The Best Compliment I’ve Ever Received In My Drumming Career…

I love to get groovy any chance I get.

I love to get groovy any chance I get.

Now that you have read about how drum competitions work, I want to tell you about my favorite competition we would go to every year. It was held at the beautiful Pepperdine University. If you can afford the $40k a year it costs to go there, you will enjoy some of the most beautiful views you can imagine.

Besides the views, one of the reasons I liked this competition so much was because if you won, you got to come back that night and perform in the main auditorium for everyone. This was right before the awards ceremony so there were usually 750 to 1000 people in the room. There were no rules when you played there. No time limit, no required attributes the judges wanted to see, just go rock out and have a blast.

One year after I finished playing for everyone, I was stopped by the kid who had won the tenor competition and was getting ready to perform after me. He was African American and he grabbed me by the arm and asked, “Was that you that was just playing?” I said, “Yes” and he then said one of the coolest things I have ever heard, “Man, I would have bet money you were black!” I grabbed this complete stranger and gave him a great big hug and told him “Thanks Man!”

I grew up loving funk music and I constantly play it every chance I get. I have a not-so-secret desire to one day be the only white guy on stage. Just once, it can even just be a rehearsal or jam session. I have such a respect for so many of the African American drummers who play with so much soul and feeling. For this guy to put me in that category just by hearing me play was a tremendous honor. He certainly deserved a hug!

Leave A Reply (1 comment so far)


  1. Llavar Mindley

    Chris,

    Cool story. Keep up the good work, and inspiring others. I’ve learned that you never know who’s watching.

    -Llavar

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