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Dan Shinder Part 2

Interview by Sean Mitchell // November 01 2014
Dan Shinder Part 2

When I interviewed Bobby Morris, he had a bunch of stories about playing with Louis Prima Sr. and being Elvis’s band leader for the last 10 years out here at the Hilton. Yeah, the stories are just crazy to listen to.

I’ve mulled this question over a million times, myself – if you had a chance to sit with Bonham, what would you ask him?

That’s funny because Kenny Howard asked Mike Portnoy that. Mike Portnoy’s one of my favourites as well; I’m interviewing him and his son, Max, next week together. I think Max is only 14 and he’s got an album coming out.

I want to take a quick detour – Mike takes a lot of heat in the media and in the drumming community. I love Mike. I don’t know him as well as a lot of other people know him, but from what I know of him from being around him at events and stuff I think he’s a great guy. I think he’s every bit as good as people give him credit for. Same with Neil [Peart]; he takes a lot of heat for getting too much credit. Again it’s all subjective. I like Mike a lot. And people are people; we all have our thing, we all have maybe not the best day – especially when someone catches us.

But Kenny asked Mike that question and Mike’s answer was “Heel up or down?,” which was great.

What would I ask John? I think I’d start the interview asking about hot rods and automotive racing and motorcycles because I’ve been into that since I was a kid and he was into that. I love talking to our guests about stuff that doesn’t have to do with drumming. I think it humanizes them more. I would also ask him the obvious question (sorry), when you four guys got into the room the first time and you jammed that handful of songs out, it’s clear you all knew you had something, but did you have any idea Led Zeppelin would become what it became? It would be interesting to ask him that now five decades later.

What would you ask him? Let me ask you that.

I like talking to drummers and I know that the readers and listeners like when I ask those big questions, but I find it hard to have a conversation unless you get to what a person’s passions are and sometimes with drummers their passion is drumming or their job is drumming, but sometimes at the end of the day the door to a good conversation isn’t through drumming; it’s through something that turns them on as a person.

So I would probably ask John about his family; what his dad did for a living, about his mom. What was the music in your house when you were a little kid? What were you soaking up subconsciously or consciously? You read so much about him and I’m aware of his influences, but the very few interviews he ever did that were actually captured on audio ...

They’re really just glimpses.

I think there was a person there who was pretty deep but wasn’t able to express it.

Yeah, Jason, his son – and I want to interview Jason, of course. In fact, he’s going to be here and guess when he’s going to be here ... when I’m in Texas doing the Breast Cancer thing. So, Jason, you’ve got to come on Drum Talk TV.

Jason does an interview where he basically describes his Dad as, “You know, he was just Dad. If I acted up at the table I got told up by my dad. If I didn’t do my homework, I got told up and if I didn’t clean my room, it was Dad.” And he was such a family man and so into family that that was his demons where drinking came through. Because he was homesick, he could not stand to be away from the family, and they couldn’t always go everywhere with him.

What an amazing interview that would be.  And of course, Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Papa Joe Jones – biggies I love to watch old videos of.

I interviewed Ed Shaughnessy by phone about six months before he died. When we share stories today and we hear all the names of today, but talking to Ed, he’s dropping names too, but it’s like Frank [Sinatra], Benny [Goodman].

You know it was like that with another giant favourite of mine, Hal Blaine. We went to his home in Palm Springs and interviewed him in his home and that was just so surreal. It’s a three-part episode; it was 90 minutes – we whittled it down to 90 minutes – but the stories! I’m really into history and nostalgia and all that stuff. To hear the stories from people like that was just amazing.

It’s one thing when you interview a player who’s been around for 10 or 15 years; it’s a whole other thing when you talk to people that were there. Like Uriel Jones was telling me off camera about the first time Stevie Wonder walks in the room and says, “I want to play the piano.” He had never played the piano and the Funk Brothers' piano player puts him up and shows him a G-chord. Uriel witnessed the first time Stevie played the piano. The stories that some of these players can articulate and as they grow older, like Roy Burns or Hal Blaine – it’s amazing to me the history.

Yeah, we’ve interviewed Roy, haven’t put it out yet. We’ve always got 40 to 60 interviews in line for post-production. They take us a while to put out. Roy is one of them. When I interviewed Bobby Morris, he had a bunch of stories about playing with Louis Prima Sr. and being Elvis’s band leader for the last 10 years out here at the Hilton. Yeah, the stories are just crazy to listen to.

How did you meet your wife?

I met my wife on the very first and last blind date I ever went on. I went out with a woman with a limp and a hunch back but never a blind date (laughs).

When I first moved out here to Vegas seven years ago, I had a job where I was directing and producing two live internet news shows and I was doing all the promotional videos, all that stuff.

I had just gone through a two-year rollercoaster after a split-up with somebody, and I was complaining to this lady that worked in the same company, “I never want to see a woman again, but I don’t want to be alone.”  She said, “You should meet my best friend.” This person, her name was Mary, was very good looking so I thought, How jacked-up could her friend be, right? I said, “Ok, tell me about your friend.” She said, “Oh, she’s this, she’s that. She’s really nice. She’s an artist.” That caught my ear, my mom was an artist.

She said, “There’s only one thing.” The voice in the back of my head says, “Oh, there’s always that one thing.” Then she says, “Do you mind if she’s black?”

I said, “Are you kidding me? Let me ask you something: Is she loyal, is she smart, all these things?” I said, “I don’t care what she looks like, I’d love to meet her.”

So that night I sent Mary a video mail thanking her for taking the time to talk with me about some personal stuff and then I said, “Hey, if you know of any nice young ladies that would like to go to the show with me on Saturday, I’ve got some tickets. My friend’s in that show.” So she passed that onto my wife, whose name is Nja.

I found out later that Nja saw it and was like, “You know, I don’t know.” She hadn’t been in a serious relationship for like 12 years. Mary convinced her to just go out with me, just meet me. [...]

What’s coming up for Drum Talk TV that you can share with us?

The biggest thing on the horizon right now is April’s thing just came out. We’re putting out another special in the next couple of months which is our coverage from April of Brian Tichy’s Ox and the Loon show, which is the very first one he did. He’s doing it again this January and we’re covering that. We’re covering the Bronzo Bash and four days of NAMM. We’re doing all of those events all together.

This year in January we covered NAMM with two-and-a-half crews and we did eighty-four interviews between NAMM and the Bronzo Bash. Now we’re going to cover all three events and our plan is to do it with five crews.

We’ve got Viola Smith we recently interviewed. She’s going to be a 102 next month, so talk about music from the '30s and all that stuff!

We’ve got a bunch of other great interviews: Carmine and his brother, Vinny; Brent Fitz who lives here in town. So many great interviews that I can’t remember right now.

We also want to cover PASIC next year. We might go to it this year but we won’t cover it till next year.

I believe the interviews with DCI and the whole marching culture is going to start coming out. And really just expanding our range. We’re being followed by people in 114 countries – there’s only 126 countries.

We also want to get out and travel more and do more in-person interviews abroad. We’ve done some. We’re based here in Vegas. We’ve done a lot in California. We’ve done some in Texas. We’re going to Florida in December. We’ve been to Canada. We want to go to Australia. Now we can have correspondents all over, but there’s also some things that I want to personally do abroad, like cover Musikmesse in Germany. And really keep growing the brand. This is something I personally am committed to doing for another 18.5 years till I’m 70, so we think very big picture.

If you’re interested in acquiring an immense audience like Drum Talk TV, Lori and I actually teach a course on how to do that. There’s three different courses and each of them are only about six to eight hours. We do them privately on Skype, we do them with corporations, we do them at events, so if you want to email me personally at dan@drumtalktv.com you [can] find out about that. It’s all about how you use social media and internet digital content delivery systems with your website and marry all those concepts together to build an audience of your perfect target market. Even if you’re not in music, we’ve worked with people in many different industries doing that. I bring that up because it’s always been behind the scenes of Drum Talk TV. We also offer marketing services and stuff, but I bring it up because Lori and I love to teach and we love to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. There’s so many people out there who are so talented and have such great ideas but they don’t know how to do what we’ve done, and that is to create a huge platform that we feel so fortunate to have and be able to do that we love helping other people do that as well. And it’s fun!







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About the Author
Sean Mitchell

Sean Mitchell has been an active participant in the drumming industry for over 20 years. He has studied under Crash Test Dummies drummer Mitch Dorge and Drumming's Global Ambassador Dom Famularo. Sean is also a songwriter and regularly performs with his wife (and singer) Jill Mitchell. Sean proudly endorses Aquarian Drumheads.

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