Jackie Santos

Duke Ellington is credited with grouping all music into two categories: good and bad. And as humorous as it might be to envision record shops with all the records dumped into either a “good” bin or a “bad” bin, I don’t foresee that change in the near future. Let’s leave it up to our ears.

Marketing people need categories. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, and categorizing products is not isolated to the recording industry. You won’t find guitars advertised in Modern Drummer and you won’t find drums advertised in Guitar Player. That’s good business sense. Marketing people and advertisers want to reach the people who are most apt to buy their product.

Still, the mercurial nature of music prevents it from being categorized as neatly as guitars or drums. I was an Assistant Manager at a record store in New York when Deodato’s 2001 album was released. No one could decide which bin to keep it in. “Is it jazz ? Is it rock ?” and so it goes.

There are also marketing venues for black music and white music—soul charts and pop charts. Some bands cross over into both camps more than others.

I first met Jackie Santos when his group, Tavares, was playing the Copacabana in New York City. The band was excellent. A couple of weeks later Jackie came over to my apartment and we taped this interview. Jackie Santos doesn’t really fit—to his credit—in any musical category. He’s a serious student of music, with a sense of humor, commitment, justice, and an ability to play all styles of music well.


JS: I knew Tavares before they were Tavares—when they were called Chubby & The Turnpikes. I was 15 years old. Chubby Tavares had come in one night where I was working. He knew I’d been playing drums and he liked the way I played. He said, “Someday, you’re going to be playing with me.” I never thought it would be Tavares.

So, when the gig came up in ’78, I was working at a club in Providence called The Engine Company. I’d put a group together to back up one of the other brothers, Victor Tavares. He wasn’t with the five singers at that time. They called me right at the club and said, “Look, you want the gig?” I said, “I’ll take the gig!” Two weeks later they flew me out to Mexico City. That was my first gig.

SF: Did Tavares have hit records out by that time?

JS: Oh yeah. They had “It Only Takes A Minute.” They’d just done that album, Saturday Night Fever with “More Than A Woman,” and “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel.” That was their biggest hit. It went gold in every country.

SF: Did you know their previous drummer?

JS: Yeah. Bert Sims. He was doing all the old stuff. I’ve been doing extensive road traveling with Tavares since ’78—Europe, South Africa and South America.

SF: Has there been a big turnover in Tavares since ’78?

JS: Only the keyboard and bass players. We hire horns at every city or country we pull into. We never carry a horn section. We just have a rhythm section, the five Tavares brothers and two roadies.

SF: In any given year with Tavares, what’s your schedule?

JS: My biggest years were ’78, ’79 and ’80. I went everywhere. Things were happening. Tavares was still hot. They had Saturday Night Fever, “Heaven,” was still popping. But in ’81 and ’82 it started to go down because we didn’t have a strong hit. Capitol Records wasn’t promoting the band. We had a lot of tunes out that were potential hits. Capitol never put the money behind us to support the tunes. The tunes made it because we supported them by working.

Tavares decided to change companies and management, and things are happening again. We’re with RCA Records now. We’ve got a single called “Penny For Your Thoughts,” which was nominated for a Grammy. Things are on the up now.

Jackie Santos

SF: What was the last manager not doing that caused the group to switch?

JS: It seemed like he took Tavares to a certain point and couldn’t take it any further.

SF: Is the manager the go-between for Tavares and the record company?

JS: Exactly. He also gets gigs. We weren’t working at all. I had five months off one time. We did six weeks in Africa and then there were five months without work.

SF: People believe that once you have an album out it’s smooth sailing.

JS: It doesn’t happen like that all the time. If you put out a hit, you’ve got to have two or three backing that one up to really make the money and do big tours. One record just doesn’t make it. You sink all your money into that one record. Then you put out two or three more, and you start making the profits.

SF: Most of the money the band makes then is from tours instead of record sales?

JS: Well, it’s a combination of the two. The tours promote the albums. Tavares doesn’t pay me when we’re not working. That’s why I’ve got two or three bands at home that I work with. I manage to keep busy in the Boston area. I’ve been doing some things at Mid-Guard Studios, Dimension Sound, Air Sound and Normandy Sound in Warren, Rhode Island. Normandy is one of the top studios on the East Coast. As far as clubs go, Boston is generally rock oriented now, but there are a few jazz rooms. I could never figure it out. I’d think that people would want to go out and hear some jazz. I’m not saying that rock is bad music. I love rock music. But it takes a certain amount of musicianship to play jazz and put your thoughts across.

SF: Tell me about the work you do with Armstead Christian.

JS: That’s a great band: John Harrison on keyboards, Tim Ingles on bass, Sa Davis on congas and Armstead on vocals. We’re putting together an excellent album. I’m also working on an album project with Australian artist Paul Almeida. His vocal ability is excellent, and he also plays bass and keyboards. When he came to the States, he asked me to contract the players for his album. Some of them include Steve Smith, Harvey Mason, John Harrison of Tavares, and Tim Ingles. We’re looking for an album release in ’84, followed by a world tour.

I like to work with as many different musicians as possible to grasp different feels. I’ve been playing with a lot of great musicians from home. The Steve Soares Quartet is an interesting group—all mainstream jazz. John Harrison and I have been playing together since ’75. We were in one band called Bobby Green & Colius. At that time, I’d been working with a lot of disco bands. It was time for me to leave the disco and start playing some music that gave me some freedom of expression.

I was studying with Alan Dawson and couldn’t utilize anything I was learning on disco gigs. I knew it was about time to utilize all I’d been learning, so I joined Bobby Green & Colius, and the band was great. Tim Engles and Tim Landers were on bass. Tim Landers is with Billy Cobham now. Bobby Green was on sax and Danny Shwartz was on percussion. The group was monstrous.

That gig was the best thing I ever did playing-wise. I used all the things I learned with Alan and just played music. Playing disco is four on the floor and “2” and “4” on the snare. I don’t regret doing that but I wanted to play the other stuff, in other time signatures and just play some really hip music.

SF: How are you going to balance your future career?

JS: I’d definitely like to get into more studio things and hopefully get into a situation like Harvey Mason and Gadd are in. I want to be able to do a lot of studio things, yet go out on the road when I want to. I don’t want to just stay in the studio. I’ve done quite a few jingles, mostly for things back home. The more studio things I do, the better I get at it.

SF: What’s the difference between working in the studio and playing live?

JS: It’s a whole different approach. The pressure’s different. I like to do things in two or three takes, and it takes a lot of concentration to be able to do that. In the studio, mistakes are money. It’s a lot of discipline. If you’re playing a funk tune, you’ve got to be able to make that thing rock solid, yet make it swing and feel good. And your reading ability has got to be up there.

When I first started playing, my reading was never there. But, since I’ve gotten together with Alan—I did five years with him—my reading is there! I can go in and do a studio gig without worrying about if the chart is going to be hard, or if I can handle it. I can handle it.

Armstead’s music is pretty rough. He gives out charts. He writes all the music. He’s a great player and a great vocalist. When he writes a drum chart, he’s right on it. There are no mistakes. Alan’s been the greatest influence in my musical career. His playing is phenomenal and he takes drumming to another dimension. He’s my favorite player and a great friend also. He bases most of his teaching on four-way coordination—really great stuff. He had me going through Ted Reed’s Syncopation book 48 ways, like it was Ted Reed’s Syncopation by Alan Dawson.

SF: What’s the sense in learning four-way coordination if you’re going to be concentrating on music that basically demands a “2” and “4” backbeat?

JS: That stuff is good to have in your back pocket so that if you do need it, it’s there. Half of the things you learn with Alan you’re probably not going to use, but when you do a gig that calls for it, it’s there. It gives you a lot more confidence than just being able to play “2” and “4.” I can go on a Tavares gig and groove the gig; go back home and do a swing gig, a fusion gig, and cover all styles. A musician should be as versatile as possible. You’re more valuable that way. You’ll make more money. You’ll be on call more. When I go back home, I get called for all kinds of gigs. When I’m with Tavares, I collect a salary, but when I go back home, I can make a living also.

Jackie Santos

SF: Does Alan work on ear training?

JS: I didn’t go through any ear training courses with him. It was primarily drumset playing. I wanted to take up vibes. I was taking an hour lesson with him and I wanted to devote all my time to my tubs. But I want to get into vibes and get my ear happening.

SF: Doesn’t he train your ear by having you play drumset melodically?

JS: Oh yeah, and he also makes you aware of the forms of tunes.

SF: Did you know that before you started studying with Alan?

JS: No. It gives you a better outlook on how the tune should go. Plus, when you’re soloing off the melody of the tune, you come up with more ideas. It’s not just chops or a blundering of notes. It’s playing musically. You’ve got that melody going in your head and the melody’s your time. Therefore, you can take your licks across the bar line and still be there. Knowing song form is very vital to your drumming. Otherwise you will just play the tune but you won’t know where it’s going.

SF: Here’s a morale question. You’ve been with Tavares since ’78 touring all over the place. Yet, when the band goes in to make a record, they use studio musicians. They used John Robinson on the last album. How does that make you feel, and how do the singers keep your morale up?

JS: Well, in the last few months, they’ve been trying to keep it up! I’ve been with Tavares for five years now and I’ve been trying to get into the studio. And I can handle it.

See, Butch Tavares is the only brother who writes. But they hire writers and producers. If you were producing a band, you’d want to use the rhythm section that you were comfortable with. You wouldn’t want to hire somebody if you didn’t know what type of feel they had or how they could handle studio situations. Producers have their own people. It’s a hard thing to crack, but I’m on the new Words and Music album. Tavares has a great rhythm section of John Harrison on keyboards, Kenny Ramus on bass and Hank Smith on guitar. The band is great, and they can definitely go in and cut the albums. It just needs that initial shot to do it.

It’s a hard thing. You’re doing the gigs, you’re doing the road stint, you’re doing the rehearsing and you want to do the albums. When the album’s not there, it kind of brings you down because you know you’re capable of going in and doing whatever John Robinson’s doing.

SF: If you’ve been playing the songs on the gig, John Robinson’s not going to go in and play it 180 degrees different from what you were doing.

JS: Exactly. You’re just playing the chart down, and how many ways can you play a rhythm and blues chart? It just takes interpretation and feel. Our rhythm section knows what Tavares wants, so it would make it easier to work with them in the studio.

SF: You’re backing up five singers; none of them are instrumentalists. You were telling me about onstage situations where one singer will be telling you to bring up the volume at the exact moment another singer is telling you to play quieter. How do you handle that?

JS: Oh, I get that all the time. Working with singers is hard. Period. They’re temperamental. Now I’ve got five of them. We’ve done concerts where one of the brothers will want the tune done quicker.

I’ve got a pretty fair knowledge of where the tune should be, but the adrenalin’s flowing different every night. One brother might say, “Pick it up.” So I pick the tune up. And then on the other side a brother will say, “Bring it back down again.” Then another will say, “No. Leave it right where it’s at.” So you don’t know where to go! It takes a special kind of drummer to do a Tavares gig. When I first got in the band it was nerve-wracking, but I adjusted.

SF: What do you do when you get three different instructions for the tempo of a song?

JS: I just leave it right where it’s at. The tempos are never really that far off. Even if it’s a hair slow or fast, it’s never so far off that we can’t groove with it. But you’ve got to keep your eyes peeled all the time. I’ve got to break out of playing with my eyes closed!

But, as a band, Tavares is great. I had a lot of chops and I was into playing a lot of notes at one time. Doing the Tavares gig settled me down a bit in the areas of discipline and being able to lock in “2” and “4” and groove. It’s a good thing to have that, and yet, it’s good to have the chops together to play a fusion gig or a jazz gig. I love to groove. And Tavares puts out some great music. When you’ve got a band that feels ” 1″ at the same time and can make it pop, it makes it that much easier. The Tavares brothers are all great singers. Great harmony. It’s an interesting gig.

SF: Has your ability to keep time always been good?

JS: I used to have a problem rushing. Again, when you try to play so many notes in one bar, you’re going to tend to rush. I was definitely into flash playing. My first inspiration was Buddy Rich. I used to listen to all his albums and I was into playing a lot of notes. It just didn’t happen; my timing was never there. I had to put half my chops in my back pocket and settle down and concentrate on grooving.

SF: What’s the secret of keeping good time? How is it developed?

JS: Well, Alan Dawson had me working with a metronome a lot. Just being conscious of time and hitting beat “1” right on it. If you do that, then it automatically settles in. Your timing is there after a while. I don’t like to work with a metronome too much because your time could become mechanical. But a fair amount of it would be good.

SF: There’s the argument that working with a metronome isn’t realistic because you don’t have it on the bandstand.

JS: Yeah. You’ve got to be flexible. I used to practice on grooves, just make it swing as much as possible and lay right in there with and without a metronome. Use the metronome to develop your time sense, but then get away from it and develop your feet.

SF: Did you ever practice along with records?

JS: I used to do that a lot with Buddy Rich records, and I’ve done that with a lot of funk records just to get the feel happening— a solid “2” and “4.” The first time I worked with a click track was in Florida. We did a thing for Chubby Tavares. I’d worked with a metronome but I’d left it for a while. It didn’t take me long to adjust to the click track, because I was in the studio and it was either do or die! After a while, the click track settled in and I didn’t even hear it. I t took me 10 to 15 minutes to workwith the click track and then I had it down.

SF: Why is a click track hard to adjust to?

JS: Because it seems like it takes your natural feel away. You’re worrying about time. You’re trying to make it happen with the click track, so you start sounding mechanical. You’ve just got to adjust and groove.

SF: Gary Chester told me he thinks of the click track as a good bass player. And Mel Lewis told me that his secret was playing around the click track.

JS: That’s what I try to do—play around the click track. I’d rather go on natural feel because my timing is good. You groove better that way. But, the producer is the boss. I’ve used click tracks on all the jingles I’ve done.

SF: I’ve heard that John Robinson always uses a click track.

JS: Harvey Mason does also. But Harvey has great timing anyway. A lot of records I hear today sound sterile to me. That could be because of the click track. If they’re not playing around the click track, they start sounding mechanical and the records sound sterile.

SF: Are you teaching?

JS: I’ve got five or six students. I don’t want any more than that. They’re doing very well. If you have students who don’t do their lessons, it bugs you.

SF: Did you go to college for music?

JS: No. My first teacher was Chic Boucher of House of Drums. He’s a good teacher and friend. Then I studied with Kevin Goodman at Berklee, and then privately with Alan Dawson. The five years I studied in his basement were just like going to college!

SF: How does your approach change from backing five singers in Tavares to backing a solo vocalist like Armstead Christian?

JS: Armstead is a musician. He graduated from Berklee.

SF: The Tavares brothers are going to love that answer!

JS: Well, Armstead plays alto sax, flute, piano and drums. The five Tavares brothers are great singers but the schooling isn’t there. They sing. Armstead is demanding musically. He writes all his charts and likes to hear the instruments played a certain way. That’s what you have to give him. It takes a different type of player coming off a Tavares gig, grooving, and then going and doing Armstead’s gig and grooving, yet playing. You have to play.

SF: Do you have more of a free reign?

JS: Definitely. Freedom of expression, man. Just go for it. Armstead has some groove tunes and that’s what I have to play— “2” and “4.” Then again, he’s got Latin things and jazz things where you just play. You do everything on his gig.

I’ve been in the business a long time. Some people are blessed to make it early and some people just have to wait their turn. I’m 29. There are a lot of people out there making beaucoup money, but everything that they wanted to have happen, happened at an early age.

SF: When did you realize that you were going to play drums for a living?

JS: I started at age 12. I was into music; I wanted to be a drummer. But then again, I was into martial arts—Tae Kwan Do. I re ally loved them both. My father suggested that I pick one, put my all into it, and set my sights on something to go for. I chose music. The martial arts is still there, but music is my first priority. Whenever I have a chance to work out, I still do. I was heavily into Tae Kwan Do at one time.

SF: What’s the philosophical difference between Tae Kwan Do and Karate?

JS: Tae Kwan Do is mostly feet. I liked using my feet.

SF: Does martial arts help your drumming?

JS: Definitely. Stamina-wise, you don’t get tired. It helps you keep in shape. I was into working out a lot and I haven’t done that in the last six months. I t ‘ s my music and my son now. But every chance I get, I wor k out. I’m in shape. In the summertime, I’m heavy into basketball. I do my exercise in the morning. I do some stretching. I’ll go through some kicking exercises, and some hand techniques. Then in the afternoon, if I’m not gigging and my afternoons are free, I play ball all afternoon to keep that wind up. I t takes a certain amount of stam ina to play concerts. It’s pretty hard to be up there bashing. You’ve got to be in shape.

SF: You have a six-month-old son now.

JS: Yeah. He’s the greatest thing that’s happened in my life.

SF: How do you balance that with touring?

JS: It’s hard. But I wanted a boy so bad. When the nurse came in and said, “Mr. Santos, it’s a baby boy,” I started crying. It just seems like now I can get myself on another level. I was really pushing to make it. But now I’m going to push doubly hard for my son. I’m going to do everything that I’ve set out to do.

If I don’t do it for myself, then I’ll do it for my boy. Having a little boy is such a joy. It’s a type of high you can’t explain. It’s like you’re on top of the world. It’s a great feeling. It would be rough for guys who are on the road for eight months at a clip. I’m nowhere near that. Most of the gigs I’m doing with Tavares now are weekend things. I want to be able to balance out my life with studio gigs, then get away from the studio to be on the road and then come back to be with my family.

SF: Do you think the band business is changing from the days of the ’30s when musicians were always on the road?

JS: Yeah, now you’ve got all the videos. I think the videos are hurting the business. People don’t want to come out and hear bands live. Five years ago, you could go to a concert for five dollars. To go to a concert now it costs $15 or $20. To bring your lady with you, you’re talking $40 just to get in the door. People haven’t got that type of money anymore. The economy’s bad. They’re not going to spend that money. They’d rather sit home and watch a video or listen to an album.

SF: Does Tavares have a mixed audience?

JS: Yeah.

SF: A black audience is a whole different ballgame, isn’t it?

JS: It’s rough, man, because a black audience will let you know if you ain’t playing! They’ll say it in a minute. But Tavares is a crossover band.

SF: Does Tavares play a different show for an all black audience?

JS: We change it a little bit. We keep more of the rhythm & blues tunes in there that they used to do before, like “Check It Out,” “Remember What I Told You To Forget,” She’s Gone,” and “It Only Takes A Minute”—tunes like that. When we’re playing for a white audience, we play “MoreThan A Woman,” and “Heaven.” They’re the ones that went gold.

SF: The marketing for black and white audiences is interesting. I remember when I interviewed Larry Blackmon from Cameo. I’d never heard of Cameo. Their publicist said they’d had five gold records. I thought, “Where the heck have I been?”

JS: Tavares can cross over. “Penny For Your Thoughts” appeals to both masses. They both love the song. That’s where you make your strong money, when you cross over. If you just stay on the soul charts, you don’t make the money. You’ve got to cross over, like Lionel Ritchie, The Commodores, Earth, Wind & Fire, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

SF: Do you do clinics?

JS: I’ve done a few. My first one was in South America. In Argentina you learn different ways that musicians approach music. Hopefully, I’ll be doing clinics for Yamaha.

I’m using Yamaha’s Recording Custom Series drums. They’re great. The projection is awesome and I use them for all my recording dates. I use Remo clear heads on all the tom-toms, a clear Diplomat on the 7 x 14 snare and a CS head on the bass drum. The bass drum is 14 x 22. The small toms are 9 x 13, 10 x Hand 16 x 16. I’m also experimenting with Remo’s pitch pedal. You can come up with some interesting rhythms for solos.

My cymbals are a combination of A. and K. Zildjians—a 20″ K. ride, 15″ A. paper- thin crash, 17″ thin crash, 18″ medium crash, 20″ medium-low China Boy, and 14″ A. or K. hi-hat cymbals. I use Vic Firth sticks. Jim Coffin, Lennie DiMuzio, Vic Firth and Lloyd McCausland have really given me a lot of support. I’m thankful for that.

I work on time and feel with my students but also a lot of head stuff. I teach them the importance of having your attitude in the right place when you’re dealing with people. The main thing is the attitude. I tell them of experiences that I went through, to prepare them. I tell them that if they’re going to go into this business, there are certain things that they’re going to have to face.

SF: I sense that many of the black jazz musicians feel that they’ve been, and are being, neglected by the younger black generations.

JS: My students are all listening to rock: Rush, Journey, and Jethro Tull. I’m trying to get them into swing. I’m going to teach my students rock, jazz, and Latin, so they can be versatile. I like to have them listen to Max Roach, Tony Williams and all the other drummers who are really happening. That’s what drumming is all about. You can go out there and play all the rock licks, but when it comes down to playing bebop, it takes a certain technique and talent to be able to play it. I want my students to be jazz players as well as rock players or funk players. If you can cover all the aspects of music, you will become more valuable as a musician and you will get more gigs that way.

SF: I was amazed to discover that all of the early pioneers of rock drumming were jazz drummers first.

JS: That’s right. When you saw the drummers with Elvis you said to yourself, “I wonder if that guy could cover any other kind of music.” And they all could. They just went with the money-maker.

SF: It seems strange that so many young drummers are becoming specialized.

JS: Exactly.

SF: How do you motivate your students to want to learn different things?

JS: It’s hard. I’ve got this one student who’s 15 years old. He has the potential to be unbelievable. He can play. He never does his lessons! One day I told his mother that he was either going to do his lessons, or I just couldn’t keep going there and taking her money. I’d give this student all of these things and he’d say, “I’ve been listening to this Billy Cobham record. Can you show me how to do that?” I’ve got three or four students who are into what I’m showing them. There are others who just want to learn Neil Peart licks and whatever. That’s not where it’s at.

SF: What motivated you to become such a versatile player?

JS: I guess because my very first influence was Buddy Rich. Then my greatest influence was Alan Dawson. That did it for me right there.

SF: When did you first hear Alan Dawson?

JS: It was at Gretsch Drum Night at Lenny’s On The Turnpike in West Peabody, Massachusetts. I said, “That is what it’s all about. That’s what I want to do. I want to play everything.” I was into jazz first, and Buddy Rich was my idol at that time. I guess if your influence is rock, for a lot of years it’s hard to get into other stuff. But you have to learn. It’s a must.

SF: Did the Beatles influence you?

JS: Oh yeah. They were my favorite rock band. They had it all. I liked the Rascals too. They were smoking. But they weren’t just rocking out, man; they were playing. They were good players.

There are about five or six drummers that I really listen to. But I never cop licks—I listen to conception to hear how they approach the music, and then I mold it to my own style. Therefore, I sound like everybody, but still it’s Jackie Santos playing. If someone wanted Steve Gadd on a date, they’d hire Steve Gadd, not a clone. I tell my students, “Listen to everybody and mold it into your own style. Never copy licks because you don’t learn to improvise that way. You’re just copying somebody else’s ideas. It’s not you coming out on the instrument.” I like to see my students show their own style. Don’t cop licks. Be you!

It’s hard for young kids today because they’ll put on their Neil Peart or Billy Cobham records and say, “I want to learn that roll and this lick.” All of my students have big drumsets. That 15-year-old I was telling you about has double bass drums now, and one time I heard him playing 16th-note single-stroke rolls on them. I put Ted Reed’s Syncopation book in front of him and said, “Go through the whole book using just your feet.”

SF: What are you planning to do when you’re 50 or 60?

JS: I’d like to get more into teaching someday and help out young kids who have the talent. I won’t exploit it, but I will bring it out in the open. I definitely want to work with kids that way. It’s the whole thing about karma, man. Extend your arm to somebody and you’ll be doubly rewarded later. I had some well-known drummers say to me a few years ago, “Jackie, we’re really going to help you out.” They never did. You’ve got to go out and do it yourself. Opportunity will come to you when you go looking for it. A lot of people out there now are not going to help you. I found that out quick. I’ve helped out a lot of people, and maybe now God is starting to pay me back. Things are starting to happen. I’ve got my son, Joaquim Robert Santos. I think God’s going to be good to me.

SF: Did you have a religious upbringing?

JS: My whole family is pretty religious. When I’m downtown, I stop in the chapel three days a week. I drop money in the box and I pray for success. Every time I pass a chapel, man, I’ve got to stop and go in. You’ve got to have faith to make it. I feel God’s going to be right there with you, and you’ve got to show God that you want it. I’ve worked hard. And, God willing, for my son, I’m going to do it. I told my mother when I first started, “Ma, I may not be rich but I’m going to make it in the business. And I promise that you’ll get a home.”

My father and mother were always behind me 100%. I’ll never forget that time my father came to see me. I haven’t seen him in years. He left one day. And he’d be proud of me right now. I don’t know where he is. Not a clue. And I’m trying to find him. One time my father came to see me playing in a club. I played a drum solo and got a standing ovation. My father jumped onto the stage, grabbed me and kissed me. The love was always there. So I’ve got to do it for my mother and my son. I’ve got a lot of responsibilities, but I want to do it. Perseverance continues to be a most important factor in attaining success.