STORIES and MEMORIES
BY GLENN EVANS
It’s 2018 November I am recovering from open heart surgery and open lung surgery at this time. I have started writing a book about following a set of drums halfway around the world and the experiences that go along with it. Hopefully I will finish this book. Hopefully I will have a successful recovery.
This page is not from the book it was started almost 20 years ago of just random memories and experiences that came along in my life. I will add more to this page and some of the stories may not appear in my book. And a life of over 50 years of drumming and living an unconventional one I have many stories to tell. I do hope you enjoy reading these experiences and adventurous of my life and times.
So here we go.
I saw the BLUES IMAGE band opening for Iron Butterfly and Jimi Hendrix at the Carousel Theater Tent in Framingham Massachusetts about 1969. I later saw Hendrix at the Boston Garden just before his death. I was hooked on the Blues Image band after that, buying their first album the next day. I'll never forget the double drums of Joe LaLa and Manny Bertemanti, the guitarist was running back and forth from his amp to his microphone like a madman. This guitarist is Mike Pinera. Mike later joined that band he was opening for that night, Iron Butterfly. Mike Pinera was in town with the "classic rock all-stars" with Rare Earth's singing drummer doing their classic hits like "get ready & ride captain ride". I had previously played drums for Ray Sawyer's DR. HOOK and was at the festival to see Ray and say hello. A friend introduced me to Mike and I told him of his great influence on me and invited him to the jam that night I was hosting at the Ringside Café and he showed and he played. I was freaking when I got to play Pinera's great" Ride captain ride" with him and other blues image tunes. Seems small but this was a very big deal for me to meet Mike, more so than other bigg wiggs I have met. Mike Pinera came to see me at the jam a few more times that winter and we played some rock and roll. A very gracious, humble approachable gentleman is Mr. Pinera, not to mention his wild guitar stylings. Great fun was had and great music was made before he returned to California. Thank you Mike Pinera.
My step dad Bob used to take me and my brother with mom to see the great BUDDY RICH at LENNY'S ON THE TURNPIKE on route 1 in Peabody Massachusetts around 1972. Buddy's "Mercy mercy" album was his current release and chart catalog. We would stay for both shows at my insistence and my parents approval. A two drink minimum per person and some roast beef sandwiches got expensive, oblivious to me at about 16 years old. Ya' know now, later in life I really appreciate what my step father did for me musically and the interest he took in my drumming life until his untimely death of cancer at 52 in 1986. We attended the shows at Lenny's for a few years when Buddy was in Boston.
Buddy was unbelievable! "Channel One Suite" drum solo, "West Side Story" drum solo, Art Pepper and Don Menza on saxophones, simply unbelievable! I wore out a couple of those albums studying those drums. I study all Buddy Rich recordings to this day. He brought chills to me during solos many times and played things I am only now understanding better or hearing differently coming from a different place now. Seeing Buddy Rich live was like a life changing, attitude adjusting, ambition building, humbling and unforgettable positive experience. I have NEVER heard a better drum player, NEVER. He would open each set with a little stand up comedy Don Rickles style, he was a wise ass for sure. Buddy will always be "the worlds greatest drummer".
I was reading the Boston Phoenix Weekly want ads and saw an ad for a drummer wanted apply in person in New York City, a Madison Avenue address if I can recall. I was taking a girlfriend for a photo session at Pat Hills in Manhattan for Playboy in a week, so I scheduled an appointment for an interview. After the shoot we took a cab to this skyscraper and went up a thousand floors and when the elevator door opened there was Paul Stanley from KISS and a couple three ladies. They were all kinda sitting on the receptionists desk laughing when the door opened, I introduced myself and my lady friend and was escorted down a hallway to a conference room with only a large table and chairs, huge six foot tall, one foot wide speakers and a glassed in 8 foot box with 1 quarter scale KISS marionettes hanging inside. I had seen these scale replica figures in a rock magazine before. they were awesome in person. After a few minutes some blur of a dude came in and I played some Cap'n Swing stuff for them which they liked a lot. Then they played this strange tune by this dude Billy idol. Kiss's management company also handled Parliament and Idol. I never heard anything quite like this tune before. This song was "White Wedding". The management guy then asked me to send him a drum solo on cassette. I said I would. I never did. This is my story and I'm stickin to it....
FEB 28 2003
One of my proudest accomplishments is my relation to Marty Richards the great Boston drummer. I was Marty's early drum instructor. We met when he was about seven years old and I was about 16, teaching at a store in Marlboro or maybe he came to the house, I can't be sure on that but I remember teaching him how to hold his sticks and the basics of drumming. He was a natural talent. It is always easy to teach a natural. Marty's dad attended every lesson so he was a good non practicing drum guy as well. Marty was so young he could barely touch the pedals. He went on to Berklee School and toured and recorded with Gary Burton, Duke Robillard, "SAX" Gordon Beedle J.Giels,Joe Perry just to name a few. In 1999 we were reunited more than 25 years later when he asked me to tag along to a recital at the Berklee performance center. I sat backstage right, behind the curtain right next to Marty playing his 1960's era Gretch jazz outfit. He was just incredible on brushes and I thankfully finally got a lesson back that day because I was transfixed on every note he played. I felt proud and humbled at the same time. I asked him later if I had done a good job as his teacher and had his other instructors later on ever told him he was taught wrong. He genuinely said "no" and I believed him and I felt 10 feet tall and bullet proof. Marty is also a car guy like myself so I enjoyed the ride into Boston in his classic Chevy SS. He offered to drive me to Logan after my yearly Sunny down Snuff concert in a few days. When I got dropped at his house he took me downstairs and he had set up two classic drum sets. The Ludwig and Gretch drums gave us an old time drum battle, face to face, I will never forget this moment as long as I live and hope to do it again soon. A true gentleman and drum scholar is Marty Richards.
March 6 2003
I had my suspicions and that weird feeling that you get from many years of experience dealing with the band biz. Sometimes things don't go right. I just got back from expecting to play for the blues legend Eddie Kirkland, but he is a no show. I got the call 10 days ago that he was coming through town and Mondo Bizzarro and I were called. We have done this before. The last time was with Johnny "Clyde" Copeland with John Street also on the piano at the Ringside Café in St. Petersburg before he passed on. You can depend on us, Mondo and I, that's why we get the call. Well we met at a traffic light on the way to the gig and did our typical "howya dooin" routine. When we got to the club a few miles down beer can beach for setup we are informed that Eddie will not be showing up. Ok, what's up with that? Why are we the last to know? The actual backup musicians. No respect. None. Mondo even said it outright " I'm livid". Me I was actually relieved. I'm too old for this shit. I think this as the guy we are supposed to back up this night is in his early eighties. So I say "Oh well, I'm just glad it was a 10 minute ride from my house". Such is the life of a drumstooge. Tomorrow another on call fill-in gig for me. I got the blues dues blues, dues, blues....DUES! Often I think that my dues must be paid up by now. What does it really take. What "are" the dues. Why not a standard rate of dues paying anyway? I figure I'm about paid up by now. Figuratively speaking and excluding union dues. Naturally nobody knows the answer to that question. I'm a jobber. I play for anyone, almost. My reputation in the loop is good enough to keep me gigging regularly. Some gigs are routine, some gigs suck big time and some gigs are really wonderful. I try to make the best of most situations on gigs. I am professional. I am drumstooge....
March 10 2003
I'll never forget a very embarrassing experience I had while working at a Rolls Royce dealership in Natick Massachusetts. It was only embarrassing to me, Nobody else knew about it. It was about 1978 and I was the lot man and driver for Foreign Motors West. I drove everyone's car as they dropped them off for service. I would ride to work with that owner, then drive it back to the shop and vice versa, the longest way possible. I drove all these high dollar cars all over New England, stopping at friends houses and giving them short cruises in like, the owner of Scandinavian Designs Silver Cloud with fur floor mats. Well I would see celebrities come in to get their cars worked on as I was washing cars and emptying the barrels. Aerosmith's Tom Hamilton was a regular with his green Porsche. One day I noticed a real familiar looking dude out of the corner of my eye. It was Ric Ocasek! Oh man! I could feel a rush come over me. A chill. Did he see me? No I don't think so. I turned away and hustled the dolly with the barrels out the door on the other side of the shop. I sat out side behind the dumpster until he was gone. I felt this big. Like a peace of shit. Two feet tall. Man how embarrassing was that? I still don't know if he saw or recognized me in my blue shop garb. The guy was picking up his Mercedes wagon that he bought from Faye Dunaway who was married to Peter Wolf at the time. This was 2 years after we played in the same band and were piss poor together. He drove a blue VW Beetle with gray primered fenders. Just a group of musicians. Now he was loaded, successful and by now looked quite different than when I played drums for he & benn. Later he married a supermodel? We had lost touch by that time and this experience floored me. These thing make you humble, build character and make you strong. Bullshit! These things piss me off and I ask the question why? My timing sucks. Always has. Always right place, wrong time for me. Always played drums good but never caught a break try as I might. You know I was only embarrassed for myself, by myself and "nobody knows it but me". So I'm insecure you say. Yes, insecure enough to continue to play drums into the millennium at 2003 and have gigs booked so it never stopped me from the one thing in life I love. Drums!
March 18 2003
When I was young, about 16 years old I was teaching drums in 3 different music stores in the Marlboro Massachusetts area. I had about 60 students in all, off and on. Ken Carlson had a small store front studio on the Post Road up on crest of French Hill. Every Saturday and Wednesday About 15 or so students would have their half hour lesson. I was usually out by 1 pm on Saturdays so I then could teach down the main street at the "Rock & Roll" store called Marlboro Music in the afternoon. It was located in one of Marlboro's oldest business blocks right on the main street across from the Masonic Temple that took a week to burn to the ground. When Jimi Hendrix played the Boston Garden all the SUNN amplifier equipment was provided from this store, always having tons of SUNN stuff around, piled up to the ceiling most places. Up on the second floor, old office spaces under reconstruction were used as rehearsal space and for lessons. I had to use a pad set at Ken's place but had real drums here. One day some of us young guys were jamming around when these two strange looking dudes peeked in the door. Hippie looking but preppy dressed as well and very long hair for the time. This was about late 1967 and they introduced themselves as the band COPPERHEAD and they were playing at the local bar at Fort Meadow called The Wreck Lounge. We jammed for quite a while and they politely excused themselves and invited us to the show but we were under age at the time so we did go and listened from the parking lot. Later I found out that these two dudes were Donald Fagan & Walter Becker of Steely Dan the legendary rock band when I saw the first album cover, no one looks like these two you must agree. Later I confirmed this to be true. This has been the story of when I jammed with Fagan & Becker not knowing at the time. It is definitely a cool memory I have that is unforgettable....
Feb 24, 2006 3:38AM
Up to this point I was writing some of these memories down while in a recovery period of a couple / three years from double abdominal surgeries that very nearly ended this life of mine. I took a hint ! Yes I have made it through, somewhat, with nagging details and have made many lifestyle changes and looking back I'm glad to have made it farther than many of my personal musical contemporaries at this juncture. I have lost and miss dearly many Musos from both New England and Florida, the list is endless, starting with Jackie Putnam in our band in Jr. High in Marlboro. This is not withstanding the many hits my family & I have taken in our lives. In short I'm very glad to be alive and still freakin' "kicking ass" on the drums, if i do say so....When I feel my personal best slipping away , I will stop... I love the drums and the experiences they have brought into my life. Now with much clarity of mind, many wonderful memories both good and not so good are vivid in my mind. I will continue my thoughts on this page in the wee hours of the mornings in the afterglow of a night of "live" drumming meditation and the appreciation for it, and that I can still play them... My drums. Thank you Great Creator...
Feb 24,2006 4:37 AM
I remember as a child of about five or six visiting my Nana's apartment on Grant street in Framingham near Dennison's Manufacturing plant. Her place was the top floor of a "3 decker" apartment building with large front verandas and back porches with clothes hangers that hung like giant umbrellas off the railing. These apartments were huge and had a grand piano in the parlor, rent was $85.00 a month and it was not a slum. In these times residents were allowed to burn their trash down a long path out back in barrels,full of ashes daily. The driveway to the 8 stall garage was crushed coal. I also remember playing in the coal bins in the basement before watching the truck fill the stall through the cellar window with a long chute. In the lower mezzanine was my Grandfathers upright bull bass. I walked by that thing hundreds of times never paying it any mind. It was always in the early style of a canvas type gig bag and I'm not really sure it was a bass at that age.
Many years later, my grandfather long passed, I played the infamous Hillbilly Ranch in downtown Boston. The ranch was famous being the only country bar in Boston going back to a least the 1930's. I was gigging there occasionally with The Estes Boys around 1975 a week at a time. all us band guys would run through China Town & the "Combat Zone" during our breaks. Well at this time my blessed Nana informed me that my Grandfather was not only the black sheep [succumbing to the gangster lifestyle of the times] but was a professional upright bassist and lead singer / MC, and a sign painter during the day. He was in the house band at the Hillbilly Ranch for many years and accompanied many traveling country artists when in Boston, also played a long defunct club called "Izzy Otts" somewhere in Boston. My Grandfather's stage name was "Carl London". I was also told that his father, my Great Grandfather was first "E Flat" clarinetist with John Phillip Sousa's Marching Band. I guess music runs in my family somewhat. Well the Estes Boys were one of the last bands to play the Ranch before it's demolition in the mid / late 1970's. I'm glad for this memory.
April 29 2006
St. Petersburg has a main thoroughfare called 4TH Street. It runs north to south through the eastern part of the peninsula. During the day it's a very busy eight lane road with fast food joints, supermarket strip malls, doctors offices, nail & hair salons, liquor stores, trailer parks, vet clinics and gas stations but it's mainly the road out of town to the bridge to Tampa. At night the road takes on a whole different attitude and things that seem invisible in daylight come to life as the day shops disappear 'till morning. Neon advertises The Kentucky Motel and The Virginian, and many seedy 50's deco motels. More neon on the bars that line 4TH Street north. I say north because if i was found on 4th street south [same road] at this time of night the Pole-eece would wonder what i was doing in that part of town at that hour. Strip bars, tattoo parlors, sports bars, blues bars, billiard halls, English grub pubs, working girls walking, pizza parlors, fortune tellers, pan handlers asking for spare change, the occasional shopping cart lady, rednecks and their tramp stamped girl friends drinking Budweiser rice beer, Mac Nabby's, Burger Swine, Tube Steak Drive Thru, Wing House and the Ringside. Yes I am part of this cities underground, travel by night, and I like it here.
May 20, 2006 3:32 AM
The Gators are hungry. Living in Florida has it's advantages, naturally sunshine, beaches, palm trees, water recreation and commerce and such. Florida also has it's disadvantages, such as hurricanes, bugs, extreme humidiy, bugs, traffic, red lights, bugs, the winter crime waves, bugs, the shitty beer and the ever growing population. Yea I'm one of those "Yankee newcomers" even though I've been here 20 plus years. But the last ten or so years have seen uncontrolled growth. They put 30 story condos on sandbars here, if it's above water they build on it. Everyone dreams of Florida at one time or another and some make the move. Then they realize what they've gotten themselves into. Florida is really out of control, extreme cities along the coasts and the boonies inland, real southern slow country living.
This week three women have been eaten by alligators. One right down on my street, in the city mind you. It's said that absolutly every body of water, drainage ditch, retention pond, river, bay, bayou and inter coastal brackish waterway has gators in them, period. One and a half million gators in Florida that they know of. People find gators on their back porches, pools, garages, under cars in carports, dogs are eaten regularly and unsuspecting birds, duck, cranes and turtles are chomped on too. People swim anyway, I figure they are nuts or have a death wish or are just stoopid. Even wading in the ocean can be dangerous with skates, [don't step on them] " we do the stingray shuffle to shoosh them off.
I got bumped my a sand shark 3 times off sunset beach a while ago and it bumped me pretty good for a 4 foot shark. It just seemed to want to let me know I was in his ocean and in his way, I got the hint. You'll catch me mostly on a surfboard in the ocean nowadays. The pollution in the ocean is getting pretty bad though and you can get some serious infections from open cuts and respiratory junk from red tide [an annual event lately] I feel bad for the children who will inherit this world and the ocean I love.
May 22, 2006
A girl friend and I went on a night blues cruise on Boston Harbor in the late 70's. I remember the James Montgomery Band was playing, kicking ass actually, and the boat was packed to the railings. She and I were leaning on this rail along with hundreds of other people partying pretty good. Out of the corner of my eye I knew this guy was sitting on top of the railing, his back to the harbor with a straight drop backward into it of about 40 feet off the boat, thought to myself "this guy is drunk and gonna fall". I turned to watch the band for a short bit and when I looked to my lady friend the guy was gone. I said to her "there was a guy on the railing and now he's gone and nobody out of all these people noticed". "Ya right" was the retort. I was frozen for a second, frantic glances through the crowd to see if he was on the boat, he wasn't and I knew what I saw. Over the side down to the water was just a black hole, the city lights reflecting off the small wake. As a boy my father would take my brother and I for cruises in his boat all around Boston Harbor and through the Charles River locks. I knew there was no way out of that water with all the sea walls and no landings. Suddenly I realized I was the only person on that damn boat that noticed. He couldn't be alone I thought, nobody reacted. This was all in a two minute time frame, so another couple seconds later I rushed to the helm thinking if I was wrong I was in deep trouble. As I climbed the ladder and looked up to the Capitan's quarters the light blinded me. When I could see, there was a guy yelling at me to get the hell off the ladder. I knew he thought I was goofed up. I yelled "man overboard". He said boy you better not be joking. "He was sitting on the railing" I yelled back. With that the big searchlight on top of the cabin came on and the siren was deafening. The boat made a quick U-turn and coast guard launched boats that surrounded the cruise.The music stopped, the party was over, the boat headed to the dock. Had I ruined the night for hundreds of party goers or saved someone's life? At that point in time I didn't know which, and no one on the boat except the Captain knew that I'd called the overboard. It's like yelling fire in a crowded theater. People didn't know what was happening and why the cruise had stopped, I kept my mouth shut naturally, I'm not crazy. Upon arrival at the docks I walked the ramp off the boat before most of the crowd and noticed that they found the guy. There he was, the Boston cops are really something else and always mess with your head if they can, unlike Florida where they just shoot you first. The cops had placed the guy at the end of the gang plank all soaking wet and sporting many jellyfish stings to let the people know who had ruined their night. This guy was pissed, and people taunted him. Instead of putting him in a cruiser and taking him directly to jail, Boston's finest leathers had to rub it in. Once while I ran into the Store 24 in downtown Boston leaving my car running in winter a Boston cop took my car keys, but that's another story. I stood around for a while observing the scene. I felt weird and still wonder to this day why I was the only person to notice this guy and I bet he's glad I did.
July 4TH 2006
I've got tonight off. It's the first Fourth I've had off in recent memory. I figure I'll just lay back and watch a movie with someone special. I have a small surround sound unit for a small room and it works just great. I had to keep upping the volume because of the booms, bangs and whistles coming from all directions of the neighborhood here in the "Burg". It sounded like a war zone, not that I've been in one, but I can use my imagination. Thousands of houses in grids blowing off bombs, fireworks, rockets, roman candles and probably a couple firearms thrown in too. This is a very big city and fireworks are illegal this year but nobody got the memo. It was time for the headphones. God Bless America !
FEB 2ND 2007
I'm remembering when I first discovered Patsy Cline. I was driving back to my cottage in North Truro from Provincetown on lower Cape Cod after a unusual winter gig at the Governor Bradford on Commercial Street. My old Dodge conversion van had a pretty nice stereo for the time, actually it was like a rolling room, [vans were cool once upon a time] . I had spent some time at Duffy's place that night and it was about 3:30am when this voice came over WOMR radio Provincetown [now online] . I came to know Duffy from working a few summers straight as a drummer/singer in Provincetown and he was a street artist and would draw your caricature on a sidewalk easil ,He was & is famous worldwide and drew thousands of people and a picture for my band, One-Too-One. Duffy and I talked a lot and he invited me over one night after seeing my two man band at the Governor Bradford. What a wonderful home he had and he was so kind to me. To this day I can't forget Provincetown.
March 1st 1:06 pm fla.
it's been a while since i added anything to my story page but quite a lot has happened since and i've been getting my ducks in row enough to pay some attention to this site. so if your interested , stay tuned...i'll be back soon...
OK I've been asked for more stories so I will pay some attention to this page now...about time i guess...
nov. 29, 2009
SEPT 26 2011
man! do I have some stories to add to this page. i have relocated back home to new england and i'm in for my first winter in over 20 years. as i get settled a bit more i hope to have the quite time to attend to this page of mine. it's fun for me to remember, if only for me. i hope you get some laughs and memories. seeya soon
sept 18 2013
an update is needed here as lots of things have happened in the last couple years...once i settle myself down i'll write some.
I have been neglecting this site for years and a lot has happened in my life...i will be revamping my site over the next few months...july 2017
to be continued :
35 cases of oil........
86 million tourists
17 thousand pounds overweight
How vain it is to sit down to write when you
-- Jon Pareles, Rolling Stone, January 25, 1979, Issue 283
I am blessed to have the opportunity to work with Glenn Evans, who is by far one of the best singers/