Originally Posted by larryace
I'd like to poll everyone here as to the attitude, either for or against, of your parents, in regards to your drumming. I'd also like to know if you come from a long, or short, line of musicians, or not. Obviously this applies to drummers who started out while still under the care of their parents, but feel free to chime in if you started later in life.
My parents got me my first MIJ kit in 1968 when I was 10, so that implies a "for". The previous year I got bongos, but they never really satisfied me. I had restless leg syndrome, I was forever bouncing my right leg. I needed a bass drum. But as I never lost interest playing drums, in the years to follow, my Father definitely regretted helping me get started. I heard him with my own ears express those exact sentiments when I was an adult. He didn't know how huge it would become in my life in 1968, and felt he "lost" me after I got involved with drums. Lol. I would have played regardless, I just would have got my first kit at a later time. But there was no denying the fact that it was inside me and needed to come out. (a nod to a line in John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillun")
What I don't understand is...no one in the previous generations of my family, was musical at all, AFAIK. So I don't know where it came from. I did have an older cousin who had, and still owns, a 60's Ludwig black oyster pearl "Ringo" set, but I discovered drums on my own before that. He just helped fuel the fire that was already established.
So, in regards to your parent's attitude... was your drumming encouraged, discouraged, or treated indifferently? Are you the first generation of musicians in your family?
I'm going to assume that since they've financed my little habit when I was 5 maybe they were "for". But I have this sneaking suspicion they didn't expect me to take it as far as I did. Like many parents, they probably thought it was cool that their son wanted to do something, and I had two uncles who played music for the US Army and they played in alot of different places because of it. One had his own jazz combo, and supplied our house with alot of jazz records to listen to. So I think I'm part of the second generation of musicians in my family, and the encouragement was good.
When I was 12 mom would drive me weekly to my lessons, and they were quick to allow me money to buy sticks and a head if I needed it. In fact, it was my dad who took me shopping for my first cymbal bag ($78 back in 1979! Alot of money to a kid) when he saw I had nothing to carry them in when he drove me out for my first gigs - so he knew the cymbals were instruments to be protected. Later I discovered that he was an avid ukulele and mandolin player when he was a kid, but he stopped all of that when he decided to raise a family.
I guess over the years they were very supportive. They let me re-locate to a high school that had an actual marching band, and didn't mind when I spent my summers on the road with a drum and bugle corps, and understood my willingness to study music in college and helped pay for that too. When I started working for the Mouse they were very proud and I think they enjoyed the bragging rights.
Through all of this, I recall dad telling me on the way home from a gig when I was 11, "Make sure you get the trash out in the morning and mow the lawn when you get a chance". My parents were cool.