So you want to be a drummer? Here's my story so far ...

I started playing drums at age 15 in the school and military band while at Monivae College in Hamilton Victoria. After many fumbling attempts with drumming, I honed my skills by becoming the lead drummer in the Army band and moonlighting as a cover band drummer whilst at still school. The first gig I did was at a school social, and the first song I played was Boppin' the Blues. After that night it convinced me my life was meant for the stage.

Now the only thing missing was a drum kit that i did not have. My Father who attempted to teach us guitar with a respected  teacher failed, as this was not my true calling, and boy did those strings cut my fingers. So dad bought me my first drum  kit  in 1977 from the Police, no not the band, as someone couldn't pay for it and had it repossessed. After blowing up many of mum and dad's sound systems I was asked to play some jazz with a piano player at the Macs Hotel  in Portland. What did i know about Jazz? I quickly turned to the ABC Jazz Series and
watched Don Burrows and David Jones in action to get a feel for this style of music.
My mission now half accomplished I played the gig for six months every Friday
night and the free drinks. where a bonus too!

Spotted by some local musicians the music flowed with cover bands into a dabble into country music and it seemed I was building a reputation as being a really good feel drummer.

With my good mate Jeff Mizzi ( bloody brilliant drummer ) we held drum clinics in Portland for kids that wanted to learn the drums which also gave them the skills to play on stage. There are adults now in Portland that I remember teaching (as kids) who now play live and with skill.

After a While I made a move to Queensland with former Portland band Onyx , and, after a while joined a number of bands on the Gold Coast where I stayed for two years before returning to Portland with all  that I owned at the time, just two boxes of clothes and a drum Kit.  I spent the next two years working with local musicians and then heading to Melbourne living on the Mornington Peninsula playing with The Mini Sun Gods, and the Groove Demons and the Horns from Hell. My other best mate Steve Xuerb is still the best bass player I've ever played with.

After recording  a CD and playing at some of Melbourne's best venues it was off to Cairns with work, and the drum kit in tow. Cairns afforded me a lot of acoustic work further honing my skills with the brushes, whilst having a really great life style mingling with many other musicians wanting to play in and around Cairns.

Two years and a pretty good suntan  later I headed off to Darwin with work, and as it happened,  moved into an apartment just around the corner from a little Jazz club where I meet three  amazing local musicians that played at this club. There names are; Jamie, Cloudy,Bernie and Houndog (a quartet by the name of Pfea)  They played all the jazz standards as well as some of the most inspiring folk/ blues songs I'd ever heard! One or several martinis later, I asked if I could sit in, and, soon found myself part of the band line up and recording with them.

My time in Darwin was unique. It shaped my direction for feel and rhythm which proved invaluable for my future endeavors. Sadly I left Darwin due to work commitments too early, however Jamie and the team are now living in the Barossa where I catch up with them when I can. I've since recorded another CD with them and we remain the best of musical friends.

I happen to bump into John Roberts when I auditioned for a cover band he was playing in. We immediately connected. His quirky sense of humor, a love for red wine, and his passion for music, we knew there'd be greater things planned for us .He floated the idea of the Stolen Apples concept to me over one of our long lunches and whilst I was a little less than enthusiastic at first, I stuck with it and in hindsight, given the caliber of musicians, Paul's music, and the passion we all share, it was a decision that has proven to be well worth it.

While it has taken many years to come to this point as a drummer, I'd like to say this; always believe in your talent, never give up, and always take every opportunity to play, and meet
some amazing people as I have has the privilege to.

PS: I forgot to mention that I've met Paul Kelly. So come and have a chat at our next gig, now that you all know me a bit more now.