When I was a kid, I used to listen to the teenager who lived on the corner playing his drums.
To my adolescent ears, Ray Hotchkiss sounded accomplished, but he probably wasn’t the next Charlie Watts–just a teenager good enough to create and maintain a rhythm.
After hearing Ray a few times and seeing Ringo Starr with The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, I begged my mom for a drum kit, and after bugging her enough, she sent me to a drum instructor and bought me a drum pad and sticks.
She bought me a drum kit soon after, but in reflection, I think she jumped the gun on that purchase; after receiving the set, I learned a simple bass, snare, and cymbal rhythm, which must have encouraged both my mom and me, but that modest rhythm was as far as I got.
These days, whenever I see a little kid on YouTube playing very proficiently, I can’t help but wish I would have stuck with it; maybe I could have played like that kid in a few years, perhaps I could have played like Ray Hotchkiss by the time I was in High School, and maybe I even could have joined a band.
The drumming stopped from Ray’s house soon after I had quit, and now 50 years later, I wonder if he was as fickle as I was.