It all began in 1967, playing the drums as a paid professional. I was 16 years old. My Mom bought me my first drumset for my 16th birthday. I was a horrible student and there was no hope for me in the public school system. I was an uncontrollable juvenile delinquent on my way to jail or prison. I gave up on public school after the 6th grade and became a ninth grade dropout. I can only attribute any acquired literacy for reading and writing to a caring teacher, Mrs. Nichols. She was my 5th and 6th grade teacher in Geneva,Florida
After 10 years of playing music I decided to get a formal music education. In 1976 I enrolled in class piano at Seminole Community College. Dr. Bill Hinkle, who directed many of the music programs, encouraged me to become a full time student. I auditioned, won a music scholarship and a seat in the Florida All State College Jazz Band. I didn’t even have a High School Diploma.
I’m writing all of this to say that my education was very unusual. I’m not proud of it, but I am proud of it.
For many years, because of my limited education, I thought I was stupid.
My College grades reflected something different. I was very surprised. After my first semester of classes my grades were high enough to be placed on the Presidents list. I continued this momentum, took my High School GED at age 28 and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Music.
“I’m not a poet and I’m not a writer”
I never studied writing and completed one College Freshman 101 English-Writing class. Why I’ve attempted to put “any” of my stories on paper is a mystery to me. For the past several years, I’ve tried to learn about writers and poets.
So there you have it.
My introductory is the same for these four books. I’m editing and publishing the four of them simultaneously. I don’t plan to publish any more books of this type. I only refer to my writing and publishing these four books as “Clearing Out The Morgue”
The stories in my books began life on paper in the 70s. Written, stored and moved from place to place. They eventually became semi organized into paper notebooks, a Commodore 64 word processor, G4 PowerBook, iPad, iPhone and MacBook Pro.
My music & drumming stories from the 60s became:
Notes of a Young Drummer 1966-1969
You Play The Drums?
These stories are based on music experiences. Written observations of gigs, the road, jazz, avant-garde, blues, people & places.
I the first person
Most of these stories start with the pronoun I, referring to myself.
Are you ser-i-ous ? You must be kid-ding ! Jok-ing Come on now, No Way !
These are the opposite of I The First Person. I attempt to alleviate the (I) from each story. Many of them written while drinking coffee in a mall, cafe or sitting on a park bench.
The Road Is
The musician’s life. Playing gigs, travel, clubs, bands, relationships and all of those things musicians experience on their journey. My stories are much the same as other musicians.
This book is dedicated to those musicians.
Reflections in the form of brief sentences and paragraphs
These books are available from Amazon
I’m hard at work to have Tommy’s book released by September. It’s coming along quite well. It will be over 200 pages of Tommy’s lessons and a history of his Drumming Career. Stay Tuned