The Bobby Rock Newsletter #3 (2-17-2021) - If These Drums Could Talk...
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #3 (2-17-2021) - If These Drums Could Talk...
In this issue, I wanted to offer a little backstory on one of the largest and most unusual drum sets in the world... my own! But for you non-drummers, don't worry. I'll spare you the deep dive into the shop-talk particulars (for now) and jump straight into something we can all relate to: the intangible mystique of well-traveled musical instruments.
From there, we'll segue into some useful tips for healthier eating, then chat briefly with a dear old friend (and my former drum teacher) about his take on Dragon Dirt.
(And yes.... I know this shit is still WAY too long. Still trying to find my groove with it.)
In This Issue:
If These Drums Could Talk
There’s no question: I love the virginal sheen and lacquered aroma of brand new drums. But older drums tend to emit more character... to carry human history in their wood... and to absorb and reflect all of the spiritual and kinetic energy inflicted upon them via their guardian's innumerable hours of sweat and toil. It’s impossible to extract that kind of mojo out of fresh new drums from the factory (although beating character into them can certainly be a joyous process over time!).
Meet the Alpha Kit. This beautiful monstrosity has been my primary practice room/solo project drum set for more years than I can recall. It’s essentially a hybrid merging of instruments unique to my personal journey, so the collective “vibration" of this kit is palpable. Sitting in the middle of all those drums and cymbals is like being suspended in a vortex of cultural totems and sacred nostalgia. You can feel where these drums and cymbals have traversed, and you can’t help but wonder: If these drums could talk, what stories would they tell?
A big chunk of the kit is my original Radial Bridge drum set that Steven Volpp and the Peavey gang built for me back in ’99. I started with those drums, then once I began to develop the alphabet drumming concept—where I play certain words and phrases in rhythm—the set began to expand into its present 360 degree design. I can face forward or backwards as it's essentially two giant kits melded together.
Because I’m more of an accumulator than a collector, I had amassed a wide variety of drums and cymbals in storage near my practice room. And as my vision for this kit expanded through the years, each new piece was brought in as somewhat of a functional placeholder for what would surely, one day, be some mammoth new custom-built drum kit, sparkly and pristine, with its perfect maple shells and glistening brass and chrome. After all, this was just the 1.0 Frankenstein version of the Alpha Kit, right?
But then, somewhere along the way, after countless hours of playing this kit and listening to its glorious tones reverberate around the woodshed, something unexpected happened: the “Frankenstein" nature of the kit became its own unique thing—its own twisted choir of percussion voices—and it simply sounded like no other set of drums I’ve ever heard. In other words, the unorthodox configurations and unconventional drum and cymbal groupings created their own original, collective sound. And I knew I would have to record this exact set-up, just as it is.
So now, I’m in the middle of cracking the code on how/where/when to finally finish drum tracks for a long-awaited new solo record: a “soundtrack" for my last book, The Boy Is Gonna Rock. I’m reluctant to throw any more projected release dates around because I’m the ultimate “boy who cried wolf” with missing deadlines. BUT—know that this new record, which has already been underway with Brett Garsed on guitar and Carl “The Fox” Carter on bass, is top of mind, every day.
In the meantime, if you click on the Drumming section at www.bobbyrock.com and scroll to the bottom of the page, you can enjoy a one-minute walk-around video tour of the Alpha Kit… all 40 drums, 30 cymbals, and 10 foot pedals of it.
More details soon….
Three Life-Changing Nutritional Practices to Try Immediately
As you might imagine, I believe that having a daily superfood smoothie as one of your meals is the single most important thing you can do for your nutritional well-being. But what else might I recommend for overall health and wellness? I’m glad you asked. Here are three simple (but not always easy) nutritional practices that, over time, will change your life if you consistently integrate them into your regimen.
Drink More Water: Proper hydration is foundational to every system in the body functioning optimally. Yet most of us are chronically dehydrated to some degree. Solution? Simply drink more water every day.
Eat More Legumes - Legumes include beans, peas, and lentils and are among the most underrated and overlooked superfoods around. They are high in protein and healthy carbs and have tons of fiber, which most folks need way more of. Here are a few ideas:
While this might be a gorgeous photo, it’s way more practical to use canned beans!
Note: If you find that legumes don’t agree with you, it’s likely because you aren’t used to eating them and the ultra-high fiber content can “mix things up” in your belly. If this is the case, try starting out with smaller serving sizes to let your body acclimate. It’s worth it!
Eat Less Food - Confucius says, “Hara Hachi Bu,” which basically means, “Eat until you are 80% full.” This is a directive followed by some of the most long-lived cultures of humans on the planet, perhaps most notably, the Okinawans. When we overeat—which happens multiple times a day for many of us—we place a tremendous burden on our digestive system and compromise our assimilation of the nutrients… among a host of many other health catastrophes. Try this:
Remember: You are ultimately not denying yourself that delicious food… you are merely prolonging your enjoyment of it by dividing it up into either two meals or a meal and a snack for later. Win/Win!
I recently launched my very own custom-blend superfood powder called Dragon Dirt. In this section, we offer tips and insights for our kick-ass new DD community.
Who are you and what do you do?
Craig LeMay - Drummer/Performer/Author/Educator; International traveler - scuba diver/snow skier/globe-trotter; Passionate long distance runner: 21 miles average per week, year-round. Based out of Houston, Texas.
What is your go-to Dragon Dirt recipe?
There are two:
A) My pre-run recipe is 12-ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, large banana, 2 scoops of raw oatmeal, and 1 scoop of Dragon Dirt. (I’m running every other day, every 48-hours… even when on vacation , if possible.)
B) My in-between running day recipe is 8-ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 4-ounces of “pulp" orange juice, large banana, large handful of blueberries, 2 scoops of Dragon Dirt.
When and how often do you drink the Dirt?
My first meal of the day is Dragon Dirt!
What health benefits have you noticed?
After the first 4-5 weeks of consistently using Dragon Dirt, my running stride increased drastically, which trimmed a whole 10 minutes off my 6-mile run pace... from 62 minutes to 52 minutes! I was in shock at those incredible results I had achieved in such a short time, using this nutrient-dense blend on a daily basis. After 3 months of using THE DIRT, I keep trimming away unwanted fatty weight, and replacing that weight with muscle. Persistence has paid off!
What might you tell someone who is trying Dragon Dirt for the very first time?
I tell everyone that’s interested in continuing a focused, healthy regimen, that this Dragon Dirt blend is by far the greatest, most nutrient-dense blend they could use. With laser-focus on a strong weekly workout regimen, and daily usage of Dragon Dirt, the magic all begins here; and all their health-oriented dreams will come true. LONG LIVE THE DRAGON!
(For more info, or to try your very own bag of Dirt, scope it HERE.)
Thanks, Craig! As mentioned, Craig is a great friend and one of my original drum instructors from Houston. Be sure and scope out his profile—and killer collection of drum kits—at the Community section of bobbyrock.com.
Thanks, everyone! If you haven’t already, be sure and take a moment to sign up in the upper right-hand corner of any page at www.bobbyrock.com. This will give you a much more customized experience, and also grant you access to various members-only areas, events, etc.
And again, let me know how I can make this Newsletter most useful to you. Just hit the reply button on this email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and talk to me. I try to respond to all of these that I can. Much appreciated.
Until next time,