Back in the day, after playing clarinet and coronet in gradeschool, I devoted myself to artistic studies in high school. Then, away at college in Indiana, I picked up guitar while majoring in Industrial Design at Purdue University. My Kappa Delta Rho fraternity roommate, Ken Guidotti, was the son of a drummer, and a drummer himself. "Guido" let me play his drums, and I fell in love with percussion instruments bigtime! Jamming on his kit planted the seed that made drums an obsession for me! Little did I know that only a few years later I would be bitten by the "blues bug" so hard it would change my life forever...
... After graduation from Purdue in 1983, I worked as an Industrial & Graphic Designer for design consulting firms and product manufacturers by day. I hung out at all the legendary blues clubs in Chicago and I listened hard to the playing of the working musicians in the Chicago-based bands including: Junior Wells, Big Time Sara, Lonnie Brooks, Koko Taylor, Willie Kent, Glenn Davis, Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Tommy McCracken, Sugar Blue, Son Seals, George Baze, Billy Branch, and Buddy Guy. I played at all the jams I could, learning the "chops" necessary to be a better musician, along with getting the necessary criticism to be a better bluesman. As I played drums I also invented products that I wanted to manufacture and sell. Playing in the clubs gave me a realistic perspective on what was needed to make good drum products for working musicians. I had one goal: Quit working for "the man", be a full-time professional musician, and have my own line of percussion accessories on the side. I wanted it all, to be a musician and a manufacturer; it took over ten years, but I finally started my own company Slug Percussion Products in 1995. I have been playing drums and percussion instruments professionally in Chicago since 1987.