Landis and Steve are always out front on the stage and don't get to hang around in the back, and maybe someone in the audience is wondering what does that guy back there do?
Well, after graduating from banging on pots before I was double digits old, I continued with banging on a drum while watching Brady Bunch reruns on afternoon tele. Luckily I had some talent and continued to improve while trying to learn as much as possible during the commercial breaks, so that my sister could understand some of the actual program. I played some concerts, that was fun, persevered onward and since my highschool rock band, which was major fun, was unfortunately non-lucrative, I went on to study classical music. And yes, playing timpani behind a full orchestra is extremely exhilarating.
I get to do some name dropping. I did get to play under Leonard Bernstein and party with him in a ritzy russian restaurant in St. Petersburg (while it was still called Leningrad). I did a series of videos "Orchestra!" with the same orchestra under Sir Georg Solti (the most fun was playing ping pong with him in the breaks) and Dudley Moore (if anybody still remembers the movies "Arthur" or even "10").
While I studied in NYC - no, I didn't meet Landis till we were in Vienna - I had roomates who adored Frank Zappa and had a poster of him on the fridge. And what happens? Because I play lots of modern music, I get to do a recording of Music by Edgar Varese with Zappa producing the whole shebang. Yeah, one night the whole ensemble improvised with him directing, Dweezel singing and Steve Vai raunching out his guitar. Sure, it would have been nice to do The Dangerous Kitchen, but one takes what one can get. Another hip project was with Zeitkratzer (Timescraper in english) who did a live version of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music for strings, accordion, saxophone, tuba, trumpet, piano and percussion; with him coming to the stage to jam the last 5 minutes with the band. We were sweating after those shows, it was like a sports event.
Pierluigi Billone composes cool stuff. I recorded three of his solo percussion pieces on a CD entitled "Mani," and there are two CDs of my own solo marimba music which is like a mix of Glen Gould and Keith Jarret.
I don't hang around much after most of the shows I play, since new music drummers are usually their own roadie and manager. I like to eat good food, so any easy recipe or good restaurant tip is appreciated.
My own original no-longer-secret Pasta Pulpo recipe:
1 can of calamari or octopus in oil or their own juice
fresh hot chili peppers cut up, I leave the seeds in as well
cherry tomatos cut up
a little garlic
farfalle whole grain pasta
start that water boiling, add the pasta, throw the calamari or octopus with the oil in a pan, heat, throw in the chili peppers, tomatos and garlic and finally the pasta when it's al dente. Enjoy with a glass of cool white wine!