My older brother Bob had a Leedy blue sparkle drum kit in his bedroom. When I was barely old enough to walk, he told me to stay away from his drums. Thus my innate thrill-seeking attitude and tenacious preoccupation with playing the drums has never ceased.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and having big brother Bob the drummer as a mentor, by the time I was 8 years old I became the youngest camper at Hummingbird Music Camp. Hummingbird was founded by K.L. Higgins, one of the original members of John Phillips Sousa's band; K.L. was an inspirational human being on many levels. Most of all K.L. instilled the sense of joy that performing music brings to everyone it touches.
My family relocated to Phoenix Arizona, while I spent every summer in the mountains of New Mexico through my teens playing the drums and working at the music camp following in the footsteps of my brother. I took private lessons from an incredible drummer Preston Repenning who helped refine my basic technique. My high school playing experiences led me to the drumming throne in "Schoolboys" in 1978 which evolved into Capitol Recording artists ICON.
While in Phoenix I had the pleasure to work for Jim Zupancic founder of the Creative Drum Shop in Scottsdale where I learned the skills of fine tuning and hot rodding drums for tons of touring pro's, Including Steve Smith (Journey) who convinced me that I needed to be in LA if I wanted to make it playing drums.
So I moved to LA in 1984 and immediately hooked up with LA Guitar Hero Greg Leon (Suite16 with Tommy Lee , Rough Cutt, Dokken, DuBrow) to support his solo project "Invasion," where for 2 years I was introduced to all the Hollywood and Orange County rock clubs in pursuit of a record deal. In true Spinal Tap fashion, our bass player, Jeroen Bos "Geronimo" got deported back to Holland which completely knocked the wind out of the Invasion.
I met Ross Garfield who at the time was just starting Drum Doctors , and worked for Ross for about a year doing Studio Drum Set-ups for the likes of Carlos Vega, Jim Keltner and Vinne Colaiuta .
Around '86 I hooked up again with guitarist and longtime friend from the Schoolboys days in Phoenix, David Henzerling, aka David Michael Phillips (King Kobra featuring Carmine Appice, and Lizzy Borden) to do a series of recordings at Pasha Studios that ended up in the "B" horror movie Black Roses. The DMP Project featured Bryson Jones on vocals, who has currently become instrumental in putting the country back in LA rock with his band the Snake Handlers and Sweethearts of the Rodeo phenomenon.
I liked the idea of being a band member so I spent most of the next 5 years in another promising 80's Sunset Strip band called "Doctor, Please!". We did a series of demos for MCA just as our A&R crew moved to start up Geffen Records and we were left in the wake.
During this period I met my wife Deborah who worked A&R at Duraline Industries, makers of the ultra-obnoxious SynDrum and the bulletproof Kevlar Duraline Drum Heads. We've been married for 20 years now.
As I turned 30 - grunge, the LA riots, and reality set in, along with a wife and step-kids - so I eventually loaded up the truck and moved back to my roots in Arizona to pursue one of my other passions; designing and building custom motorcycles.
The motorcycle business was very good to me. I made my mark building my bike business from a little 2 man shop North of Burbank to a nationally recognized world class builder of custom American Motorcycles, Surgical-Steeds Classic American Motorcycles, which became Steed Musclebike in Scottsdale, Arizona .
The drums stayed in boxes in the garage for the better part of the 90's while I was immersed in the bike business. Some old friends in Phoenix convinced me to do some casual gigs with them. Through an old friend I made the acquaintance of one of my early guitar hero's, Ronnie Montrose who offered to record the Steed Theme with me for my emerging motorcycle website.
I sold my 80's Hollywood era drums on eBay in 2001 and collected a ton of dusty big old Leedy drums from the '40's and 50's on the 'Bay. Between the paint booth at my motorcycle shop, connections with chrome platers and my past experience building custom drums I believe I have assembled one of the largest collections of Leedy Drums in North America. These are simply the best sounding drums I've ever played.
In 2003, I was invited by Fred Gretsch to help reintroduce the Leedy drum brand at the California NAMM show. I built a custom Steed bike for the show and painted it to match my restored Leedy's. I met many of the drummers that influenced my style, and both Steed and Leedy all received a ton of attention for both the brands.
As fate would have it, in 2004 Dave Henzerling and I decided to record the album we always wanted to make, but never had the opportunity. We used the warehouse of my motorcycle shop, his laptop and ProTools rig to record the first of three Big Cock CD's. We were blessed to find the BMF Robert Mason (Lynch Mob, Cry of Love) available to sing for us. With the proliferation of the internet and especially MySpace we've built quite a following for Big Cock in the last couple of years.
I "sold" my motorcycle business in 2005 to invest my energies into building my drumming career full-time. By October of 2006 I was no longer associated with the day-to-day operations of Surgical-Steeds and I was able to redirect my time and talents back into music.
In February of 2007, I set up a base of operations in the Hollywood hills up in Laurel Canyon about 2 miles from the heart of the Sunset Strip. I found a funky house up in the hills with a dirt road and a view of downtown LA out my window. For 6 months I emersed myself in the Hollywood music scene. I rekindled some past relationships, met some incredibly talented people, and I made a ton of new friends in the music business.
Within a month of my arrival back in Los Angeles I found myself playing drums in the BIG room at Cherokee Studios (if the walls could talk there'd be endless stories to be told). In a relatively short time I've developed artist endorsement relationships with a few companies I'm very proud to be associated with, ButtKicker monitoring systems, Ahead Drumsticks and my old friends at ShellKey and more professional endorsements are imminent with Drum Hardware, Head and Cymbal manufacturers that I Pulverize.
To fill in some time while I was first networking in Hollywood I signed up to do acting work with the Wild Bunch of Hollywood and I landed some bit parts in a couple of movies. I'm a biker in a John C. Riley movie coming out called "Ontario" and I'm a "stoner buddy" in the latest Will Ferrell movie called "Semi-Pro". Looks like they've type cast the Pulverizer. I guess for some reason I fit into the Pirate/Biker mold, go figure?
In May of 2007, I was blessed to hook back up with my amazing old Guitar-Hero friend Greg Leon. I hadn't seen Greg for almost 22 years and before you knew it I was in his studio where he asked me to be a member of the Greg Leon Invasion once again. In 2007 I played ROCKLAHOMA with Greg where we spread "Rock n' AWE!" INVASION style to 100,000+ rock fans at the biggest music festival of 2007.
In the Fall of 2007, Guitar Hero III was released and I'm the guy playing drums on Mississippi Queen while you're pushing the plastic buttons on the controller guitar. Guitar Hero III has sold over 20 Million copies to date.
February 2007 the third Big Cock CD MotherLoad was released. Please go get a copy at Best Buy, FYE or at cdbaby.com. I'm really proud of my playing on the latest BC effort and the band really rocks.
I also tracked a bunch of songs for Rock Revolution - a new video game that will include a six-pad drum kit for use with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions. So you'll be able to play along with me! How cool is that?
On top of that I've completed a giant drum sample library that includes just about every one of my Vintage Leedy drums that should be available before the end of 2008 as well.
In May 2008, I was asked to fill in on the drums for ex-AC/DC drummer Simon Wright (while he went out on tour with Dio) in one of my favorite bands Rhino Bucket. I look forward to playing more live shows with my new friends in Rhino Bucket in 2008, and playing drums in Big Cock supporting MotherLoad.
In 2008, I also opened a photography studio, JC Studios LLC, to keep my creativity rolling and my wallet in the green in between drummer gigs. I photograph cars, motorcycles, hot babes, musicians and bands. You can see my work in Guitar Player, Easyriders, Tattoo Savage and Rebel Rodz magazines.
As a drummer I'm always looking for opportunities to rock. Who knows what is next in store for the Pulverizer. Life is great and I'm so happy that you've taken the time to read what twists and turns I'm having following my bliss through life. I feel blessed and grateful to be able to continue to play drums.
NOW LET'S ROCK!
John Covington - the Pulverizer