My Musical Roots - The Ventures

As many of you have read in the past, I come from a long line of drummers. I grew up in a home where there were never fewer than two drum sets at any given time. There was my dad's set, which was usually in the garage unless my parents were having one of their frequent parties or my dad's band, The Aristocrats of Dixie, were rehearsing. On any of these occasions, his drums were brought into the living room.

My brother, too, was a drummer and he kept his set in his room unless he was playing for a dance somewhere. Being seven years older than me, he was all about rockabilly, 50s rock and roll, and later, 60s Top 40. In the 70s he went into biker band music and blues, and finally, country...

I heard drumming every day of my life from the day I was born, so I really didn't hear it at all. Drumming was just a normal part of everyday life, from my dad, my brother, and me drumming absently on table tops and door sills to actually hitting the skins. I still drum on everything and my feet are constantly playing an invisible high-hat and kick drum.

I used to like to watch my brother play. He kept his record player on a table beside his set, and he'd turn it up really loud and play along. Sometimes when he was gone, I'd go in there and do the same. The song I learned to play first was Walk, Don't Run by The Ventures. It's a straightforward 4/4 beat, the most complicated thing being the rolls that occur every so often. Later, as a young teen, I went on to play harder songs. I was good, too, but then, it runs in the blood, so I never really considered playing drums any kind of feat. Sometimes my brother and I would play together, he on drums and me on my electric guitar. We'd play other Ventures songs like, Pipeline and Misirlou. The Ventures were a huge influence on me musically, thanks to my brother.
"Among artists listing The Ventures as a favorite or an influence are George Harrison (Beatles), Joe Walsh (James Gang, Eagles), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Stephen Stills, Peter Frampton, Roger Fisher (Heart), Stanley Clarke,  Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Fogerty (CCR), Jeff Cook (Alabama), and Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits). Blondie, the GoGos, and the B52s are groups that list The Ventures in their roots.
"More recently, Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) have added their names to the list.  Keith Moon (the Who), Max Weinberg, and Alan White (Yes) have identified the Ventures as a percussion influence. Even Elton John, in his Starbucks Christmas Collection, pays homage to The Ventures." (from The Ventures website)
MAIN INFLUENCES: Clarity of melody and rhythm, instrumental mastery and the importance of a solid rhythm guitar and bass counterpoint.

Here's a video of The Ventures performing Walk, Don't Run in 1984. I'd rather have an earlier one, but they were all synced and didn't show off the drums.