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 brain …
Inevitably one of my flailing sticks would tap against a music stand or a cymbal or worse, fall to the wooden floor bouncing from tip to end tapping out its own rhythm which infuriated Green.
After repeated accidents, he started getting pretty frustrated. if I made even the slightest noise he would lash out at me his face getting redder at times bordering on purple. Sometimes his rants lasted for two or three minutes. A vein in the middle of his forehead appeared one day.
Meanwhile, everyone in band thought the clash between my clumsiness and Green’s temper was high theatre. They looked forward to unexpected noises from the percussion section so they could watch with glee, as the drama unfolded.
In addition to the entertainment value, they didn’t have to worry about being called on to play. I became their scapegoat. Or maybe, their comic relief?
Finally, I started taking his threats more seriously.
Band was my favorite class! I didn’t want to get kicked out! I didn’t want to lose my first chair status! So I made a pact with myself NOT to touch my sticks until it was time to play.
For a while it was like Green and I were on opposite ends of the earth.
For a while??