The drum section was in the back left corner of our tiny band room cordoned off from the rest of the band by a bass drum, three snare drums, three tympani’s, a set of chimes and a full sized gong. (Pictures at an Exhibition anyone?)
Most days Mr. Green (the band director) worked with different instrumental sections while we in the percussion section sat around waiting to play often not until the end of the period when to appease us, we got to play a couple of marches.
Out of boredom, my ADD aversion to sitting still and plenty of free time, I visited various vantage points where I could peek at different band members, flirt with a couple of girls or, from a front row seat, watch Green … his angry face bright red, his pock marked chipmunk cheeks puffed out more than usual, his words cutting and sharp … humiliate band members who couldn’t play their parts haranguing them to practice at least a half hour every night; “If you can’t make that kind of commitment, you can walk out right now!”
I could move around as long as I didn’t disturb his teaching which was why I began a slow descent from first chair drummer to band outcast.
The reason I began my slow descent to outcast wasn’t only that I moved around too much. It was what I carried with me while I moved around; a pair of 2B drum sticks that were in constant motion banging out all kinds of rhythms against my right hip.
When I wasn’t slamming my sticks against my leg practicing drum rudiments like paradiddles, flams, radamacues and the like, I played along with Motown or rock songs that constantly flowed through my head …
continued … The Slow Descent …