The bus is waiting. Louis Armstrong’s big band is ready to depart. The drummer has become ill, and a last-minute substitute is needed for one week.
Just out of his teens, Roy Haynes already has a strong word-of-mouth reputation among musicians, so Armstrong takes him on. Roy steps aboard for the week-long journey—no rehearsals, no drum charts. He will just get on the first bandstand and swing Satchmo’s big band. Under these circumstances, it would be quite understandable for a musician to be a little nervous, or perhaps downright… “Scared? No, I was never scared,” says Haynes. “What was there to be afraid of? You just come in like a little man and do the job. I was a Boy Scout when I was twelve years old. The motto was ‘Be prepared.’”
Modern Drummer, February, 1986