles. We collected every album, every item we could get our hands on; and I memorized every drum line from each song. More than any person, Ringo has been my “teacher” in playing the drums.
As the years moved on, other musical and personal interests have come and gone. (I play the guitar as much as the drums now.) For years, I let my drumming skills lay dormant as I pursued other agendas, academic and professional. However, the seed planted long ago was given the opportunity to sprout and bloom again. My brother, and our friend Jamie Glass began exploring the idea of doing a Beatles Tribute. At first, I was more of a spectator observing the fun they were having. But as the opportunity developed, I joined in, and have fully embraced this new excellent hobby. I now have put together a vintage 60’s Ludwig set, with Black Oyster Pearl wrap, an almost exact copy of Ringo’s 1965 drum set. To be able to play the drums again, especially playing Ringo, playing the Beatles songs I learned all those years ago, is one of the great joys of my life.