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SO SOCAL: The Best...The Beautiful...And The Bizarre
: PASSING THROUGH

Drum Demo Station, Guitar Center, Sunset Boulevard

March 05, 2000|Mary Melton

With one electronic and seven acoustic sets, there's always somebody, amateur or pro, beating the skins at Guitar Center's demo drum stations. We sat in one recent Saturday with four customers.

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Omar David Argueta of Tulare

High school junior, Age 17

He stopped in because: "I was visiting my grandmother, and my uncle, he plays the guitar, so I went to look with him. I play drums for my band at church." musical influences: "None, really, I just like to play everything." acoustic household items: "I drum the bed, the table, the sofa." why he drums: "It's like a hobby, expressing myself. When you're in a good mood, you play better, and when you're mad, you want to hit things."

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Steven Kelly Denman of Hollywood

Drummer, Back Alley blues band, Age 39

He stopped in because: "I was out walking and had this song in my head. I had to sit down and play." musical influences: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Thelonius Monk, Jimi Hendrix. acoustic household items:Cooking utensils, cutting boards, table legs. "If you get an old jewelry box and put rice in it, use it as a shaker." why he drums: "I'm thinking about the song, about the piano and saxophone and how I would play with it and on top of it and around it. I also do poetry, and recite it when I play."

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Jeremy Paek of Los Angeles

Kindergartner, Age 5

He stopped in because: Says dad Michael, "My son likes instruments. He wants to come back next week." musical influences: "When he saw the video 'Pink Floyd at Pompeii,' he got really interested. He wants to go to Jerry's Video all the time, and--he's a crazy kid--sometimes I have the video for a couple of days and have to pay a lot. I wish I could buy it, but I don't know where." acoustic household items: Chopsticks to bang toys. why he drums: "He's trying to copy that guy from Pink Floyd, Nick Mason," says dad. "I play a little bit of guitar, but my father was an opera singer, and he died. I wish my son can take over his spot."

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Brian Nichols of Burbank

Professional baseball player, Age 21

He stopped in because: "I have a band, and we're trying to record before I go away. I was signed by the New York Mets and leave for spring training in April. I'm buying two new Sabian crash cymbals." musical influences: Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater, Carter Beauford of Dave Mathews Band. "Big drum sets, the both of them. The more cymbals, the better."acoustic household items:"My teacher in junior high called me drummer boy, because I tapped on my desk a lot. I do walk around hitting my chest. My roommate in college would give me the look of death." why he drums: "The endless creativity, the cool power. In a band, there's three guitars, but there's just one drummer."

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