Saw My Fair Lady on Broadway from the wings on stage. Met Rex Harrison in his dressing room.
Heard the Dave Brubeck Quartet for the first time in concert and met Joe Morello after the show. Joe demonstrated his amazing one hand roll on the palm of my hand in front of a large crowd of fans.
Heard the legendary drummer Papa Jo Jones playing with a trio in a small club in Aspen, Colorado. After the set I introduced myself and asked him if he would sit with us at our table, which he did! I’ll never forget his amazing personality, phenomenal brushwork and his mesmerizing performing style.
Met John D’earth at the Cambridge School of Weston. We became instant friends and jammed together the very first day we met. We have been playing together ever since that day, 44 years ago and counting!
Heard Miles Davis for the first time with his quintet with Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock at the jazz club “Lenny’s on The Turnpike” just outside of Boston. Heard Duke Ellington and his orchestra at the Globe Jazz Festival in Boston.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with family at Machu Picchu, Peru with only 10 other tourists at the ruins and hotel. We had this magical place to ourselves, which is unimaginable today!
Joined the Fire and Ice band in Boston with John D’earth and Don Grolnick. Opened up for the Allman Brothers at a “Be In” on Cambridge Common. The gig was filmed by my father.
Heard Miles at the Jazz Workshop in Boston with Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea and Dave Holland. Heard Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison at the Jazz Workshop in Boston and heard McCoy Tyner at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Heard Miles again at the Jazz Workshop with Jack DeJohnette on drums, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea and Dave Holland. I met Dave and Chick for the first time. Dave gave me his phone number in NYC and said call anytime, which I did when I moved to Manhattan later that year.
Heard Tony Williams “Lifetime” in Boston at one of his first gigs with his own band, with John McLaughlin and Larry Young. To this day this was the most amazing jazz fusion drumming I’ve ever heard!
Became friends with Dave Holland and Chick Corea who introduced me to Macrobiotics and a vegetarian diet. I haven’t eaten red meat since then.
Went to the club La Boheme on 62nd St. and Broadway to hear a quartet with Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Dave Liebman and Pete LaRocca on drums. In the break Chick and Dave asked me if I wanted to ride with them to pick up a check from another gig. I said “sure.” Next thing I knew we were parked in front of Miles Davis’s home on 77th St. We all went in and Chick introduced me to Miles. After what seemed like a very long handshake he looked at me and said, “You want some ice cream?”! I would hear and talk with Miles again in NYC throughout the 70’s. It was always special and he was always friendly to me.
Met Billy Cobham through my friends Michael and Randy Brecker when he was playing with Dreams. We met one day at Frank Ippolito’s Drum Shop and Billy sold me a set of Zildjian hi-hat cymbals that he had been playing. I love those cymbals and still play them today.
Heard the last set of a remarkable band with Kenny Dorham, Sam Jones, Billy Higgins and Cedar Walton in a small club on 1st Ave.
Jan Hammer came over to my loft on 13th street and played a reel to reel recording of the first session of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Ralph Towner, Don Grolnick and myself listened in utter amazement to “The Inner Mounting Flame,” one of the most celebrated breakthrough recordings of the 1970’s. The album had not yet been released.
Heard Mahavishnu Orchestra with Billy Cobham on drums at one of their first shows in NYC at the Gaslight on Bleeker St. with my father. We had front row seats in this small club and were completely blown away by Billy! He was just so powerful and awesome. We would never forget that show.
Met Dave Liebman and became a member of Free Life Communication, a musicians collective which became an integral part of the fertile New York loft jazz scene in the early 1970s and was funded by The New York State Council of the Arts and the Space for Innovative Development.
Michael Brecker was the only other musician to have a key to my loft. Mike would come over often to practice and play duos with me. We had some tremendous workouts!
Met Bob Moses and became friends. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s I would hang out with Bob and take informal lessons. He is one of my greatest musical influences.
While hanging out at Frank Ippolito’s Drum Shop on 50th St and 8 the Ave. I met Tony Williams who accepted me as a student. Being given the opportunity to study with perhaps the greatest drummer of all time changed my life. During the six months of lessons I had with Tony I learned what it really meant to practice and to truly commit myself to music.
Dave Liebman invited me to a rehearsal with Elvin Jones. Elvin welcomed me to the rehearsal and asked me to go down to the liquor store and buy him a pint of whiskey. From then on and for the next fifteen years I became friends with Elvin and his wife Keiko. Whenever Elvin played at the Village Vanguard I was on the guest list! After a show one night Elvin gave me his bass drum pedal. I played on it for many years and I still have it in my studio.
Elvin came over to my loft. We had two drum sets set up and we jammed with Michael Brecker and Don Grolnick.
Heard Bob Marley and the Wailers on their first US tour opening up for Bruce Springsteen at Max’s Kansas City, NYC. (A club I would later play in with the Count’s Rock Band featuring saxophonist Steve Marcus and guitarist Steve Kahn). This was a one night only show and the club was packed. I was totally blown away! Hearing Bob Marley and the Wailers and Reggae for the very first time was amazing and unforgettable. You can still read a review of this show here.
While driving out of NYC to Boston with Cosmology to open up for Stan Getz for a week at the Jazz Workshop we decided to drive by Miles Davis’s house to show the band where he lived. When we drove by Miles was standing outside drinking a beer and invited us all in! The traffic started to back up and we had to keep moving. That was probably a good thing because we would most likely have been late to the gig.