I started playing around twelve years old. I first became a Drummer,because my oldest brother, would bargain with me to play a beat for a while. He just wanted a steady thunk,while he would practice a Stones, or a Beach Boys song. I later found myself,loving to play along. I found a lot of enjoyment, in sounding like the beat on the records.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Between the years 1966 & 1967 I saw Fleetwood Mac, at the Electric Factory,in Philadelphia.A guy named Danny Kirwin & Bob Mcvie ,Mick Fleetwood, were back of Peter Green, a salty, Blues Man. I went with a few guys that could drive,from my school. Bob Wolfeneden, was one guy I hung around with. He was playing Bass guitar. We both were in Awe. We had a little bench in the front row, to watch these guys. They really put on a good show. The place was real small, so we were just about on stage with these guys!!!!
What gear do you use?
I play a set of Pearl at my church, but I have had a Ludwig Power Tom set, since 1981. I have played electric drums,but kept breaking sensors & grew to hate using them.
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
Charlie Watts,Denis Wilson,Ginger Baker, Even Ringo, had some interesting chops sometimes. I just needed to hear the two and the four beat,and practice that all the time. Ginger Baker really blew me away & It took many years to understand a little bit, what he was doing. My Oldest brother brought all the music into the house. It was an amazing world. John Mayall and the Blues Breakers, taught me the shuffle beats and the real fast beats like "Mojo"," Parchment Farm",well, you get the idea.
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
I was in a great band ,with my brothers, "The Johnston Brothers",for over 20 years. My brother Wayne & I started out playing hard rock originals in a band called "BIG FAT". We played a really cool job at ARCH BISHOP RYAN SCHOOL, IN Philadelphia,Pa. Weather man, Jim O'brian, hosted this show that headlined with a group called "RedBone". These guys were American Indian, and had a few hits under their belt. We did a 45 min set, and when we were done,the crowd was all screaming, really loud and rushed the stage. I was on top of the world,and I threw my sticks, into the crowd, and signed a girls pant leg,which made me feel really cool. We made 500 bucks for that job & I knew,from that moment on,I would play music,the rest of my life. The bass player and singer of this band,left the house we practiced in,with the rent money. To this day we don't know why. Just being jerks, I guess.That band broke up. Wayne just wanted to play & his spirit pulled me,my brother,Kurt,and brother Jeff, into the forming of the JOHNSTON BROTHERS. I was with that band for 20 years or more.We played for 3000,25-50,000 people,and 20,30,and 40 people. Up and down the whole ride. Entered a concert contest with Wrangler-Dodge in 1984 and won first runner-up in the United States. Out of 50 acts we placed 2'nd. Pretty cool. Played the show at the "Grand Ole Opre"in Nashville. What a real,thrill that was!!!
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray, Pink Floyd,Eric Clapton, Hunter Hayes, Black Keys, John Mayall. B.B. King.Lynyrd,Skynyrd,Molly Hatchet. I must say.....a return of some form of our Band,... The Johnston Brothers. A reunion could still be possible.
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
"Jamborie in the Hills, was the most growing crowd,in" St. Clairsville Ohio." They had a crowd at 20-50,000 people through out the day.The smallest we played was in Haddon Field NJ. We were in The MIDDLE of the bar. 2 guys up front & 2 guys in back,on a small table. Whew!.