March 2018
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Marjory Stoneman Douglas

This wonderful lady lived in Coconut Grove and fought to save the Everglades. Bethlehem Asylum w/ Vince Martin recorded the soundtrack for “Care for the Land” aired on CBS. She created the first eco lobby, Friends of the Everglades, that prevented a jetport from being built in the middle of the Everglades. Remember her for this, please. Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

Ornamenting the Groove

Ornamenting the Groove
In translating the traditional rock and R n B Soul grooves back over to the djembe, I noticed that the youngbloods don’t always understand the phrasing that goes into good soloing. They just bang and don’t set up a steady repeatable phrase first. In traditional foundation Soul drumming the drummer does not make a fill until the end of the phrase. That way it does not get in the way of the vocal or soloist. The drummer keeps a steady foundation pattern then kicks it with a little spicy fill usually at the end of a four bar phrase. Or maybe an eight bar phrase. The fill would have to end on the downbeat of the upcoming phrase so that everybody knows where the new phrase is starting.”Where’s ONE?”The Downbeat anchor note is something that humans need to hear in order to feel safe and dance. The four bar phrase with a fill at the end is part of our psychic rhythm history. It goes way back in time. It is part of our magical drumming past as well as foundation for good jazz. It does something to the soul. So the challenge would be for the over excited critical mind to behave itself and not solo until the end of a four bar phrase. That means counting or just feeling. Count to four three times then on the forth time, cut loose with your fill. You will dig it.

Nice vocals, Some explanations of the Helmtone healing drum protocols

full moon drumming 3.2.18

after-birthday drumming meditation 2.20.18

“History of the Groove” audible now available on itunes

“History of the Groove” Audible now available on itunes and at

This is closer to what I think I am going for with the drumming/trance/talking performance. I like how it turned out and plan on doing more!


Drumming for tears

Drumming for tears
Two women entered the shop, got to talking. Showed one of them the downbeat while her friend browsed crystals and pendants, swayed by the beat. I got her to sit with a drum on a stand, -relax the knees. She found the groove, settled in while I rattled on, riffing off the cosmic carrier wave. She tears up and slowly starts to let the crying happen. Its a moving event. She lit up. “I’ll be back.”

“Your store told me to come in.”

“Your store told me to come in.”
Is a refrain we hear a lot. From different kinds of people. Not just ethnic gift buyers, but also Millenials with their green drinks, city employees from SMPD and SMFD. Local trophy wives with their trophy children. The older SM residents who know us and smile as they come by to visit and marvel that we are still here after 33 years. Also wisened world travelers who sense the otherness in the shop. But once they are in the door, I chat them up, “You’re invited to our drumming meditation workshops.” They are usually intrigued, “I have never heard of drumming meditation!”
This is where I get them….”Here let me show you.” I murmur sliding behind my djembe and tambourine. I play a single downbeat in the middle of the drumhead. It reverberates through their body and their souls. The drum is special; carved just for us by Jumoke’s people in Ghana. The browsers smile with surprise, it is suddenly a very moving experience for them. “The floor is up off the ground, so we have subsonic resonance in this old Crsaftsman House.” I explain. “The first thing I said when I walked in here thirty one years ago was; This is a great drum room! It reminded me of the drum booths in all the major recording studios. They had to build those rooms to get the right drum sound. This room is perfect. It’s like playing inside an old Martin Dreadnaught guitar. I chat some more and settle into a quiet moderate groove as they experience the feeling that cannot be described in words. They usually go to trance in less than seven seconds. They then nod their heads, “Now I know why I came in here. I need this.” They may sit and play a drum for a few minutes. They invariably come back for the drumming meditation workshops and they often book private one-on-one sessions with us to use the drum to relax, clear out their mind and focus on their positive goals. I learn so much every time I do this. The Universe wants this download of consciousness to happen.


“Decline of Western Civilization” pics

“Decline of Western Civilization” punk music documentary 1980 by Penelope Spheeris. I was in the Mosh Pit at Club 88 in West LA., minding my own business listening to the music, “X” was playing, but some poser wanted to drink my beer. I had to straighten him out.

I guess I was a fixture in the punk scene. Played in a few bands. Nothing that great. Nothing like playing with Tim Buckley, A lot like Bethlehem Asylum energy. I was researching for screenplays I was writing for an indie producer, “War Zone” and “Saint Sid” Never got made. But this punk Doc got a lot of exposure. At the premier all the punks took turns wearing my hat.