(Reproduction with permission of Bill Curtis.)
I’m hitting the ground running; I’m Back 100%, and I’m feeling great!
Hi Guys & Gals,
The band had its first rehearsal and get together last week since the outbreak of CORVID-19. I can’t explain that feeling; all I know it sounded like everyone was waiting for this moment; its moments like this make you realize how much you love music and what it means to you.
While I was cooped up in the house, my whole life seems to flashback………
I’ve been around music all my life I started music lessons at the age of 6 my first instrument was piano around the age 10 I fell in love with the drums; it came about when I heard this guy used his mouth to make drum sounds with his buddy playing piano that was my first introduction to the human beat box from that day on I was hooked on the drums. It wasn’t easy for me because I didn’t have any rhythm in my bones as a kid all you have is that desire, I had plenty of that, my first set of drums was a Gretsch set, great sounding drums has one best sounding snare drums on the market to this day. My Biological father bought me that set I met him when I was about eleven of age and we bonded until the day he died we had some great times together, he was my biggest fan. Hey, let me get back to how I got it all together, well living in this small town of Fayetteville NC there wasn’t that many guys that owned a drum set so word got out that I had one, also they knew I couldn’t play, they would ask mother if they could borrow my set, the answer was always no. My Mother, let me tell you a little something about her she this was a life time thing until the day she past, she was good but that was not good enough, she didn’t have the luxury of spending the time to study music, as she had to figure how to keep food on the table and a place sleep.
My mother was 18 years old when she had me and back then that was one the greatest sins you could commit having a baby out wedlock. With very little or no education the only job for a Black woman was cooking and cleaning white folks’ homes at about $10 or $15 a week. When I was about 4 years old, she had saved up enough to buy herself a used piano, I really don’t know how she got it but she did. She had a few skills from a friend who taught her how to read when she was young so you see I had no choice I had to take piano lessons, back then little boys didn’t take piano lesson that was a girl thing. I convinced my Mother to let me play drums, I played drums in high school. A friend told me his brother was starting a band and they needed a drummer who had a set of drums; he came by my house and asked my mother, she gave in and allowed me to join the group. Ok now they knew I couldn’t play! What they needed was a set of drums; the only way was to hire me every night; they would let me play the opening song. After that, would ask me can this guy sit-in; he would end up playing all night. A few weeks later, this guy left town, now they were stuck with me. Everyone in the band could play drums, better than me. I stayed there until I learned how to keep time (play in tempo), by the time I finished high school, I was now playing professionally. A few months later, I went into the military.
Music has been my life. It has been everything to me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Stay safe. Bill ‘Fatback’ Curtis
October 2020 Bonnie Cehovet
Repropduction prohibited without permission of the author.