How We Met Our Drummer

The year was 2012.

Mitt Romney was running for president, Gangnam Style reached 100 million views on Youtube, and people were preparing to #paintthenight in order to #stopkony. Success was permeating the air, and I was ready to get my slice of the pie.

I figured starting a band would be easy ~ bands are cool and music is fun! ~ Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to join my band? So I went looking for the backline: a bass player and a drummer.

I decided to take advantage of social media and posted an ad on the Queen’s University Music Club message board:

I initially hoped that my post would prompt a mass exodus of Kingston drummers and bass players, radiating with enthusiasm to embark on a new musical adventure with me. To my chagrin, this was the not the case. Days went by with no reply, so I opted for a more grassroots approach and started attending local jam sessions. I hadn’t found any drummers through my scouting and was feeling pretty down about the whole thing. Then about a week later, I was sitting down to take a long, hard look at my life when I received a message from a mysterious individual by the name of Don Pineapple.

I was intrigued. I’ve known a few Pineapples throughout my life, but I had never met anyone named Don.

After a few weeks of more scouting, I met Colin Simonds. He not only owned a bass, but also claimed that he could actually play it. Colin seemed like a good fit, so the lineup was set for our first jam: Saturday October 27th at noon.

I got there early to set up the room and make sure we had everything we needed. Colin strolled in soon after, ready to go. We talked a bit about music, influences and US diplomat J. Christopher Stevens, just getting to know each other a bit. It was around 12:20 when Don arrived. One thing to know about university students is that if there is a holiday that involves drinking, they pre-celebrate the event with even more drinking. We were all recovering from night before when Don walked in. Suddenly, it was as if the party never ended.

He was carrying a pair of drumsticks in one hand and a bottle of Spice Box whisky in the other. He was also dressed as a cowboy, wearing a 10-gallon hat with a gun in his holster. I was shocked to say the least, but as time went on Don’s radical personality become a cornerstone of our dynamic.

That day we jammed the Bedouin Soundclash song ‘Santa Monica’ and even started to work on an original that later became ‘Young and Hopeless’.

It’s been a long time since then, and our three-year anniversary just recently passed. We’ve had a few people come and go in the band, but Donny has always been the one keeping the beat. Like the wind beneath our wings, the river beneath our raft, and the Castrol high-performance Motor oil coursing through the veins of my 2010 Kia Sportage, Don is the syncopated lifeblood of our band.

In those three years here are some important things I’ve learned about him:

1. Don is from Hinton, Alberta (population 9,640) near Jasper. Other notable people from Hinton include Bob Nystrom, (NHL Player) Dave Scatchard, (NHL Player) and Susan B. Anthony (Feminist Trailblazer).

2. Insanely smart. He retains almost anything he reads and has an anecdote for every story. It’s one of the reasons he never stops talking.

3. Incredible cook. Don took some time and went to the St. Lawrence College Culinary School in Kingston. He compares his wrist movements when he’s drumming to… the art of chopping when he’s cooking.

4. Social Butterfly. He’s a truly nice guy who is always looking for the next adventure, and can make friends anywhere he goes. Fun!