Re: Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz here!
I've been reading this thread for the last few days in growing amazement, and this last little burst has actually motivated me to log in and post again.
Bermuda - I don't understand why you've taken what's been posted here as an insult or attack, to be honest. Womble was arguing one point with you, and frankly it was one that I think was pretty easy to argue. I'd disagree with you too on the point that anybody can develop the level of skill that Vinnie has on the instrument through mere practice alone - if that's the case, why aren't there that many spot-on Vinnie clones out there? There's certainly plenty of fans, and plenty of work that would go to them if they could do it...
But that's not what's motivated me to post. At this point you somehow seem to have backed yourself into a corner and got into the belief that your abilities are being attacked, and I really can't understand why having read the thread.
There's no dispute that what you do on your gig takes a high level of skill that is a speciality field even in the world of pro drumming. One of my teachers at Drumtech - Mark Roberts, who worked with D:Ream and DJ Rap - was phenomenally good at the kind of stuff you're discussing here. He could pick an enormous range of electronic drum sounds by make and model of drum machine just by listening to a track - didn't have to reference or compare, he just knew what they were and where to get them. He would set us assignments in class to work out how to replicate and rebuild tracks when you don't have the original samples to hand. He was also the MD of the tours he was playing on at the time I was studying with him, and I'm sure you know the workload that entails too - particularly from the drum chair. That was part of the skill-set that would get him live touring work, because sometimes he'd get approached with stuff from an artist who wanted their record note-for-note but didn't have the samples that had been used to program the beats. As a pro drummer you have to have a skill set that sets you apart, whether it is a practical skill (reading, being able to do in-depth analysis and reconstruction of parts, ability to program sequencers etc etc) or a very individual personal playing style or creative approach. I think for anybody at your career level that's a given, and people realise that.
I understand the difficulty. I'm sure Womble does too. And I'm sure that SickRick's post earlier in the thread saying that if you ever left your gig he'd love to give it a shot was just that - honest aspiration. Saying that you'd like to try for a drum stool if it became available doesn't constitute criticism of the person currently occupying it or a suggestion that the gig is easy, surely? Why would you want a drum stool previously occupied by a crap drummer with an easy job? That's no kind of a goal in life, and SickRick isn't an unambitious basher. If he says he'd want a gig it's probably because he thinks it'd be rewarding and challenging, which I presume is why you want it too.
Womble was arguing with you about your assertion that anybody could learn to play like Vinnie. That's all. Nobody is trying to prove that you're incompetent or anything of the sort, and I honestly have no idea where you're getting that from. This all seems like an argument about nothing.