Hello, my fellow drummers! When I’m not playing with the Hooters (next year will be our fortieth anniversary), I have my own band called David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket. Recently, I ran into one of my first drum teachers, Buddy Ostapowz (we called him Buddy O), and although I haven’t seen him in forty-five years, it felt like it was yesterday.
We just put out our third CD release, David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket: Live At The Keswick Theatre, and Buddy O came to our record release show just outside of Philadelphia. The back cover has a photo of me on the drums, leading the band from the front of the stage. I dig it because it’s old school; my boyhood heroes, Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, did it too.
Here’s my take on drum teachers, once they’ve taught you, they will always be your teacher. It’s super cool that Buddy O, after all these years, still cares and supports my work. He’s like that with all of his students. He was wearing a Ludwig t-shirt and I loved watching him as he was checking out my drums. Man, he’s still all in.
A few years back, my wife surprised me with a lunch in NYC with the great drummer and author, Joe Cusatis. I took lessons from Joe at the Modern Drum Shop when it was on 46th street in Manhattan back in the ’70s. I’m still in touch with all my drum teachers. I had three, Bill Weikel, Buddy Ostapowz, and Joe Cusatis. Joe knew Buddy Rich; I think Buddy was nice to me when I met him because I told him that I studied with Joe. He said, “Joe’s a good drummer.” That meant a lot coming from Buddy Rich. Drummers learn from other drummers. We are a brotherhood.
Lately, I’ve been using an unconventional drumset built by drum maker and innovator, Erik Metz. I use a cajon to double as my seat and my bass drum, a brush box as a snare drum, and a Croaker tom. I augment the set with a pair of hats (the smallest I can find) and a ride/crash cymbal. I use a DW bass drum pedal convert with a soft beater. This is a lot of fun to play. Check out the kit in action below.
My setup from my recent tour with the Hooters included a Black DW 22″ bass drum, 11×12 tom, 14×16 floor tom, and 6.5 Ludwig Black Beauty snare; DW 9000 DBL pedal and DW hi-hat stand; Zildjian cymbals—20″ Hybrid crash, 18″ A Custom crash, 14″ A hi-hats, 8″ and 10″ splashes; LP Rock Ridge Rider cowbell, Future Sonics In-ears, Allen & Heath 4-channel mixer, Porter & Davies tactile throne, Roland SPDSX, and Audix microphones.
Check out Dave playing Croaker Percussion on “All You Zombies”
For more info on Croaker Percussion, visit https://croakerpercussion.com.
The Hooters’ classic music video “And We Danced”
Here’s Todd Rundgren with David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket for “Open My Eyes” at the Philadelphia Folk Festival August 17, 2013 here:
Here’s David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket: “I Saw The Light” and find out more about the project here: