Bob Dole slept in the presidential suite before me

excerpt: “history of the Groove” Russell Buddy Helm ©2014 all rights reserved

Bob Dole was the last person to sleep in the presidential suite before me at the exclusive high rise hotel in Orlando. It was a little creepy to imagine that, so I invited everyone up to the presidential suite after I drummed at the International New Age Trade Show Convention. The private elevator was manned by confused and mildly disgusted hotel staff as the petiole scented, robed, garlanded new agers rose to the top of the skyscraper hotel,  then were escorted through locked bulletproof doors  before arriving at the party. There were two jacuzzis, an incredible sound system with a cavernous two story tall living room and balcony overlooking what had been swampland when I was a teenager. Bethlehem Asylum had jammed in that swamp, back in nineteen sixty nine, with Duane Allman and Johnny Winter in front of hundreds of kids camping out in the Florida mud. Now, that was a parking lot for Disney World.

I was the big noise in the New Age world, literally. There were hundreds of drummers in the convention hall, much to the discomfort of the hotel waiters. I signed several hundred copies of “Way of the Drum” and “Drumming the Spirit to Life” for the earnest attendees. Drumming had arrived. Charlie and Sheila now lived in Orlando and Sheila worked for the hotel, so she bumped me up from a regular room to the presidential suite and we had a great time despite what the hotel staff said. I was on the verge of acting like a rock and roll asshole, it was tempting, but instead I watched everyone else reacting to this new drumming phenomenon. It would only be a short lived glory for me because what I was teaching was incredibly simple and everyone would soon realize that they were all capable of generating the high energy that had been the private domain of rock stars. It had to be simple in order for all the people to get into the groove. That is the magic of the downbeat concept, that is why rock n roll, soul music and jazz works so well. Everyone knows where “one” is. I did not want to be a rock star, I could not have done it for that reason. I was a teacher. That kept me grounded. But it was fun to indulge the hype just a little bit….

excerpt: “history of the Groove” Russell Buddy Helm ©2014 all rights reserved




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