Stan had the gift of making readers feel like they were part of a community and there was never a better ambassador for the entire comics industry.
Any writer would love to have the amount of hits he had... Spider-Man, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Black Panther, and the X-Men (co-created with artists Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Gene Colan and John Romita)
Stan’s presence has been in my life since the mid-70’s... he was a true legend.
Throwback to January 5th, 2012...
Before I clicked off "Rock and Roll", the bassist turns to me and says, "Not too fast, stupid."
I should mention that I sometimes have a problem with authority... :)
I usually post a picture from when I was younger for my official birthday post but I'm going to change it up this time.
This year is the 'big five zero' and I've never been one to actually pay attention to the number but... I have to acknowledge it is a milestone. I've worked hard to keep close to the things that make me happy... music, drums, and comics. I'll just talk about a few recent events and some others that have significance to me:
If you know me then you know I've been a lifelong Batman fan since seeing repeats of the '66 Adam West / Burt Ward television show at around age 7 or 8. Comic books helped me learn to read, develop a love of writing, and an understanding of remixing a creation using characters that are celebrating up to 80 years of publication history. I had the good fortune of meeting author Marc Tyler Nobleman in 2009 who was beginning (what would become a nine year) campaign to get the late Bill Finger credit for his contributions for co-creating Batman. I've learned a lot through Marc's research and he's a great example of fighting for a cause you believe in... even with the odds are stacked WAY against you. Three years ago today, DC Comics officially added Bill Finger’s name to the Batman credit line after 76 years of anonymity. I love that this happened on my birthday because there's no truer story of truth and justice than Bill's and I'm honored to have been acknowledged by Marc in the 2017 documentary, 'Batman & Bill'.
Which leads me to the other thing I've done for just as long... play music.
I was very lucky to have been exposed to so many different types of music growing up. I inherited a lot of 45 records from my aunts and uncles that kicked the whole thing off. Santana, Joe Tex, Chicago, Jackson 5, The Stylistics, The Who, Commodores, and Heatwave were only a few of the ones I would listen to over and over. My neighborhood friend had three older brothers who were all in the Colombia Record Club so there was a LOT of new music coming into their home. We would sit and listen to their collection (mostly rock) for hours. I remember hearing ELO's 'Discovery', Cheap Trick at Budokan, Steve Miller's 'Fly Like An Eagle', and The Eagles' 'Hotel California' when they debuted and were considered the cutting edge in the genre.
It was a entirely different vibe when my parents and I would visit my grandmother. She still had two teenagers in the house in addition to everyone always coming over (it's a huge family). I'd hear traditional Tejano music (it's a huge Mexican family) from my grandfather's radio, raw disco from my late-teens uncle, or listen to the local soul/funk station KHYS 98 blasting through an open window (aka the A/C).
My Dad really loved traditional country music and that's what we listened to in the car or in his garage... I'm sure that's what prompted a trip to Nashville when I was around 8 or 9. I remember they asked me to go up to this 'strange man' and ask for his autograph... so I guess Sonny James is the first celebrity I ever met. By the time I started getting into my own music, I had a pretty vast catalog to build on which has served me well throughout years of creating and performing.
So... I'm 50. There. I said it.
But I still enjoy the same things that brought me so much joy as a kid and I can now share them as a parent. Encouraging your kid to watch/draw cartoons, read comics, and make noise by swinging wooden sticks and hitting hand drums... that's me!
I brought in the closing hours of 49 by playing a quick one with friends and was joined by Garth Brook's touring guitarist for a rendering of "Baton Rouge".
A tribute to The Queen from the 9/13 hit with Souled Out...
The🌙 is just right to percussionate at Brook Sutton’s magnificent Studio Nashville.
Being a drummer who's drumming on drums while talking to drummers who feel drummish in a drummingly way is something I do and talk about a lot. However, I spend an near equal amount of time with social media, web analytics, and digital asset management. How I came into that world (and brought Pearl Corporation along with me) is a much longer story so remind me to tell you about it when I see you. My relationship with Canto has been a short but enjoyable one as they have delivered on their promises. I was happy to accept their invitation to speak with their audience about our best practices on their platform.
Thanks to Leslie and everyone at Canto for the opportunity... I have to juggle a lot of data/content throughout the day and their platform is intuitive and consistently reliable.
Also, I exchanged the picture of me with something a bit more up to date... #egglife
I hit these for about 4 minutes and people in the room clapped afterwards. We did this for about 2 hours and then both decided to call it a night.