Writing and Drumming
By ice rivers
I'm not a drummer although I consider myself to be one because I was one once upon a time. Here's the thing though, a drummer's got to drum and since I no longer have a set of drums, the only drumming I do is when I slap my thighs along with Spotify and/or sacred vinyl.
When it comes to drumming, my main purpose as a rock drummer was to accentuate the beat and keep the time. I was part of the band, an important part but driving the band rather than leading it. We had lead singers and lead guitarists and lead keyboardists to do that but they all needed the beat to sustain them. I wasn't playing drum solos between beats. This is why I prefer Charlie Watts and Ringo Starr over Keith Moon or Danny Seraphine. Charlie and Ringo keep the beat. They don't care to be Buddy Rich or Gene Krupa. Maybe Danny and Keith et al have more flamboyant moves but they occasionally forget about the time keeping duties which Ringo and Charley never do.
Finding the beat and keeping the beat and feeling the beat pulse through your body is a gift that never goes away. My performance was often praised not because of any virtuosity but because of the joy I manifested when I got a hold of the beat and sent that gift out to the people who danced along with it.
Now let's switch to writing. I know I'm a writer because I write. I have a certain gift and it brings me joy to deliver that gift but most of all I consider the "dancing" of the folks who pick up on the gift. I'm not a symphonic orchestra or a cover band. I'm a dance band. I'm a writer for readers.
I'm not interested in flourishes. I'm not into setting or weather. Not really into plot. My numbers are not FM 20 minute cuts. My numbers are quick and to the point. I'm playing a bunch of greatest hits over and over again all the time. They can be read in any order so when collected and put in some kind of order they resemble a concept album although the concept is always the same. Locate the beat. Turn the beat into words that stay. Enjoy the thrill of creativity and imagine the readers reading. It doesn't have to be a stadium. Nineteen or twenty people dancing/reading is fine with me. My performance will always be the same as if it's the last show of my life. In the end the numbers add up to stadium figures and I've done my job.