Guest post by Matt Bronson.

This year’s PASIC was one that was very special to me. I was unable to go last year for a few reasons, some financial, and some scheduling. Although I was not able to attend for the whole weekend, i could tell that this year i really needed to go. It seemed as though half way through my Junior year, it was time to Recharge my batteries, regain some inspiration, and most of all have a great time. Fortunate to have two great friends also attending from the studio at WCSU, we were able to plan flights appropriately, and split the hotel cost.

The first night was incredible, seeing Steve Schick perform as well as So Percussion was an amazing experience. After a long day of traveling we went back to our hotel the “La Quinta” (Very affordable Place to stay next time its in Indy) and crashed. The next day was exciting, two great drum set clinics, Billy Martin’s “Life on Drums” clinic, and John Riley’s clinic, “The Art of Improvisation.” Both Clinics were fantastic, and i recommend both artists books if you haven’t checked them out yet. Billy’s book interestingly enough, is in non western notation, its pretty cool.

Before both of these clinics, something amazing happened. Me and my roommate Matt, after spending a few hours in the showroom, were sitting outside of one of the clinic rooms looking over some music we had purchased. While waiting for doors to open, a man came up to us both and asked if we would mind if he sat with us. We of course said it was okay, and he proceeded to sit and talk drums with us. This is one of my favorite parts of PASIC. Tons of drummers and percussionist congregating together simply because they love playing, teaching and learning. As he sat down, we began talking. He had never really been exposed to Billy Martin. A big fan, i began telling him about his new DVD and book. After i told him about this he asked if i would be at the John Riley clinic happening later that day. I told him that i would definitely be there, and that I hadn’t had a lot of exposure to John Riley, but had heard a ton of great things. After this, he asked me if i would watch his things for a moment and i told him no problem. He literally went sprinting off. Some time passed, and as soon as i looked at my watch wondering where he had gone, he returned. He had Both of John Rileys books, “The Art of Bop Drumming” and “Beyond Bop Drumming” in his hands. He handed them to me and said, “You’d better check these out.”

It all happened so fast that when i looked down for a moment to look at the books, he was already on his way into Billy Martins clinic which was just starting. I yelled Thank you and he gave me a thumbs up. I quickly got up and grabbed my things to tell him again how thankful i was. When i entered the room, there were already so many people inside that i had lost him. Determined, i looked around for a while before i gave up and the clinic was officially starting. Amazed at this experience, i must have told everyone i knew that day about this incredibly generous man i had met.

The next day while browsing the Malletech Booth i recognized him and was able to finally shake his hand and formally thank him. John Riley was at the Alfred Booth later that day and was also able to sign both books for me. Having a terrible memory, today i cannot remember this kind mans name, although i want to remind everyone in the Percussion world how fortunate we are to have events like PASIC to bring us all together as a community. Experiences like the one i had are ones that make the world of percussion unique.

If the man who did this for me happens to read this by any chance, I want him to know how much his kind gesture touched me. Also, that I’ve been tearing apart “The Art of Bop Drumming” ever since i got back from Indy 😉

This is a very inspiring story and speaks well of the experience that is PASIC. Do you have similar stories about your experiences? Leave them below the post.

Originally posted on on January 16, 2012.

Dave Gerhart
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