Off Beat is not a news blog. It has not commented on current events before. I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to acknowledge the tragedy that took place in Las Vegas yesterday. Our close friend and co-author Rich Redmond was on stage performing with Jason Aldean when the attack took place. Our friend Jon Hull, Rich’s drum tech, was also on stage attending to Rich during the show. Our friend Keio Stroud, who we interviewed back in April, was also at the festival performing with Big and Rich. Thankfully all were safe. Understandably the performers that were present are still trying to process what they witnessed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people in the audience that were killed or injured. The number of victims continues to grow and the toll is staggering. At this time a motive has not been determined and as the gunman killed himself it may not be revealed. Moments like these should shift our attention away from the things that divide us. Tragedies such as this are senseless and the only way to get through them is to come together. The focus should be on the victims and their families and trying to prevent further incidents like this from happening. Today is an incredibly sad day. The only post that matters at this time is this one.
UPDATE: As if this day can’t get any worse Tom Petty, one of the greatest singer-songwriters of our time has passed away at the age of 66. Steve Ferrone is the drummer for The Heartbreakers. His mastery of the groove and ability to drive the band is especially evident in a live setting. Here is a live performance of my absolute favorite song to play on the drums, “You Wreck Me.”