Artist: Ace Frehley
Title: “Behind The Player”
Label: Red Distribution
Release Date: 1/19/2010
Genre: Hard Rock
Fans of the Space Ace will definitely love what is going on with this “Behind The Player” DVD by Interactive Music Video because it gives you an inside look into the playing and thought processes of the one and only Ace Frehley. This is one “episode” so to speak of a multi-volume set of similar releases and as I watched it, I was reminded of the drum instruction videos I used to love when I was actively pursuing music many years ago. The video begins with Ace Frehley sitting in a rehearsal studio and lining out his humble beginnings as a musician and how he eventually landed the gig in KISS. He brings up his original departure from the lineup and talked about his solo years before he once again donned the signature face paint and embarked on the reunion tour to end all reunion tours. We even learn why he decided to move on from the band once again and he briefly touches upon his addictions and proudly informs the home viewer of his sobriety which at the time of the filming had reached three years. There was not too much in this part of the film that I didn’t know already as a lifelong KISS fan, but it is great to hear it from Ace as opposed to Gene and Paul who always seem to hog the screen time when such disclosure is happening. One of the main parts I found of interest was Ace describing how he first came up with the smoking guitar idea and then the lighted ones and rocket launching ones. Viewers should be aware that stuff like this was not done in concert until Ace came up with it for the KISS shows. That’s pretty wild when you think about it.
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Artist: Todd Sucherman
Title: “Methods & Mechanics”
Label: MVD Visual
Release Date: 10/21/2008
I wanted to start off my commentary about “Methods & Mechanics” by saying that while I think that drummer Todd Sucherman is a very lucky guy, it must also be said that any perceived luck is actually the end result of many, many years of hard and dedicated work. The musician has been at his craft for over thirty years now and for most of the world had come into his largest prominence when he first sat down onto the Styx drum throne to fill in for an ailing John Panozzo. Sadly, Panozzo would pass away soon after these gigs and this would lead to Sucherman becoming the bands new fulltime drummer. Having been a Styx fan for many years myself, I am happy to report that the role is in good hands and that Todd does Panozzo justice with his talents – he is not only a capable musician but he is also a very innovative and powerful Rock drummer. It must have been a blast for this guy to have been a fan of the band growing up and then eventually finding himself coming to their aid and then joining their ranks no matter how bad the reasons for this might have originally been. Sucherman is also an established Jazz and contemporary player and all of these elements are tied together as he delivers his first instructional video “Methods & Mechanics”. The video comes care of MVD Visual, and this double DVD set is a fantastic look inside the drummer’s brain because not only does Todd explain and demonstrate a number of the tricks of the trade that he follows and had used to better his own development as a player, but it also delves deeply into his personal musical philosophy and this allows the viewer to understand just where his head is at.
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Artist: Neil Peart
Title: “Anatomy Of A Drum Solo”
Label: Hudson Music
Release Date: 12/12/2005
Genre: Progressive Rock/Instructional
When it comes to “The Professor”, I have said it before and will say it again: Neil Peart is a God on the drums! For years in the Progressive Rock giant that is Rush, he has done things that seem impossible on a regular basis. Those that hear his songs or have seen him perform live will agree that his talent is of a super human level. With impeccable timing and sense of style, he has often been imitated, yet never truly duplicated. Neil’s level of play has inspired drummers around the world for over 30 years since Rush began and he continues to do so to this very day. The other great aspect of Neil Peart is his ability to explain to you where he is coming from and while it surely takes years of practice, it shows you that all is achievable when one sets their mind to it. This DVD takes Neil’s area of expertise on the drum solo and examines what he does, how he came up with it, and what he feels makes the particular section of music so interesting. Broken into two separate DVD’s, I will showcase some of what awaits the viewer.
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