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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    10.21.16 @ 05:01 PM
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    Default A Drummer Wanted Ad Has Never Been Answered By Anyone Better Than Dean Zimmer

    If youve ever eschewed the maxim that pure will is all you need to accomplish an impossible dream, dont peddle your doubts to Dean Zimmer.
    Zimmer has arthrogryposis, a rare birth defect that severely restricts joint movement in his arms and legs. Hes never walked properly or enjoyed full use of his arms. Hes in a wheelchair to get around and takes much, much longer to perform simple tasks the vast majority of humans take for granted.

    And wouldnt you know that Zimmers dream requires intense dexterity and often arduous effort from his arms and legs?

    Hes a rock drummer.

    And hes been one for 30 years, and even opened concerts for the likes of Styx, Kansas, Thin Lizzy, and Foghat.

    Yes, he needs special straps to hold his sticks to his hands so they dont fall off.

    Yes, he needs more time to set up his drum kit. But hed been around enough people growing up in South Dakota who didnt fight hard enough to overcome their adversities and wanted more out of life.

    I was the opposite of that, Zimmer told the Los Angeles Times years ago. I wasnt handicapped; I just couldnt walk real good. Indeed, Zimmer can also write and drive and even worked out a way to tie his shoes with fingers that barely work: I dont care if my hands look like everyone elses or not.

    But even after Zimmer made the fabled trek from the Midwest to Los Angeles in 1986 like so many other aspiring rock musicians, he had a tough time getting gigs. He would answer ads and show up to auditions, but bands would nix the disabled drummer despite his skills.


    I didnt tell them my situation on the phone, Zimmer told the Times, and when they saw me, it was frustrating. Its hard to find musicians who can get past the [wheel]chair and everything.

    Not that such roadblocks ever stopped Zimmer. For someone who went for years without drum equipment and simply learned song beats by banging on his legs, peoples prejudices are nothing.

    Filmmakers Ross Harris and Stanley Gonzales were attracted to Zimmers limitations and profiled him in Drummer Wanted, according to Rolling Stone. And folks who know music, such as famed drummer Gregg Bissonette whos played for the likes of David Lee Roth and Ringo Starrs All-Starr Band, Zimmer possesses what many drummers sorely lack.

    Anybody can play fast, Bissonette says, buthes really a musical drummer, adding that Zimmer plays efficiently and tailors his snare and cymbal hits to fit the song, not to stand out above his fellow musicians.

    So if youre having a bad day or feeling sorry for yourself or peeved about the cable going out yet again, remember Dean Zimmerand keep in mind something he said that can apply to us all:

    Play from the heart, man. Thats about all I ever knew.

    Check out the inspiring video of Zimmer bashing the skinsin fact, better and more precisely than drummers with no physical limitations:

    "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesnt really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  2. #2
    Good Enough vhrocker's Avatar
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    01.21.15 @ 07:57 AM
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    Awesome story!!
    ALEX IS GOD!!!

    I've been doin' this for 'bout 20 years now, and I'll tell ya, to this day I still don't know the right drumstick from the left drumstick -Alex Van Halen

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! Rokgtar's Avatar
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    10.21.16 @ 05:02 PM
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    The drums set him free...

  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing! johnnybeane's Avatar
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    10.21.16 @ 04:06 PM
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    Thanks for posting this!
    My chat with Mike & Joe from Chickenfoot 1/7/12

    With a real rockstar - Jason Becker.

    NEW single "Heavy Mellow" & The REMIX available on iTunes & worldwide on bandcamp!

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