The ABCs Of Things I Hate

A is for all the stuff that can go wrong when you play drums.

B is for blisters. It’s been a long time since I had one, but I haven’t forgotten.

C is for getting onstage cramps and still trying to keep playing.

D is for dented drumheads. There’s nothing worse than trying to pull tone out of a dead head.

E is for eating crap on the road. But how can you avoid it?

F is for freelancing. I like having a steady paycheck.

G is for gouging your knuckles on your hi-hat cymbals and bleeding all over your drums. Who hasn’t done that at least once?

H is for still having another 300 miles before you get to the motel.

I is for playing for a room full of drunken idiots.

J is for being jerked around for money by the club owner.

K is for when people call a bass drum a kick drum. I’ve never kicked a drum. Never will.

L is for linoleum floors. See M.

M is for bass drums and hi-hat stands that move all over the place on linoleum floors.

N is for never getting songwriting royalties. For the record, no one has ever written my drum part.

O is for opening a show with your band before the audience has even shown up.

P is for gear problems you can’t troubleshoot. Grin and bear it.

Q is for bandleaders who call three quick shuffles in a row. Give my left hand a break, dude!

R is for getting ripped off for recording royalties. I won’t name names.

S is for broken sticks. There’s no elegant way to deal with it onstage.

T is for not having the right tool to fix the problem.

U is for unimaginative soloing, whether it be from the guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, or me.

V is for playing to an empty venue.

W is for waiting to go onstage, on the road, to the next gig, and so on.

X is for xylophone sonatas, if there are such things. (Okay, so I had trouble thinking of an X.)

Y is for stifling a yawn onstage at 1:15 a.m. on a weeknight. It gets harder as you get older.

Z is for when the zipper gets stuck on your cymbal bag.