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    This year I attended the 2008 drum road Trip , put on by BongZen Productions ( Mike and Scott) . This was the first annual gathering of the DRT and it was one hell of a first year.

  I got involved through my long time friend Scott Leavitt ( Bong or Brother Bong as he is other wise known in DML). Scott and I hadn't seen each other in almost 24 years. He found me on Myspace one day and we were catching up when he told me about this drummers event that he was planning in Rochester NY. I said sounds cool I'm in. I just thought it would be a cool reason to travel and reconnect with an old buddy that I hadn't seen since I was a kid.

  Little did I know what I was in store for. So I caught my plane from Houston and headed for Rochester, picked up my Mustang from Hertz and I was on my way. I stayed at the Hyatt Regency, the biggest hotel , smack in the center of town ( my better half booked my accommodations, she always takes care of me)...boy did I stick out like a sore thumb, they were hosting weddings,black tie events and a lacrosse convention and here I come hanging around in Camo shorts sleeveless shirts and my chuck taylors...oh well screw 'em.  So anyway...Friday night I set out to find this "studio" where everything was going on, and to meet up with Scott. I found my way and pulled up in the parking lot and not knowing a soul in the place other than Scott, who I hadn't seen in forever , I was instantly greeted like family. What a great feeling.

  Mike had the grill going, There were a bunch of us drummers all hanging around talking shop and gear and sharing laughs about shows experiences and good times. There were drummers from all over the world at this event, literally. Duba , came fromScotland, I think he had the longest trip. Reggie Hendrix and Gregg Howe from the Hendrix and Howe band were also floating around enjoying the good times. It was cool of them to hang out and be a part of this with us. as the night went on we let it all hang out and started trading licks and showing off and having a good time like only drummers can. Little Nick ( the stick)  got it all going by blowing us away on Mike's Gretsch kit.

 Saturday was a blast with the snare drum Olympics, where everyone got to anti up there snare to see if it could hold up in the competition. There were some beautiful drums there, and Stick Master /Corp Commando Kyle stuck it to everyone of the drums in the competition so that they could be judged. We also had the local 5 star drum shops out for some great deals and to sponsor the event. 

Next we had the Jason Bitner  ( Shadows Fall / Tama) Clinic. Jason was very cool and personable . We were lucky since to be the first clinic that he did for his new instructional DVD. It was a great setting which allowed us to get up close and personal and i think we all walked away having learned a thing or two.

  Saturday night was the Hendrix and Howe show, which was fantastic. Rochester was buzzing with musical talent that weekend as well as the previous weekend as it was also the annual Taste Of Rochester city fair. Lou Graham was on stage after the Hendrix and Howe show, I caught part of it on my way back to the Hotel. Back to the Hendrix and Howe show, for those that had gotten in on it in time, a few had the opportunity to sit in with the band. That was a great opportunity and demonstrated a lot of great and talented drummers as well as having some nice drum kit's up on stage. With Mike's extensive collection and Scott bringing his kit, as well as Steve bringing his new kit out, we had drums out our asses, as it should be. 

   Saturday night I ate at Dinosaur Barbeque...definately the best food on the freaking planet...and they had a kick as band playing too.

  Sunday was a great day as we brought things to a close we did some more clinics with the DML members, everyone did a bit to share and pitch in on pointers and tips and we all came away learning something. There were prizes from Saluda,Bosphorus,Silver Fox and some others. Mike also did a bit to share part of his personal collection with all of us. Thanks Mike...again, that meant the world. Stumpy fired up the grill and burned all of our hot dogs...not really.  As we ate our final meal together as a group ,we had time to reflect on what a monuments event this had been and how we had come together in our "calling" to make new friends and forge new relationships in the name of bettering our craft. At that point we all committed to make sure that this annual event keeps on going and that we would all be there next year to do it again. personally I can't wait!

Thanks to everyone who was there for a great and memorable time.

 Anyone looking to get other members input or more info on the DRT simply log on to the DML forum and ask around, everyone will be happy to share their experience I'm sure.

Texas Big Beat

Check out the Texas Big Beat , setting drumming world records for charity.   - 2007 page  - 2008 page