When I was 10 years old my father asked me and my brother if we wanted to take music lessons. I had taken piano lessons at 7 in elementary school. After piano lessons for one year at school I had to go up in front of a large audience and play Frere Jacques which was nerve racking but somehow I managed. After that year I lost interest in playing piano and stopped taking lessons.
In the meantime I got interested in playing the drums. My brother wanted to play the guitar but he was told he was too young to play Spanish guitar and that he would have to take Hawaiian guitar instead since his fingers would not be strong enough. He hated taking Hawaiian guitar and quit after a year. He looks back now and wishes he had stuck with it.
I took drum lessons but the method I took was military style and only with a snare drum, not a whole drum set. It seemed like I was never going to learn to play the styles of music I wanted to.
After a couple of years of this my father decided one day that he was going to buy me a drum set, so he did. We took the set to my drum teacher and my father asked him to tune them up. My teacher didn’t teach modern styles of playing and basically with the fact that I seemed to want to go a different direction I stopped taking lessons from him.
Then I found a different teacher that taught more modern styles on a drum set and I started taking lessons from him. It still wasn’t rock and roll but at least it broadened my knowledge and coordination on a drum set.
Meanwhile my new next door neighbor Rick, who was a couple of years older than me, decided we should form a band. I do not remember the details of how it all happened. He knew a couple of guys that wanted to join us.
We built a stage and painted the basement wall behind the stage at my house and set up the drums there. He knew Steve that played organ and Steve knew Brent who sang. Brent lived on my street for a few years previously so we already knew each other.
By a miracle I found out a couple of my grade 8 fellow students played guitar and bass respectively. We formed a band with Steve on organ, John G. on guitar, John A. on bass, and me on drums and called the band The Shadows of Time. Later we thought the name was too long and changed it to The Grape. Personally, I never like the name change…
In another post I will elaborate on how I found out about my schoolmates, or better said, how they discovered that I played drums and were eager to come over after school and see if we could play together.
We stayed together for the most part for about 3 years from grade 8 to grade 10 but finally broke up over issues with the band leader… Steve and I tried to form another band but it fell apart as the new bass player and new singer needed to get jobs to pay their bills and things were not coming together fast enough in the band.
In another post I will tell of my adventures with another band, namely 2125 AD that I was part of in Montreal, Canada.
At one point I was going to be part of another band in Argentina and I will tell that story in another post…