About Russell Buddy Helm

russell Buddy Helm head shot

Buddy currently resides in Santa Monica, California and teaches drumming meditation and music theory at Seasons on Montana Avenue.

1021-A Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA90403

He produces video, film and music. He does session work in LA, performs and teaches. His main instruments are drum kit, percussion, African Djembes and Afro Cuban congas. He also plays keyboards, guitar, bass and flute. He is an excellent arranger and vocal coach. His drumming meditation workshops at Seasons have been the longest running drumming workshops- since 1987.

Streaming on justin.tv/buddyhelm.

Hear some of his  original music at myspace.com/buddyhelm

CD baby carries his Drum Protection prayers CD

Buddy Helm was classically trained as a musician starting at the age of eight years old. He received classical percussion training from Ailleen Trafford in Elkhart, Indiana then moved to Florida when he was 13 where he worked early with many R n B acts, country, soul, rock, salsa and Blues with his band, Bethlehem Asylum at Capricorn records in Macon Georgia toured with the original Allman Brothers, and at Criteria Studios in Miami he worked with Jerry Wexler and Tommy Dowd (Aretha Franklin’s producer). He has toured and recorded with many greats including Tim Buckley, Frank Zappa, The Allman Brothers, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Kinky Friedman, Van Dyke Parks, Fred Neil, Mike Bloomfield, Wolfman Jack, Ray Manzareck, John Densmore(Doors), Peter Ivers(New Wave Theater USA cable), Big Joe Turner, Billy Burnette(Fleetwood Mac), Dorsey Burnette, Bethlehem Asylum with Charlie Dechant(Hall and Oates sax player) and many others. His first high school rock band was Those Five with Frank O’keefe who went on to help form the Outlaws in Tampa, Florida.


His higher education includes University of South Florida, St. Petersburg Jr. College (Jim Morrison’s Alma Mater)
University of Miami(Jazz orchestra with Jerry Coker), UCLA screenwriting with David Dortort(Bonanza TV series),
Santa Monica College Creative Writing, Art, and Music.

Teacher’s assistant with artist Sam Richardson in the art department at San Jose State University in San Jose, California.

He also attended Stella Adler School of Acting in Los Angeles.


He has academic training in Fine Art including Sculpture, painting, conceptual/ performance art at San Jose State, California. UCLA screenwriting.

Film and TV production
He has also written the syndicated Star Wars comic strips for George Lucas, and was post production supervisor at Lorimar Telepictures in Culver City, California overseeing the largest group of hit television shows at that time including Knotts Landing, Falconcrest, Hunter, Dallas, etc. Russell Buddy Helm was Film and video Archivist, Traffic Manager and Computer Systems analyst at the Playboy Channel creating a new programming schedule for the Playboy channel and new model for computer on-line Television production in Hollywood.
TV Producer
Russell Helm was the video director for the first music video nightclub cable pilot and series in Hollywood called “At Sunset” which created the look and feel for MTV. The footage included interviews with David Lee Roth(Van Halen), Michael O’Donohugh(Saturday Night Live), Dr. Timothy Leary, Bananarama, artist Jean Michael Basquiate, Peter Ivers and many others. The footage was included in the National Festival of the Arts at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. His first television show production experience was Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. He also appeared on Wolfman Jack’s Midnight Special Television show with Tim Buckley.

Acting: Buddy Helm appeared in “Jeckyl and Hyde-Together Again” Paramount pictures, also Robert Altman’s “A Perfect Marriage”.

Music Video Innovator

He was the first computer graphics artist in Hollywood at Transamerica Video. He edited music videos for Alabama which received the first video music award, Sammy Hagar, Missing Persons, Lou Ann Barton and many other well known rock acts.

Composing and Editing

He composed music and libretto for the rock opera, “The Last Rock n Roll show” produced by Peter Brown(Apple Records) and Tom Goetz(Taxi). He composed the soundtracks for various pilots and obscure low budget art movies in LA. His band Bethlehem Asylum performed and composed the soundtrack for an NBC special white paper report on the Everglades and recorded two albums on Exit(Capricorn) records
He has written screenplays for Susan Sarandon, Wolfman Jack, the Dead Boys, X and their producer Ray Manzarek (keyboard player from the Doors). Helm’s writing spans many styles including documentary,  science fiction, Drama, Rock n’ Roll, comedy, historical era pieces, and film Noir as well as the Helmtone Healing Drum Protocols.

He has recorded soundtrack music for Ron Howard(Grand Theft Auto). His music can be heard at the Whitney Museum on “The Amazing Bow-Wow”(Stanton Key and Linda Benglis). He performed in and recorded music for Film-Ex shorts with Peter Ivers.

He is a fine artist, painter and sculptor with academic time spent at San Jose State, UCLA, University of South Florida and Santa Monica College. His mobiles, sculptures and paintings can be seen at Seasons in Santa Monica, California and at various galleries around the United States.

Russell Buddy Helm teaches drumming meditation at Seasons on Montana in Santa Monica, California and around the country at various venues including churches, hospitals, yoga centers, festivals, concerts, and healing centers. His continuing development of the healing aspects of rhythm have brought health and joy to many around the world. He conducts drum healing therapy seminars around the country.
His books include: “Drumming the Spirit to Life”, “Way of the Drum”(Llewellyn Worldwide), “Healing Grooves” and “North American Djembe patterns” on Helmtone Books.

His current CDs include: “Protection-Drum prayers” , “Martial Arts Drumming” with Dan Inosanto (Bruce Lee’s partner). “Let the Goddess Dance”(replacement CD for “Drumming the Spirit to Life”) and “Way of the Drum”. The newest original songs where Buddy is playing guitar bass, drums and singing; “You don’t need to be forgiven”



Hey Buddy,
You are the Tiger Woods of Drumming!
Thank you for teaching me & awakening the Groove in my soul. I am honored to learn / share the sounds of this earth with an enlightened master. The new Djembe rocks! The downbeat is soulful. Can’t wait to see the Goddess dance!

Til our paths cross again, smile, hug, laugh & love… this is the journey!

Namaste, Jacques Rene

Comment by Jacques Rene Marion — August 21, 2006 @ 10:12 pm |Edit This

Buddy, it was great learning from you at Subterra June 2. I feel ready to get deeper into my drum playing and get my whole family involved…… BUY MORE DRUMS…YAY!! I loved being able to dance and be free, also.

Thanks you.

Keep up the great work and can’t wait until we meet again!

Tracie D …. and Sam

Comment by Tracie D — June 3, 2007 @ 12:51 pm |Edit This

We are looking forward to having you on G Living!

Comment by Boise — September 10, 2007 @ 12:24 pm |Edit This

Thank you for blessing us with your song in Cassadaga, Florida.

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