When I first started to teach the HelmTone healing drum protocols around the country, I chose Atlanta as one of the first proving grounds. If they got it in Atlanta then it had to have some credibility. I have always loved Atlanta, dating back to the free concerts in the Park, where the Great Speckled Bird was the greatest underground newspaper in the country, and the Allmans were playing for everybody. It had been a few years and a lot of karma under the bridge since I returned to Atlanta, looking for a connection to the truth and soul that I had experienced there back in the sixties. The healing drum therapies were successful in Santa Monica, California but that was not like the rest of the world. I had to test it out on ‘real people’. Bill Liggins was one of the first therapy workers I met. He was sincere, outspoken, a survivor of the Acid Viet Nam era and still had a bawdy sense of humor. The first Ghana Djembe I handed him, he dropped it. I knew he would. He was dealing with stuff. That’s why I was here; show people how to use the downbeat to get realigned in our souls and bodies. I looked at the drum he had just damaged; one of the vertical black strands had been neatly snipped by the edge of the rental car door when I handed him the drum. I wasn’t upset, visually, but these are my babies. They come all the way with me from California, but I could see he wanted to get inside that drum. So I showed him how to do it. We even had a session with one of his clients and I showed him how to use the drum as a therapy tool. He got it. That drum survived several more long trips around the country and is now living happily in Lawrence, Kansas with a women who eventually had the rope replaced and is leading drumming therapy groups there. Bill was one of the first drum therapists.
Excerpt: “History of the Groove, book three” Russell Buddy Helm©2014 all rights reserved