Over the past week I've touched base with a few people, including my friend Franklin Vanderbilt of Lenny Kravitz fame. Again we were discussing influences and stripey socks came into the equation!
To explain, stripey socks are worn by most magical people, for example the witches in Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic and Matilda. However Franklin swears he doesn't wear stripey socks. so what else makes him so magical then?
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After Franklin had stopped protesting that "I don't wear stripey socks", he laughs. I ask him about his influences and he says instantly "John Bonham". I quiz him about female drummers and he states categorically "Cindy Blackman".
Musically Franklin is influenced by AC/DC, though he "never quite got into the Scorpions". He then lists a whole squad of rock drummers whom he admires.
Born in Chicago to a musical family, Franklin discovered the drums, and I suspect stripey socks, at the age of four, although he says "I started playing professionally at the age of fifteen, and really drums found me."
Franklin has no airs and graces and is at one with his life. He loves what he does and often says "life is beautiful". He is however one hell of a powerhouse drummer, showing his Ludwig kit no mercy.
He beats them relentlessly with style and pure unadulterated power. We pick up on the power theme and he says "my influeneces are Billy Cobham, Roy Haynes, Jack Dehjohnette and of course John Bonham." No explanation warranted!
Lenny Kravitz is due in the UK in 2011. Franklin is working on his own projects which he divulges are "exciting". We will have to wait and see on that score.
I don't need a crystal ball to predict an exciting show when LK hits a town near you. Conversation concluded, I point Franklin in the direction of the nearest Disney store. I tell him black and red stripey socks are all the rage and that I fully expect him to be wearing a pair when he's here - those and his trade mark smile.
Elsewhere in the land of (well not Oz)... Denise Dufort, another skin basher, celebrates her twenty-first birthday. Check out the latest Girlschool offering and tell me Rock's dead!!
Gary Moat, ex Heavy Pettin' and Mothers Ruin was asked to join Black Rose. Gary was last seen in the 'Sock Shop' and heard thrashing his poor unsuspecting drum kit with much gusto.
Next week, I hope to chat to Graham Bonnet... who knows where that conversation will lead... maybe stripey socks for his new grandchild who could, according to his choice of socks, be a future world class drummer...
On a more serious beat though, I will share with you something a very famous drummer said to me years ago.
"Influences you don't know you have are in retrospect the most powerful."