We thought we were safe and breathed a sigh of relief. But suddenly the marauding vehicle careened up behind us coming within inches of my back bumper. I heard a loud thump, and a few seconds later my outside mirror shattered. My two friends and I were terrified!

This story — another “it’s safe to tell thanks to the statute of limitations“ — began when I bought my first car.

In June of 1977 I had just graduated from high school. I was about to turn 18 and knew the time had come for another kind of graduation. …


Thank Heaven for the statute of limitations — without it, this story might never have been told.

Parents, however, have memories far longer than statutes, so the names below have been changed to protect the guilty.

Some people like loud noises. Some people like power. Some people like flames. Some people like controlled destruction.

Some like all four. We call these people pyromaniacs.

Well, that may be a bridge too far, but let’s just say those are the kind of people who have a passion for the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve. …


We were just loading it into the back of our family’s ’63 Bel Air wagon when the police arrived.

The officer approached my dad and greeted him by name. Centralia was a small town, and my dad was well known having for years been the music director at the local community college.

“Ken,” you could tell he wasn’t comfortable asking, “have you been towing your son behind this car?”

My dad admitted that was the case.

“Well,” the officer continued, “I’m going to have to ask you to stop because we’ve had some calls about it. …


Trials and tribulations of a high-school rock band in the 1970s


Have you ever had one of those experiences in which what happened wasn’t really your fault yet you still feel responsible, embarrassed, and even a bit guilty?

I certainly have, more than once in fact.

Perhaps the most memorable incident happened many years ago when I was teaching a drum lesson. The location was a small room at the back of a music store in Chehalis, WA. It was the last lesson of the day, scheduled from 7:30 PM until 8:00, if I remember correctly.

The student was an introverted young man probably around 12 or 13 years old. He…


…at least that was the thought of some church leaders back in the ’70s (and perhaps some even today). During New Testament times early church members used musical instruments during worship, and I’d like to think that included the first-century equivalent of the Ludwig Octa-Plus drum kit.

Somewhere along the line (see: John Calvin’s Regulative principle of worship) musical instruments were limited or even eliminated from church services. One reason was the association of musical instruments with pagan rituals. My suspicion is drums were banned because a few choir members complained the drummers played too loudly.

Far-fetched, you say? Ha…


The Tyranny of Anonymity

I’m going to veer off-topic a little today, although the conversation will start with a connection to drums.

As I’ve mentioned before, with help from my son I started a YouTube channel to discuss drums, drumming, and related subjects. It’s been a lot of fun, and with over 750,000 views I would call it a success.

I knew no matter what I did on that channel there would be some negative comments, and therefore wasn’t surprised when they began showing up.

One of the subjects which drew the ire of many a drummer was whether or…


I hesitated before deciding to write this blog. In fact, I have significant trepidation broaching this subject because no one likes to be a Debbie Downer (with apologies to all the Debbies out there).

Still, once in a while getting a dose of reality is good.

Before I begin, let me say I realize there are a lot of excellent musicians in the world, and I’ll get to that in a minute. First, though, I’d like to address the millions of musicians who aren’t virtuosos.

The sad fact is a very small percentage of musicians are ever going to earn…


OK, I admit it. The headline is a bit sensationalistic. After all, not all musicians are on drugs — many are alcoholics!

I’m kidding, of course; some of my best friends are sober, drug-free musicians.

There are a lot of musicians, however, who do struggle with substance abuse and addiction.

Why is that?

I don’t profess to be an expert on drugs and alcohol. In fact I’ve never indulged in illegal drugs nor have I ever been drunk. I may have acted as if I were drunk, but I’ve never actually been drunk.

However, having been on the road with…


I started playing drums at age 4. I’m 61 now, so I’ve been playing for a LONG time (and I promise I won’t use the worn-out joke about my arms being tired).

My father was a music director at Centralia Community College and my mom stayed at home and took care of my two sisters and me, so we didn’t have a lot of extra money. For this reason, my first drum set was made from Folger’s coffee cans with wooden stands my dad made for me from lumber he had stored in our garage.

At age 9 I received…

Chris the drummer Kimball

Drummer, motorcyclist, classic-car lover, music lover, Rotarian

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