It is a love story – a love of the rhapsody of the sound of the drums that has dominated the life of Luke-Johnn. He shares his story with you.
By the age of three, I was already drawn to the sounds, beat and rhythm of the drums. As kids are innately creative, I would set up trash cans on a pallet and would be content just banging away, all day. When I was five years old, my mother, who had observed my attraction to drums, arranged to send me for drum lessons with Mr. Rinaldi, a drummer who played with the famous Lawrence Welk. By the age of eight, I had started taking drum lessons from Dan C., who was affiliated with a major studio on the New York scene. The years progressed and my love of the sounds produced by the drums intensified.
In high school, the school had built me a bandstand by which to entertain the crowd as the locals made their way toward the school football stadium. The beat of my drums rallied the crowd. I was like the twelfth man on the team, even if I did not need to suit up. I preferred to bang the drums instead of the clash of butting heads. I am honored that to this day that outdoor bandstand remains standing at my school stadium, with my name placed upon it, as the bandstand symbolizes my continuing dedication to the world of drumming.
Fourteen was an exciting year. It was a thrill to have gotten my first record deal offer with a New York band called Lipstick. Music was my passion. Throughout my school years, I played in the school jazz band and I also had an array of side bands. Some of the bands included Predator, Lickity Split, Roxx Off, Arrival, Sticky Fingers, Jet, Inside Out and others. My musical world was ever expanding. I vividly recall having played on the New Jersey boardwalk for the band called Arrival at the Chatterbox. We opened for Bon Jovi. It was a blast. Then there was a gig under the Elecktra records label with a band called Roxx Off. My mind is filled with a continuous flood of fond memories of concerts, gigs, jazz sessions and utter mania.
High school soon became a fleeting memory. I took to studying music and pursued my passion working with talented people and with great studios. In all modesty, I was fortunate to have played with Dave Polinski, Microboards, Lincoln Zimmerman, Jessie Basto, Neil Zaza, Bobby Rock, Bret, Bill Buddy Dickens, Rene Benton, Lexicon, Systec corp., Sony, DreamWorks, Rollen Records, Nicklaus Rice, Black Death Vodka, STH Productions, and the list goes on. The rest will be in my soon to be completed new book (“Not Another Dumb Drummer”).
The years passed by and I entered my twenties. My experience with the band Lickity Split out of New York, and with the band called Inside Out, and then a band called Shady Blade out of Los Angeles led me, in the early 1990s, to decide to join up with KiddNasty. What a great bunch of talented guys. Our music was rocking. However, as it is in life, we each drifted in different directions to explore other opportunities. Yet, it remained our hope that we would reunite when ready, drawn by our common love of making great music.
So, in 1995, I pursued studio work and started giving clinics for drumming in Los Angeles. In 1998, an initial recording studio that I built in Los Angeles ended up morphing into four recording studios. I had the learning pleasure of working with people and studios at Sony, Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, Nova Star, Steven Spielberg, John Geffen, Digi, Micro Boards, Lexicon, and many industry icons. Playing with some great people has been an unending learning process. The creation of music can be inspiration, but sometimes it is just perspiration. Ego aside, I have learned to remain receptive to new ideas, new sounds, new beats, new rhythms and new possibilities. I learned that the new is but a merger of the old integrated into the magic of the moment.
In 2000, I was working with a special person Rene Benton at Paramount in California. Steven C, also known as Steve Perry, was my brilliant producer. I was encouraged to start my solo projects. By this stage in my life, my experiences were broad based. I was doing sound, producing plays in Georgia, making CDs for Capital Records, editing movies for Warner Brothers, the owner of four recording studios, endorsed by some great companies and all things, on the surface, appeared real good (if not perfect). My drumming career was happening and the monetary rewards were being reaped.
Then, in 2001, reality came crashing down upon me. Tragedy struck. My wife passed away. Everything was proverbially placed on “hold.” Unforeseen events change lives and lives change events. From the immobilizing depths of darkness and sorry that I experienced as a result of my wife’s death in 2001, in 2003 I gradually began to emerge renewed when I meet my now wife. As the light in my life began to be rekindled, I committed to start to live life again. However, I also felt that change was needed, as there remained too much ambient noise created by other people around me who sought to undermine my well-being. I, therefore, temporarily walked away from the music business that I loved and opened a consulting business.
You know, one may elect to walk away from the music business, but, trust me, the God given love and passion for music cannot be muted. I, for one, cannot suppress it. I must give expression to the rhythmic sounds that reverberate in my head. The making of music is an irresistible force that must be unleashed and shared. So, by 2010, I went back east and reconnected with KiddNasty. A new momentum to reunite began to evolve.
The process has been emerging. We stand at the threshold of bringing KiddNasty back to the public. The sounds of the drums for our new CD will rock your socks. The music will roar. Yes, a new CD is in works.
Be a part of our new beginning! LUKE-JOHNN IS BACK. Follow this Website for more details.