Monday, November 10, 2008

My Five Minutes of Musical Fame

While working out on the elliptical the other day, I was thinking about my musical career and my former bandmates. I never became a professional musician, but I have certainly had some mild touches with great players who went on to become pro musicians.

I first learned to play the drum set as a sophomore in high school. My very first band was based in a town called Forest Hills Gardens in Queens, New York. We were best friends with another band, and all of us used to jam with each other. The lead guitarist of the other band was guy by the name of Chieli Minucci ( Chieli went on to be a world-known guitarist in the smooth jazz circles as the leader of a band called SFX.

As a junior, I played with a progressive rock group from Long Island called Heresy. We played some pretty sophisticated covers of songs by ELP (we played the entire Karn Evil 9 suite), King Crimson, Gentle Giant, and Jethro Tull (the entire Thick as a Brick). The bassist, Tony Garone ( has gone on to play with Jethro Tull at some of the Tull conventions.

As a senior in high school, I played with an experimental free-jazz-rock-space band called Third Sun. Although the sax/flute/synth play, Douglass Walker, went on to become one of the early pioneers of the American Space Rock scene, the player who had the most success was Pablo “Coca” Calagero ( He went on to play sax with people like Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, and other famous people in the Latin Jazz scene. He also had a part in the movie The Mambo Kings.

When I went to college, within the first few weeks, I hooked up with a free jazz group. The trumpet player was Richard Edson. He went on to fame as the first drummer of the noise group Sonic Youth. Richard went on to be an actor, and had significant roles in movies like Good Morning Vietnam and Do the Right Thing. Most recently, he has been on a series of commercials for the Travelers Insurance Company as the human embodiment of risk.

After my sophomore year of college, I pretty much gave up on playing with small groups. I dove into the world of classical music, and from then on, the only groups I cared to play with were orchestras and wind ensembles, in addition to playing solo percussion and marimba. But, by association, I have had my five minutes of fame.

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved.
All opinions here are personal, and have no relation to my employer.

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