Monday, October 09, 2006

So you wanna be a rock superstar...

A lot of you asked what it was like growing up with music and what inspired me to play. There a lot of things I can point to that began my interest in music. My Uncle Don and Uncle Bill were musicians. They both were in the Marines and played in the Marine Corps Marching Band. This band basically traveled to where the President was making an appearance and play “Hail to the Chief”, the president’s theme song, if you will. Uncle Don also played in the Marine Corps Jazz Band. He was a fantastic drummer and taught me a lot when I first began to play. My mom was in the Junior High and High School marching bands. She played the clarinet and piano. My dad loves music, but doesn’t play an instrument.
I got my first radio when I was seven years old. It was a “Bugs Bunny” shaped AM transistor radio. When it was bedtime, my mom would let us fall asleep with the radio playing. I remember that was when I first began to try and sing. I could carry a tune and after a little practice, both my parents remarked that I could sing pretty well. There used to be a TV show on in the 70’s called “The Donnie and Marie Show”. That was the first time I actually noticed the drummer and the drums. He had a Ludwig VistaLite drumkit. The shells were made from blue acrylic and were transparent. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. From that moment on, I wanted to play the drums. It took me and my Uncle two years to convince my parents to buy a drum set for me. When they finally did, I was nine. I played along with whatever was on the radio for the first couple of years. The radio station “Y94” was big then, and that’s pretty much all I listened to. I remember playing along with Styx, KISS, Van Halen, Rickie Lee Jones, The Eagles, Steely Dan and a hundred other bands that I can’t remember. About three years after I started playing, I was getting bored. I actually wanted to switch to the trumpet, but both my parents said NO WAY.
A few weeks later some friends of my dad, who had a band, called and asked him if I could sit in with them. Their usual drummer hadn’t shown up and they really wanted to jam. My dad said it was OK and we were off. I was 12 at the time. I jammed with them for a couple of hours and had a good time. They asked me who I liked to listen to and I told them that I was thinking about quitting the drums because nothing excited me anymore. The guitar player smiled and pulled out an album he had in his record case (yes, I know, actual vinyl records!). He put the needle to the record and my life changed forever. I had never heard such brilliant drumming and was completely blown away. I kept asking if that was just one guy playing the drums. The other guys laughed and assured me repeatedly that it was just one guy. I asked if I could borrow the album. He said that I could. That was my first exposure to the band Rush. Since that time forward, the thought of no longer playing drums has never entered my mind. I’ve been around the world, played in over 30 states and have recorded music. I do have one last goal. My musical “journey” will be complete when I am featured in the “Bible” of drumming, the magazine Modern Drummer. I don’t really hold my breath for that because, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a professional drummer, but not a famous one. That’s OK. I don’t think that I’d make a very good rock star. I’m too old for one, and I don’t like other people running my life. As a famous musician, you spend more time doing stuff for the labels than actually playing. I couldn’t do that.

9 Comments:

Blogger Mckenzie said...

I believe that music is the universal language. I remember when my mom gave me my first CD player and I ran that thing to the ground, every chance I got I listened to it. Every since then I have had a love for all kinds of music and I can remember when I was 12 and my mom and me were driving home and she put in a Fleetwood Mac tape, I feel in love!!! To this day Fleetwood Mac is still one of my favorite bands. Music is the best thing in the world and you can express yourself.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that it is great that you have maintained your dream all these years. With anything in life, sometimes we don't get to do what we want. I was reading your blog, and at the end you said something that hit home. As a mother I feel that at times I do things because of the appearance to others and not because it is the right thing to do. I don't want to teach my son this way of doing things. The problem is that we are the "Clovis Unified" school district and all they are about is who has what. I know as an adult that this is not what is important but if has the things that is "the cool thing" then his school career will be easier. What do you do? Good luck with the dream!!

1:29 PM  
Blogger _Dubz_ said...

It’s good that you stuck with the drumming Mr. Judd, because trumpet players are not the coolest. I used to play the trumpet in elementary then one day I was in class, and my teacher brought in a snare drum, and a drum set that had just been purchased. He got on and started in on them, and at that point I knew that I wanted to play the drums. Went home made my parents buy me a drum and I was off. My father was a little ticked off because of the fact that he had just dropped a mad amount of cash on my brand new trumpet. In the end it was the best for me, because during high school the drummers were the bad boys and the trumpet players didn’t get much action. But you should totally become a rock star Mr. Judd!!

1:34 PM  
Blogger Edgar Tamayo aka. "DA BOY PEPPER" said...

When I was younger I loved to play music instruments. When I was in Elementary school, I was on the school’s beginning band, and the advance band (also known as the marching band). The first instrument I ever played was the trumpet. I was 2nd chair trumpet throughout 5th and 6th grade. In 7th grade I decided to try out for a percussion instrument. After long practices with the marching band I managed to secure a position as one of the snare drum players. In my 8th grade year I managed to become the drum captain for the marching band. It was a great experience to play the trumpet and the drums. I haven’t played any instruments since then but each time I hear a song with some kick ass trumpet or drum playing I always have to turn it up.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, Mr. Judd do you like the music.So, your uncle were in the Marines and playing with the music. That's kool. That's kool your mom and dad was interested in the music.At least your uncle was support with you to get a drum set. Mr. Judd this bands were awsome and there are still awsome like the Eagles,Van Halen,Kiss. Kiss has some songs that I like not all of them. I like all of the Eagles songs and the sixty olds songs.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that we all have dreams, is just up to us to acomplish them. and i will have to tell you i would love to some day learn to play an instrument, but since very little i've known that i like to be around people and they probably wouldnt stay around if i was to sing, or play the drums =).

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well i think that music is great and i love to lisen and sing. but my voice isnt that good but anyways when i was a little girl every time my mom will clean the house she would have music and so i grew up and every time i clean the house i need to have music.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Maria Ramirez said...

“So you wanna be a rock superstar…”

The first time I decided to play the violin was when I started seeing mariachi bands playing. I just loved the way they handled the violin, it’s almost like if it was calling out to me. It has been a long time since I last played any instrument, but I still enjoy hearing and watching them play. I love listening to all kinds of music. I got into listening to classical music when I was in high school one of my teachers would play that type of music when we would right or get into groups to do projects.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, inspiration. I know exactly how you feel, although I never actually learned to play an instrument. While in elementary school my best friend was Patrick Contreras, who is now a world renowned violinist, he inspired me greatly. I do my music thing too, check it out at myspace.com/rizeupfresno. I love the atmosphere and the culture of hip hop. Now I lean more towards production, I recently downloaded FruityLoops into my home computer, and I'm hooked on beats. It's a wonderful outlet that creates beautiful things. Writing lyrics helps clear my mind and I get to say what I feel about trials, life experiences, and where the world is in general. I can't stand commercial hip hop, they've lost the true essence, but the real undergound creative minds I respect highly. My favorite is Nas, and I've been listening to a lot of midwest culture lately. Kanye West, Common, Lupe Fiasco, and John Legend. The views that aren't California or New York mainstream. Soul music is finding it's way into beats and choruses and frankly, sometimes things are better explained by icons from the past.
I don't want to be famous, I just want to reach people, and through music, I feel that it's possible. With the culture of the Internet, websites like Myspace, you tube, Limewire, and iTunes, we are more able to find widespread views, songs, and emotions. It's easier now than ever before, to hear and be heard.
Chris Christopherson

1:12 PM  

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