You may have heard by now that Frankie Banali passed away this week after battling Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer. Frankie was one of the drummers that inspired me to take up drumming in the first place and he was the first drummer that I ever saw perform live in concert. I was fortunate enough to interview Frankie a while back and it was one of my most enjoyable talks. You can read the entire interview here: Frankie Banali . Frankie was one of the nicest and most sincere people I’ve ever spoken to and he leaves behind a legacy as one of the special ones both behind and in front of the drum kit.
Monthly Archives: August 2020
Lately there has been a lot of news about the controversy over monuments. Some communities have removed or relocated them altogether and many others are still in debate. In some cases protesters have taken it upon themselves to tear them down. Statues of Confederates, Columbus, Jefferson, and many other controversial historical figures have been voted against. As a Civil War historian and author of two sanctioned books that present Confederate history, Historic Churches of Fredericksburg and The Civil War in Spotsylvania County, I have very mixed feelings on the issue.
There are many monuments around the world depicting the drummer boy. It seems to be a subject that turns up on battlefields, in cemeteries and even on the grounds of learning institutions. What is it about the drummer boy that makes him worthy of memorialization? Is it the courage or tragedy of the subject? Is it the service of youth? Whatever the intent it is shared around the world. Here are few historic drummer boy monuments:
- Monument to the King’s Liverpool Regiment, St John’s Garden
- Clarence McKenzie, Drummer Boy, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn
- The Drummer Boy, Suffolk Coastal District, Melton Hill, Woodbridge
- “The Response,” On the grounds of St Thomas’s Church, Newcastle
- Ohio State Monument, Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park
- The Drummer Boy – Bloomfield, Connecticut, United States
- The Drummer Boy of Bruc, Anoia in Catalonia, Spain
- Cornish Drummer sculpture on the piazza in Truro
I do not see any of these innocent monuments being taken down. They stand as a testimony to the unsung heroes of war. For other posts on the subject of the drummer boy search (top left) for the term “Drummer Boy.” Or download The Long Roll. This 50-page eBook presents the history of the Civil War Drummer Boy. DOWNLOAD HERE (PDF, must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view)
I watched the Broadway musical Hamilton for the first time last week. It was brilliant. The musical score was extraordinary and featured the exquisite drumming of TONY, GRAMMY and EMMY award winning Andrés Forero. Here are a couple videos showcasing Andrés’s playing and set-up. You will notice that everything he uses has a specific purpose and compliments the performers on stage. (You can read a detailed bio here on his Sonor artists page.)