Thursday, April 19, 2012

Alabama Music Gary Asher Interview

Alabama Music interviewed Gary Asher at his home in Birmingham, Alabama in April 2012. This video includes a tour of his huge memorabilia and drum collection. Gary is known as the drummer's drummer and travels the world in pursuit of all things percussion. This is the complete unedited version that accompanies May issue of Tannehill Trader.

Gary Asher-World Class Drummer's Drummer     by Jerry W. Henry

Gary Asher is more than a drummer. He is an international ambassador to the world of drumming. Gary is a serious collector, teacher and author/producer of drum lesson books & CD drumming lesson courses. Gary was born about a month before I finished high school. But when talking with him, I feel that he is the older, wiser one when it comes to many aspects within the world of music. His love for drums and music in general is apparent when you talk with him.

Gary Asher is a very busy man. We had been trying to get together for over a year for this interview.  As you will learn from the video, he travels the world with one project after another.

He became a drummer by way of heredity, as his father was a drummer in the Army Air Corps. His first job was at Nuncie's Music, which lasted for 25 years. He met his wife there when she came in to purchase a cowbell for her drum set.

His home in Vestavia Hills, Alabama is an unassuming ranch style and folks would never know of his huge collection of drums, autographed photos, books, catalogs, memorabilia too extensive to list here, when they pass by. But then we are talking about a man that Mr. Ludwig came to see a half-dozen times and invited Gary as a guest in the Ludwig household as well. He also knows several other major, as well as custom drum manufacturing owners and their employees.  He set a goal to purchase one drum set per month and that was over 35 years ago. He has those and many others as a result of his avid buying and selling; he has over 700 snares. His drums were in the movie Drumline and That Thing You Do. He has Ringo Starr's autograph on a bass drum skin before he stopped autographing. Drums played by Kiss, Lenny Kravitz, Dierks Bentley, Fleetwood Mac, Ben Sesar (Brad Paisley,) Keith Zebronski (Miranda Lambert,) Chris Fryar (Zac Brown Band,) and Zoro, Brian Teasley (Man or Astro Man,), Chris from Umphree's McGee, Jamie Sharp (Rush of Fools,) and many, many more. But the most treasured is a set of Ludwigs his father played.

In 1982 he founded Drum School, where he began instructing the over 3000 students ages 4 to 87 who have been through his three-month course. Gary still finds the time to accompany his wife at church weekly.  Professionally he performs in his three bands, Lamp Lighters, The Larry Russo Trio, and Gary Asher and Friends.  He also serves as the Partnership Development Director for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Organization. He has donated over 100 drum sets to numerous charities over the years and attributes all of his blessings to the joy of drumming. "I am so grateful and thankful for every one I have met, every place I have visited," says Gary. "My goal for the next 45 years is to own every drum and teach everyone to play."

Gary Asher's passion and enthusiasm seem endless. He is now listed in a tabletop photography book about the world of drumming featuring over 500 drummers including: Ginger Baker, Hal Blaine, Louie Bellson, Simon Phillips, Nigel Olsson and many, many more. Yes Alabama's Gary Asher travels the globe as an international ambassador to the world of drumming.

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