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BEHIND THE SCENES / ORANGE COUNTY

Drum and Drummer

November 14, 1996

What's the latest in percussive fun? Drum wars, such as the one in Garden Grove on Sunday when amateur and professional skin-beaters got together to see who could bang the best.

Bill Ray of San Diego--one of three finalists whittled down from 75 contenders--won, but it was no contest to the crowd of a few hundred at the Club Shred Drum Wars: Moody Music, the store where the competition was held, got the biggest applause.

Moody's has been a place for all things instrumental for 20 years. Owner Dave Moody bought a small music store with his dad, George, in July 1976 for $14,000. Dave was a trumpet-playing sporting equipment salesman, and his dad was a trumpet- and guitar-playing retired VP at Pinkerton Detective Agency. How could they miss?

Dave decided to show musicians the ropes . . . or the strings, as it were, in 1980, when he fixed a problem Dick Dale was having with his guitar by figuring out that the strings were on backward.

The surf guitarist remains a supporter of Moody's, as do loyalists Ozzy Osborne, Gloria Estefan and Slaughter, who have performed at the store's annual outdoor event.

At Sunday's contest, White Zombie drummer John Tempesta showed up to sign autographs.

"Guitars and amps are still our bread and butter," Dave Moody says.

But take heart, drum lovers: The county's oldest independent music store is stocked with timbales, bongos, dumbecks, ashikos, ocean drums, djembe, even a Ricky ("Baba Lu") Ricardo conga.

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