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Archive for April, 2008

So now you know the background of Rob and Ray.  And there they were, together in Michigan for most, if not all, of March.  They went from school to school, sometimes doing several shows a day, and rejoicing in their free hotel WiFi at night.  They were well-received, and this is where I’m going to go back to the aforementioned kid who stuck out from the others.  

This was a boy who had seen Rob’s show on a previous tour, and found a way to contact Rob to give him the message that he’d been extremely touched by the show.  So much so that he confessed he had been seriously contemplating suicide before seeing Rob, and after watching the show and hearing the message, he felt that he owed his decision to live to Rob’s influential performance.

Wow, huh?  Is that not the exact point of all this?  To make a difference?  My dad relayed this all to me on the phone on Easter, and I could practically see the twinkle in his eye as he recounted the amazing story.  He went on to mention that the tour would be a week longer because they had arranged to stop at the boy’s school to do another performance.  But of course. 

Keep this story in mind the next time you feel like the music you’re making isn’t affecting anyone.  Just because no one is speaking up doesn’t mean they’re not touched.  You just never know when you’ll change (or maybe save) a person’s life.     

For more details on Rob the Drummer and his music, visit these links:

www.rob-the-drummer.com

http://www.ket.org/cgi-bin/watch/episode.pl?nola=RTDR++000000&&cd=1&

http://www.9and10news.com/category/story/?id=132408

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Music is touching people’s lives.

 You may have heard of a certain man who has been touring the world and spreading sunshine.  No, it’s not Ronald McDonald or even Barney.  But it is a big huggable guy in a funny outfit.  And instead of dancing and singing and serving hamburgers, he’s playing the drums.

Let me say that one more time.  He’s playing the drums.  I know, I know.  No good ever came from a drummer.  (Kidding!)  This guy is definitely breaking down barriers.  In a unique and in-your-face kinda way.  If you’ve got children in the school system (any school system, practically), they’ve probably seen him.  Heard his message.  Learned from him.  His Social Security card says “Robert Gottfried.”  But the world knows him as “Rob the Drummer.” 

A professionally trained and brilliantly accomplished musician, Rob has played with so many big show-biz names it would make your hair curl.  He’s all over the map, literally.  He rarely stays put for very long.  And recently, his travels took him (and his faithful team of cohorts) to Michigan, where they put on inspirational anti-drug, pro-music, pro-sport, etc. shows for auditoriums full of kids.  Kids who don’t know what they’re in for when they walk through those doors. 

Rob’s show is a tad eccentric, a bit psychotic, and a whole lotta memorable.  He teaches children how to get a “natural high” from the arts, athletics, or what have you.  Whatever makes you feel good – do that as much as possible.  Because you are an amazing person and you don’t need any artificial enhancers.  Just be you.  That’s his message. 

No stranger to the Standing O, Rob is used to kids being excited and appreciative, but recently one kid stuck out from the rest.  How do I know all this?  Well, remember that faithful team of cohorts I spoke of parenthetically a few paragraphs ago?  One member of that team happens to be my dear old dad.  (Sorry, Dad, but let’s face it:  you’re no spring chicken…)  Ray Hutchinson is his name, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned in the past how much of a music “junkie” he is.  He lives and breathes the stuff.  Writing it, performing it, producing it, recording it… he loves it all.  He’s also a perfect example of how you don’t actually have to do drugs to seem cracked-out.   (Sorry again, Dad… I can’t help it… it’s too easy!)  Anyway, my dad has known Rob since… let’s see, the stock market crashed in ’29 …. carry the 1 … well, it’s been an exceedingly long time.  Let’s leave it at that so we don’t date the poor guys.  Their “frenemy” dynamic is one that’s so explosive it’s comical.  Deep down, they love each other.  Like brothers.  Complete with rivalry.  So when Rob goes on tour, Ray Hutchinson is right by his side, sleeping in the hotel room next to his and pumping his energetic show through the speakers at the schools.

… to be continued … 

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