Luca Annoni

Watching Aaron Spears play with the Backstreet Boys

Honestly I don’t think my story is a great story. And it’s not all that peculiar either. Every drummer and every musician probably went through the same feelings and emotions and thoughts that I went through. But I guess that’s what makes my story important, and it certainly is important for me. Game-changing, you would say. I always lived with music in my heart. I played guitar for a while when I was a kid. Then I decided that I had to be a frontman so I started singing and writing songs. But if I put it this way you may think that I was very brave, straightforward or whatever, and I was not. I was probably one of the shyest guys around. Afraid to go on stage and all that. When I was 17 I started taking drum lessons like every kid who takes drum lessons when they’re 17. Everybody tells you that it’s too late and all that stuff. I don’t know if I payed all that attention to those talks. What I know is that I loved music. And I wanted to breathe music every day. That’s why I always went to a lot of shows in Milan. I wanted to see great musicians and great singers one step away from me. And then, in 2008, Backstreet Boys came to town, I got the ticket and went to the show. And this is my game-changing moment. Because Aaron Spears was touring with them and in 2008 I didn’t even know who Aaron Spears was. But I stared at him all the time. That wasn’t music. It was magic. Pure magic. To my eyes, at least. And to my heart, for sure. And that magic made my relationship to the drums become like an incredible romance. Passionate and irresistible but also comfortable and safe. And while I was watching Aaron play I smiled and I caught myself in this unbelievable moment where I thought to myself “That’s what I wanna do in my life”.

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In celebration of Vic Firth Company's 50th anniversary, we've spent an entire year celebrating Game-Changing Moments in drumming -- including yours! To everyone who shared a story with us this year, thank you! Drumming is a shared experience and we are all brothers and sisters! Your stories have inspired us to continue making the best sticks possible and to continue changing the game for drummers everywhere.


We received thousands of amazing stories this year. Although it was difficult to choose only one story, we're happy to announce that Joe Russomano is our grand prize winner in the Game-Changing Moments contest!

Read Joe's Story