So yesterday was hot. Hotter than our summer last year, i think, or it felt that way! Up at stupid o’clock and out for a great breakfast at another great eatery. John took me down Route 66 to Wilmington, which is an old town with a street full of ‘Antique’ shops. I had a good browse and chatted to some great store owners about life and doing something you love with your life – it was amazing talking to people who enjoy the hunt for through junk that becomes someone else’s treasure. I saw some amazing stuff but didn’t buy anything.
We then headed over to Steve Maxwell’s newest Illinois store that I hadn’t been to before, and had a warm welcome from Steve Snr. and Jnr. My friend Mike Curotto had just flown in and was asleep on the sofa, it seemed he had a smile on his face even in his sleep. He awoke, shook my hand, smiled and fell back asleep!
Steve gave us a tour of the building and we just talked at each constantly other about drums, parts, drums, drums and more drums. In the storage warehouse out back I met my good friend David Victor (Craviotto) and so the drum chat continued! Heard about some great new products and developments over here, just inspiring to be around forward thinking people who share my passion for serving our customers with the gear they are searching for, and sometimes the small parts to keep their gear original and playable.
I love these guys, David and Steve both connected with me and backed me when I first opened 5 years ago and still check in and check up on me throughout the year to see how I’m doing. And John has been helping me with business this side since we first connected 4 years ago at my first visit here. Family. We were just missing Andy A to complete the huddle!
There was so much gear at Steve’s shop I didn’t take any pictures, but believe me… if you’ve been to my shop, imagine that in 7000 sq ft and you get the idea. The Museum room was out of this world, but we’ll leave the contents of that for another day…
Checked into my lovely hotel and met up with my good pals Alan and Dave who had just flown in from the UK. Just like old times straight away, and now i’m in show mood. John took us out to a Collonials for dinner, a nice surprise for Dave who knows the menu there by heart as he’s been to about 20 shows! We had a great night talking drums, the ones that got away, good times. Home to bed, catching my good pal Bob Rupp (Sabian) in the lobby, so great to see him here again this year – he always has the booth behind me. Now i feel settled and I’m ready for the show. Surrounded by good friends. That’s what it’s all about.
About to hit a diner, that will be buzzing with friends from all over the World that gather here once a year for the vintage drum extravaganza. A good hearty breakfast to set us up for the day ahead. Look out for lots of drum photos on social media tonight and more stories here on my blog.