10th Annual Drummerfest Hits Wisconsin Oct. 23
(Left) In case you were wondering, Terry Bozzio is the man!
Mark your calendar for October 23, because if you’re anywhere in the vicinity of Wisconsin you won’t want to miss the tenth annual Drummerfest hosted by Cascio Interstate Music. This year the historic music retailer will present an impressive lineup of talent, including Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick), Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa/Missing Persons), Marvin McQuitty (Stevie Wonder/Various Contemporary Gospel Artists) and Dom Famularo (Clinician/Educator). You can also expect prize giveaways, the “Fastest Hands Contest,” food and beverages, photo and autograph opportunities, and a special exhiubit of “one-of-a-kind” Ludwig prototype and vintage snare drums. But here’s the best part – the whole day of drumming festivities is free of charge! Can’t beat that price!
Max Weinberg Reveals Open Heart Surgery
By Andy Doerschuk Published October 7, 2010Today we learned that there was more behind Max Weinberg’s decision to step down as Conan O’Brien’s sidekick and bandleader when the comedian moves his talk show to TBS in November. During an interview with fancast.com, Weinberg revealed that he had open-heart surgery to repair a valve. “On Feb. 8, I came to the end of a 26-year watchful, waiting odyssey that culminated in 12 hours of massively invasive open-heart surgery," Weinberg told the website. "Two years ago, it became life-threatening and I had to do something about it sooner or later. Did it play into my decision to remain where I am? Maybe. I mean I had three months of very difficult recovery.” He added, “I've never felt better."
Portnoy/LaBrie Feud Explodes Online
By Andy Doerschuk Published October 7, 2010
The polite rapport was too good to be true. Egos finally clashed between departed Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and his former lead singer James LaBrie yesterday when references to LaBrie’s upcoming solo tour were removed from the drummer’s website. After a couple Portnoy fans inquired about the sudden disappearance, the drummer confirmed he personally took them down. “I’m afraid your eyes are not playing tricks on you,” he replied. “I was willing to ignore that the guy insisted all the stuff relating to me be removed from DreamTheater.net. But then, reading the headline with James insensitively claiming they’re not sad about by departure, I cannot in happy standing promote his solo tour.”
Portnoy was referring to a recent comment LaBrie made during an interview that suggested that neither he nor the other Dream Theater members were sorry about the drummer’s decision to quit the band: “It’s very positive. I can guarantee you none of us are down.” But after Portnoy expressed his disappointment, LaBrie released yet another statement: “It seems there is a misunderstanding … Initially I was extremely upset, down and shocked. But one needs to work through these emotions in order to arrive at a more positive and optimistic place. That is where I am now — and was when the interview took place.”
Vater Invades Boston On October 18
By Andy Doerschuk Published October 5, 2010
(Left) Will Hunt will be there. Will you?
Boston drummers are in for a treat. On October 18 the venerable beantown music store, Daddy’s Junky Music, will host Vater Day. From 12:00—6:00 p.m. representatives and endorsers of the Boston-based stick company will ascend upon the store to conduct product demonstrations, unveil prototypes slated for release in 2011, and relate the long history of the company. Prices for Vater sticks will be reduced throughout the day, as select lucky attendees win company swag and merchandise. In the meantime, you can expect to press the flesh with such top-flight drummers as Will Hunt, Charles Hayes, Kevin Figg, Kim Plainfield, Yoron Isreal, Dave DiCenso, and Ron Savage. Call 617-247-0909 for more details.
Lordi Fires Unmasked Drummer
By Andy Doerschuk Published October 5, 2010
There are many ways to get fired from a band, but today’s news about Lordi’s drummer was a first. Kita (whose real name is Sampsa Astala) got sacked after auditioning to represent Finland in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest with another band, Stala & Co. However, his dismissal apparently had nothing to do with his dallying in an outside project. Instead, he got the boot for auditioning unmasked. For those unfamiliar with the band, Lordi is an operatic metal outfit that appears only fully costumed in elaborate monster guises, and actually won the Eurovision contest in 2006 for their song “Hard Rock Hallelujah.” The band released the following statement: “It is our unfortunate task to inform that Kita is no longer a member of Lordi. Kita has made a decision to pursue his own career publicly as himself, without his alter ego Kita. This is in direct conflict with one of the cornerstones of Lordi's image. Therefore it is not possible for him to continue as a member of the band anymore. Lordi will continue as always, masked and costumed, consisting of monster personas. Also, the upcoming tour will happen as planned. We thank Kita for the years he has been an important part of the band and our successes and wish him all the best in his future.”