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Musicians Institute Success Story Feature 

It really is an honor to be a part of MI's success story features. My goal has never been to become a rockstar. It's always been to become a successful musician, and to inspire kids that look up to my peers and I to be driven, passionate and extrordinary human beings. Here's the link: MI Success Story: Adam Gomez

MI forced me to grow into a professional that still maintained personal style and passion for the drums in my own way. I had friends that were upset with me over my decision for a formal, contemporary music education because they thought I would come out of it a robot. All they understood was the romanticism of not being "confined" to knowing what they were actually doing when writing and performing. And that's ok, but it wasn't ok for me. You don't sit in a MI core class and learn how to become a rockstar. You realize how much you don't know about your craft, then you grow. And of course, along with that comes the knowledge of knowing that learning your craft never stops, because its uses and abilities grow as time passes. 

So just a little piece of advice to my students and friends out there; stay sharp and never stop learning, and that's with life in general. Not just an instrument.⚡

The Dickies "Enter the Dragon"(China) 

For the first time ever (at least that's what Stan tells me), The Dickies will be entering China for a short but "sweet and sour" tour this March. I, personally have not been to China so I'm pretty curious as to how this trip will turn out. The punk lovers in China might be just as wild as our SoCal Dickies camp, but who knows. The fun meter in China just might steam, crack and bust wide open. (Continued below) 

​​​I'm also very curious as to whether I will enjoy real, authentic Chinese food. I have no problem hitting up a cheap Chinese takeout or a fancier spot now and again. But that's here in the states. We will be supported by the band Roundeye, which have been a tremendous help on informing me about communication back and forth from China to the US. From what I'm told, there is a firewall with social media so I won't be able to use Facebook Messenger to make video calls to my wife and baby. Obviously there's Skype and probably a dozen other apps I can use for that sort of thing, so that makes me feel better. 

I will say, getting work visas to China is a big pain in the tuchus. I went back and forth with Stan about having proper paperwork and proper photo copies of driver's licenses, passport photo copies, etc. It's not that hard when we go to Europe, but I'm almost certain the experience alone would be worth the work to get there. I would have really liked to share live footage of us in China, but because of that firewall I'm very limited. If you have a suggestion, let me know.

China dates are as follows: 
*March 2nd Hangzhou- Mao Livehouse 
*March 3rd Shanghai-Yuyintang 
*March 4th Wuhan-Vox

Funny Props and Appalling Jokes: THE DICKIES Celebrate 40 years 

Just the mere smell of basic, head shop or majestic hippy store incense instantly hurls me back into the very day and moment I listened to The Dickies. I skipped school one day to check out the punk shops on Melrose (Hollywood area, for those non-California native readers). That day, and possibly everyday back then, the constant waft of hollywood weirdo incense swam through the Melrose strip. I remember that, and I remember buying "The Second Coning" album by The Dickies that day. Once I get home and pop the cassette into the deck, Im anticipating some kind of ferocious, raw, wild 70's style punk sound that I hadn't heard before. And instead, comedy ensues. I don't know if it was supposed to be funny. I didn't know if I was supposed to be laughing or not. But I couldn't ignore that it made me giggle, and was totally taken back by the unapologetic humor that coated the overall personality of the band's sound. Completely different to what I perceived as the all important "punk rock sound".  

 

 

From what Stan Lee tells me, their first show was 40 years ago at The Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood, sharing the bill with Germs and The Zippers. Yeah, I know. I wasn't even born yet. But I bet the farm that their level of controversy was a level up back in the 70's compared to incidents over the recent years. 40 years of controversy, a suicide, overdoses, drug recovery (and miraculous heroin survival at that), funny toys and offensive jokes, The Dickies celebrate their 40th year back where it all started this October. I have to say, I absolutely appreciate that every single one of us in the band are very different, if not completely different from each other. I feel when it comes down to making an important album such as a Dickies album, that's a main ingredient towards making something amazing and unforgettable. 

The Zippers (band info link)

Germs (band wiki link)

The Whiskey A Go Go (website)

My Departure from School of Rock 

An Official Goodbye to School of Rock Students 

As of early August, the School of Rock Franchise and I have officially parted ways. Ever since I, myself graduated from a world accredited music school, one of my favorite things to do had been handing down the musical knowledge that's been passed down to me. 

I've had some big changes in my life these past few years (including a growing baby in my wife's belly, due late October), that have steered toward the logical change of staying close to home with everyday work (saves hundreds of bux on gas, and hours on the freeway).  
The biggest part of this change to me, is that I didn't get to say goodbye​ to every student during my last two weeks at School of Rock. It's been weighing down on me this past week, so here it goes. 

To the Students I've Said Goodbye to: 
Thank you guys so much for the heartfelt cards and gifts. I really appreciate the gifts (very much), but your words in the cards I received meant so much more. It really tugged at my heart strings to read all of your kind words. You guys are very thoughtful and considerate. That's a part of why you guys are so extrordinary. 

To my Band Rehearsal Students: 
Rock 101 bands (Angel Sneeze, and The Hollowed), It was such a blast jamming with you guys every week. Your talents are growing so quickly as a team. It's amazing to see you guys slowly grow more comfortable rocking out and being free on stage. Never forget my 4 rules!: 
1.Rock out.  
2.Rock out.  
3.Rock out.  
4.Have fun while rocking out. 

Take those rules with great responsibility, young rockers. The future of Rock N Roll is in your hands! 

To Every, Single Student of Mine: 
Wesley, Carina, Ben B., Jake, Joshua, Chloe, Jordan, Danny, Addison, Morgan, Destin, Andrew, Zach, John M.,  Sophia, Devin, Aiden, Chris H., Brooke, Christian B., Sanjana, Conner, Joey C., Nico, Trevor, Shae, Ted, Tyler, Luke P., Enzo, Ali, Dylan, Sebastian, Abby, Mikey L., Mac, Micheal B., Luke E., Sam, Mike H. Billy H., "Mad Man" Maddox, 
Caden E., McCade, Carrie, Julian, Rhys, Faris, Cooper, Everette, Jake, and Ella,  
Thank you so much for inspiring me to always push forward towards non-stop learning and the fun that comes with it. Every Single one of you have forced me to continuously view music from each of your points of view. To know that I've helped make a difference in your lives (miniscule or more) towards a positive path is such a huge reward to me. For that, I am absolutely and utterly grateful. Each one of you have become great human beings, and are still growing to become not just great, but extrordinary and exceptional. 

Here's one last tip: 
IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT HOW WELL YOU CAN PLAY.  
In my experience so far playing for bands I grew up listening to and touring the world as a career, Its become more and more of a reality that there's two main things that you have to strive for.  
1. Work your butt off to be great and to feel free on your instrument. This is obviously a given, but super important, regardless. 
2. Always strive to be an extrordinary person.  
Being the great person that you are, and always being the real, good you goes such a long way. When you develop real friendships around you in the music world, really great things happen because your intentions are genuine.  

Those two rules don't just apply to an instrument, guys. A huge reason why I've mentioned these ethos to you in past lessons is really because in whatever you choose to do, this way of thinking brings forth positive things. And that's what I hope for every single one you.  

We all wonder what the future holds and who knows; as School of Rock grows and expands, you just might see me back in the halls again down the road. Until then, keep learning and keep rockin', and don't forget to keep being awesome human beings. 🤘

CJ Ramone Television Appearance 

To be completely honest with you, I can recall my very first Ramones listening experience, but at the time, I didn't even know it was The Ramones. I remember when I was a kid, hearing "Scattergun" on the radio. The chorus stuck to my brain like burnt eggs onto a cooking pan. I loved it, and sang it over and over, while not paying any mind to who or what it was. It was just a song. It was just music. Something fun like a wad of bubble gum for my brain's chewing needs. 

Fast forward twenty something odd years later, I finally get around to listening to The Ramones' "Adios Amigos" release. And to my discovery, I realize that "Scattergun" was by The Ramones. But then, I further discover that song was lead by CJ Ramone. And even further realized that some of my favorite Ramones songs are with CJ on vocals. As fate would have it, this summer I got together with CJ to jam a few songs on a show called "Watching the Hawks". Great hosts and crew. It was a real honor jamming with CJ, and my good friends Dan Root and Steve Soto. The songs are from CJ's latest album, "American Beauty". A beautifully written and fun album. I really hope we do some more jamming together again.

I met CJ for the first time the day before the t.v. performance, at a small burger joint in Fullerton, CA. Dan, Steve, CJ and I just sat down, chatted and scarfed down some burgers and fries. We couldn't have met in a cooler way than that.

If you'd like to watch the episode, it's posted on my home page. Here's the link if you're too lazy to click on "welcome".

Episode link: CJ Ramone on Watching the Hawks

Related links:

 CJ Ramone Facebook Page

Watching the Hawks

 

 

 

The Dickies Full Album Performances Sold Out In NYC 

Manhattan! This Friday and Saturday we are planting ourselves into New York soil, and sprouting forth the first two albums in two back to back nights at the Bowery Electric. Hence, forever imprinting LA Rock history into your East Coast landscape. If you live near by, I hope you bought a ticket or two. The Incredible Shrinking Dickies, and Dawn of the Dickies albums? Yes!!!

The past few shows we've been confronted and asked (quite loudly), "why didn't you play 'where did his eye go?'" I will tell you why my drunk and sweaty friends; because that is one of the tracks that is bundled into our Manhattan setlist that includes playing the 'Dawn of the Dickies' album in its entirety. What I'm saying is, if you want to enjoy those odd, quirky tracks live, you've gotta get to New York. If all goes well, there's a possibility we might manage to creep our way into your town, playing albums in their entirety just for you and your childhood buddies. It's very possible, but as of now, It's just one of those things. And by things, I mean it's only happening tonight and tomorrow at the Bowery Electric, and never happening again. 

I am personally really excited to be a part of this. Both nights are now officially sold out, so I hope you got your tickets!!! If you haven't, don't worry too much. We will be back in NYC Halloween night (Monday) to perform at Berlin. No albums being performed in their entirety, but all the jams, humor and props none the less. By the way, It's cold out here on the East Coast!!!

The Dickies Celebrate Leonard's 60th Birthday Sep. 9th in Hollyweird. 

 As most of you know, Leonard was hospitalized one week into our 'Brexit to Palookaville Tour' in Europe this past Summer. We are all really relieved that his condition is not life threatening, but concerned that he's had to go through so much pain and discomfort. The bottom line is that in a time of urgency, pain and panic, The UK stood behind us. The fans held us up in confidence and the tour went on successfully all due to the undying support of the UK. 

So here we are; back home and hoping for a healthy recovery from Leonard. Friday, Sep 9th will mark Leonard's 60th birthday with a show in Hollywood at the Whisky A Go Go, and we expect it to be a very special, humbling and fun night. The Dickies were at the forefront of LA's 'Punk' birth in the 70's, so I consider any appearance by them in Hollywood to be very special. I don't say that as a band member; I say that as a fan. I highly suggest you grab a friend by the man-bun and drag them from Silverlake and straight into this gig. Special guests The Muffs and The Scurvy Kids will also be throwin' out a good time. The links below are for stuff in this blog that you might not have heard about, and would like to read up on. See you at the puppet show! 

'Brexit' Wikipedia Link
Hollywood Wikipedia Link
The Whisky A Go-Go Website
'Man Bun' Images Link
Silverlake LA Wikipedia Link
The Muffs Music Video 'Sad Tomorrow'
Scurvy Kids Official Youtube Channel
 

The Offspring cover The Dickies "Gigantor" for Sharknado 4. 

Noodles (The Offspring Guitarist) came to watch us perform at the observatory  a couple of weeks ago while we were on a US West Coast tour with The Queers, who are awesome dudes by the way. It was really cool meeting the guy. Soon after, I found out that Sharknado 4 was being released soon, and that The Offspring are doing the title track, and that they are covering a Dickies song. Turns out, they took Gigantor and gave it a Sharknado twist. I think that's pretty darn cool cuz I'm a fan of the Sharknado franchise and of The Offspring. 

Here's a YouTube link:

The Offspring "Sharknado"/"Gigantor"
 

Ben Seelig Joins The Dickies 

After about 20 years of being a very important member and guitarist of The Dickies, little Dave Teagues decided to go his own way, and into the sunset of new beginnings with other cool stuff. I'm gonna miss having that guy around. After a few talks, what ifs, who's who, and what's whats, a good old friend and student/ peer from my old Musicians Institute days ended up auditioning. I decided to throw him in the hat for the smallest reason. A month prior to his audition, He and his wife hired me and the bass player for Hip Hop artist Big Sean to put some tracks down for their new record. While we took short breaks to listen back to the drum tracks, we would kinda chat and sit around for a couple minutes, and the whole time, he had his guitar in his hands. there was a small moment while he was saying stuff and at the same time, he was fiddling blues leads. They sounded so good, and it was happening like water. Like it was just doodling. And at that moment, I said to myself, 'this guy has still got it!'.  So needless to say, Ben claimed the crown as the new Dickies lead guitarist. Ben Seelig and I used to meet up on the Metrolink weekday mornings on our way to class in Hollywood. From the train, we would then grab the subway from Downtown L.A., into the heart of Hollywood to spend full days and evenings of classes, studying and encountering very peculiar people on our subway rides home, or even in the morning for that matter. And when I say peculiar people, I mean crazy. So congrats buddy Ben. I knew you had what it took to join the likes of Seminal Punk band The Dickies. Let's get on with it! 

Whatever 68 Radio Interview  

A few months ago, the people at Whatever 68 Radio were kind enough to set up an interview with me to talk about what I do as a drummer. 
I talk a little bit about working with The Dickies, The Adolescents, D.I., what it's like being a drummer, and other compelling, drama-drenched
stories of excitement, love, betrayal, deceit, corruption and triumph. Well, no, but... The link is below. 

Interview link 

The Dickies/The Queers East Coast Tour

 —  —

•6/1/18 Will’s Pub, Orlando, FL •6/2/18 Propaganda, Lake Worth, FL •6/3/18 Jack Rabbits, Jacksonville FL •6/5/18 The Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh, NC •6/6/8 Grey Eagle Music Hall, Asheville NC •6/7/18 Headliners Music Hall, Louisville, KY •6/8/18 The Southgate House Revival, Newport, KY •6/9/18 Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH •6/10/18 Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY •6/12/18 Stanhope House, Stanhope NJ •6/13/18 Kingsland, Brooklyn, NY •6/14/18 The Middle East, Cambridge, MA •6/15/18 The Chance Theater, Poughkeepsie NY •6/16/18 Voltage Lounge, Philadelphia, PA •6/17/18 Cattivo, Pittsburgh, PA {Queers only}***

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