Growing up in the 80’s one of my favorite rock bands was Tesla. I have many fond memories of listening to their acoustic album over-and-over and playing ‘Little Suzi” with my own band. A few years ago I had the privilege of interviewing Troy for a cover story in Drumhead Magazine. Since then I have communicated with him frequently and I am proud to call Troy a friend. I look forward to hanging with him when the Tesla, Def Leppard, Styx show comes to town. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Perhaps no one can more eloquently sum up the extraordinary career of drummer Troy Luccketta than the man himself. “I never wanted to be just a rock ‘n’ roll drummer,” he said. “For me, it’s always been about the music and diversity.” With a career spanning three decades on the stage and in the studio, Luccketta has more than lived up to that mantra. From routinely filling the roles of drummer and producer, teacher and activist, the diversity of his experience rivals that of many of his peers. Best known as the hard-hitting timekeeper behind the ‘80s mega-band Tesla, Luccketta has quietly assembled a body of side work that may surprise even his biggest fans. An incredibly humble musician, he admits that he is only now beginning to comprehend the influence that he has had on an entire generation of drummers. Many of these drummers are now full-fledged professionals who routinely make it a point to credit the man who inspired them to pursue their craft.
A native Californian, Luccketta’s journey began like many drummers, in a garage with a snare drum. What made his experience unique was his innate talent for playing it. “I can’t say that I had always wanted to be a drummer, but once I played that snare drum, I knew,” he recounts. “When I was about ten years old, a couple of friends and I were standing around this old snare drum in a buddy’s garage. We were just staring down at it. My friends in the room knew that I wanted to play, so one of them handed me a pair of spoons, and I immediately starting playing ‘Wipeout.’ I played it nearly spot on. My friends looked at me in amazement. There was something special about the expressions on their faces and the feeling that I got from playing that drum that struck me. From that day forward, I was a drummer.”
Following this newfound instinct, Luccketta immediately set about to get himself a proper drum set. One paper route led to a second and eventually to a third, marking the start of a workaholic mentality that has become a balancing act throughout the drummer’s career. He eventually saved up a precious $55 to purchase a used three-piece Crest drum set in faded marine pearl. Luccketta recalled the tremendous sense of accomplishment that he felt after purchasing that kit. “I loved those drums! It was a beginner’s set and only had a bass drum, rack tom, snare and a ride cymbal. My mother eventually got me a hi-hat later for a birthday present.”
As a member of a family of music enthusiasts, Luccketta credits his mother, sister and brother with introducing him to a wide variety of genres by sharing their eclectic record collection that spanned everything from Motown to Led Zeppelin. “‘Proud Mary’ [Ike and Tina Turner’s version] was the very first song that I ever played,” he said. “I remember how it started out kinda slow, then built up and changed tempos to a fast, rockin’ jam. That was my first introduction to dynamics and tempo changes. The break at the end of that song was explosive and very cool!”
Shortly after obtaining his kit, Luccketta started a two-man band. Their first gig was a performance in front of the sixth-grade class. He said, “My friend, who had a guitar, and I wrote two little funky jams, a total of two riffs, and the talent show was our first concert performance. We played both numbers and the kids seemed to enjoy it.” Although he didn’t realize it at the time, this inaugural event foretold an illustrious stage career that would see the drummer playing to millions of fans around the world. “That day was really my first step. Since then, my journey has taken me from the classroom, to the club, to the arena.”
Read the complete article at: http://www.pinstripepress.net/Troy_Luccketta_DH.pdf