Rodney Smith

Being Blown Away by Billy Cobham's Spectrum Band

A friend of mine who was a few years older than me treated me to a concert. He didn't tell me who we were going to see, all he said was, "you are going to LOVE this." It turned out to be a double bill of Larry Coryell and the 11th House and Billy Cobham's Spectrum Band. I was in the ninth grade and just starting out on my journey with the drums. Alphonse Mouzon killed me during his set and as I caught my breath at intermission I wondered if I could stand the next "band." Billy came out... and played as if the heavens were about to fall! I remember considering burning my set and sticks and looking into something else, but the night gave me the burning desire to try and express myself as best I could, because they did. I was transformed that night…

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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