Sorry to hear about the sudden passing of drummer Ben Graves. We worked together in the early 2000's when he was a member of Murderdolls... always pleasant and laser focused on his craft. R.I.P.
We only had a 'phone relationship' until finally meeting in person at the Winter NAMM Show mid-2000's. First thing I noticed was he seemed shorter on the phone :) Ben's 6'7" frame ensured his presence filled whenever room he was in... even the massive Pearl booth we had that particular year. We talked drums, music, and what was going on with him at the time... such a nice guy. R.I.P. Ben
Forget coffee... listening to those Michael Cartellone beats is how you start a morning!☀️
Look for our Pearl On Location segment with my fellow-Batman brother coming soon...🥁
So let me tell ya’ about yesterday’s session with Lester Estelle at Pearl Drums HQ... this was my first time seeing him play in person and man oh man what a powerhouse! It was a tremendous pleasure working throughout the day with him and hearing his stories during lunch... you gotta check him out while he's on the road with Kelly Clarkson!
Happy to finally post a shoot I did with Brian Frasier Moore earlier this year at Pearl Drums HQ.
Brian and I go back to the late 90's and he's always been great to work with... an absolute professional through and through. Here are the specs on the kit:
Masterworks Series Urban in a Black Haloflake finish
Black Nickel Hardware
22x18 bass drum / 14x5 and 14x8 snare drum / 8x7 tom / 10x7 tom / 12x8 tom / 16x16 floor tom / 18x16 floor tom (not used)
EvenPly-Six Birch/Gum/Birch Shells w/ 4-ply Maple Reinforcement Rings (8-ply Snare Drums)
D2500 Throne / P2050C Eliminator Chain Pedal / H2050 Hi-Hat Stand / B1030 Boom Stand x 3 / C1030 Straight Stand / T1030 Double Tom Stand / T1030 Double Tom Stand with (2) CH1030B Cymbal Holders / T1030 Double Tom Stand with TH1030S and CH930S Cymbal Holder / S1030 Snare Stand /
S930D Snare Stand for 14x8
Sabian (l to r)
13” HHX Evolution Hi-Hats / 16” HHX Evolution O-Zone / 17” HHX Evolution Crash / 10” Attack Splash / 21” HH Liquid Ride / 18” HHX Evolution Crash / Stack #1 – 17" HH Hand Hammered on top & 14" AAX Mini Chinese on bottom / Stack #2 - 12" HH Max Stack China Kang on top & 14" Max Stack Crash on bottom
Vater Brian Frasier Moore Signature Sticks and Pearl Headphones
Doing some light practicing while nap time is happening upstairs. The Remo SilentStroke Drumheads have a hidden 'turntable simulation' feature that I really enjoy.
They pair up perfectly with the Zildjian Gen16 Low Volume Cymbals...
Great night at the Pearl Party and happy to celebrate year #20 with the absolute best crew in the industry!
Gene Okamoto has left the building! Tomorrow will start his retirement from a monumental career as Product Specialist for Pearl Corporation.
Starting in Sales at Drum World in CA, Gene would become a global figure in the drum industry.
1. a level of quality or attainment.
2. an idea or thing used as a measure or model in comparative evaluations.
This is the word that comes to mind when I think of Gene Okamoto.
Over the last 18 years, I’ve witnessed Gene’s constant endeavor to make things better. There’s a reason his knowledge of drum history is revered throughout the industry (and is amazing to witness in person). I’m eternally grateful for everything I’ve gained from simply being in his presence. His retirement is greatly deserved and I wish him a long and adventurous life.
It would be really difficult for me to choose one story that encompasses Gene setting the standard… it’s just something he did every day.