Paul Marshall

Shannon Larkin Saved My Studio

Being a young drummer once, and having so many influences the music world I grew up in- I always dreamed of playing shows, touring, and someday opening my own recording studio. When I finally opened my own studio several years back, I remember struggling- in a bad economy, in an area with great talent, but the talent had limited money to record, so not many of the artists could come in to track. I was at the point of watching my dream quickly slip away.

I went down the street to Dairy Queen with my last $4.00 and some loose change, and figured "well, I still have to eat- so I might as well have a final meal in the studio I had worked so hard to build. I knew Vic Firth artist, Godsmack Skinsman Shannon Larkin, lived in the area, I had met him years ago working at a music store. He happened to be having lunch at the time I walked in- sitting quietly in the corner booth. He recognized me, and invited me to have lunch with him. I did, and as we talked, I never thought he would agree, but I took a chance and invited him back to the studio- if nothing else, in my mind, to see it before it closed.

While talking for well over an hour, about many different things in life- I realized that this awesome human being standing in front of me- whom I had listened to play for years on dozens of recordings was a guest in my studio. We later talked more, and before I knew it- I had the honor of recording some new Godsmack demos, and working with Another Animal!

Some of that exposure and respect from that work has helped me to build a solid reputation to stand on, and Shannon and I remain best of friends to this day, and he continues to track in my studio on a regular basis. I had been with dozens of National Artists as a Live Sound Engineer for over 13 years- however, the day I met and had Lunch with Shannon changed my career, my outlook- and my life. This story goes out to Shannon Larkin- dedicated to a life of music, and the brotherhood we share. I am honored.

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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!

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