Hi, everyone! I hope you enjoyed your summer. Did you get out to any live shows? Play some great gigs? Make a record? Let us know what you’ve been up to, and you could be selected to be one our Spotlight Subscribers— our way to let you update us on your personal accomplishments, and for you to get to know your fellow Modern Drummer family members. If you’re interested in being included, email me at [email protected], and be sure to put Spotlight Subscriber in the subject line.
Speaking of subscribers, this past July 7 MD subscriber and VIP contest winner Bryan Shadden and his guest, Steven Roper, came out to Los Angeles with us to celebrate Ringo Starr’s Peace and Love private birthday party at Capitol Studios. Bryan joined us in singing “Happy Birthday” and attending a meet-and-greet with Sir Richard himself. You can read all about his experience at moderndrummer.com.
Turning to this month’s issue, on page 58 we feature a piece on one of my biggest drumming influences, Jeff Porcaro. I can vividly remember, back in the day, spending hours at my local record shop scrolling through the credits on the backs of albums looking for Jeff, who contributed to records in such a wide variety of genres. I’d buy a handful of records and then rush home and play along to them. When the core band on most of those records with Jeff formed the band Toto, I was ecstatic; all my favorite studio musicians in one band, writing, singing, and playing their own music. While Jeff is no longer with us, Toto still performs to this day, and I spoke to the legendary guitarist/songwriter Steve Lukather, who co-founded the band with Jeff, about his five favorite Toto tracks featuring the drummer. Knowing how difficult a task that was, we’re super thankful to Luke for playing along. He even obliged when we asked him to pick five more Jeff tracks, this time from recordings he made outside of Toto. You can read about those at moderndrummer.com.
Also in this issue, I spoke with long-time Peter Frampton drummer Dan Wojciechowski about the gear he’s using on the guitarist’s much-publicized farewell tour. Much to my surprise, Dan told me he’s using the kit owned by the late John Siomos, who played on most of Frampton’s early material, including the record-breaking Frampton Comes Alive! John’s kit was actually the first “professional” drumset I ever saw in a recording studio. I was fifteen, sixteen years old, visiting the Record Plant in New York City for the very first time. Engineer Shelly Yakus graciously let me go in and take a look around. I remember it like it was yesterday, staring at that kit; I’d never seen drums miked up and ready to record before! All these years later, Dan is taking that very same kit out on the road. (A bit of music history: John Siomos played drums on my second-favorite song of all-time, Todd Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me”—you’ll have to email me to find out my number-one!)
We’re also thrilled this month to feature the Raconteurs’ Patrick Keeler, in his first MD cover story. Congrats to Patrick, Jack White, and the band for debuting at the top of Billboard’s album chart with their first record in eleven years, Help Us Stranger.
As always, it’s a jam-packed issue, and there’s plenty more to dig into. Enjoy, and I’ll see you next time!
Editor at Large