View Full Version : Pictures from August 8th, Chicago

10-07-2003, 06:22 AM
Well, guys... I've received these pictures from
the unbelievable CAB show, with Virgil, from
August 8th, 2003.

As I feared, however, only a few of them
came out because the camera just was not
the best and could not conquer the elements. :(

I'm posting the photos that came out for you:

This is the one of the great Virgil and I:


This is the one of Virgil and cute Meg (The Drum Pad):


These are the two shots that I resurrected
of Virgil's Pearl Kit that night:



I apologize again for not having a better camera
for you guys. It was such a great night. Virgil is
one of the most important drummers of our
time and what a joy it is to know about him
and to then, on top of that, to be able to meet
and chat with him... Well, I'm overwhelmed.

Thanks again, Virgil.


Just to refresh your memory about what hap-
pened that night, I'm copying my previous post
here, below:

What a memorable night!

I was running late, the markets were nuts this week and my Friday's are usually crazy as it is. The credits were one way, the currencies the other, metal another and the stocks mixed! What a mess but this was Virgil's night. I had to get down to this club before anyone else, so I'd have a chance to take some photos for you guys but luck didn't seem to be on my side. The only camera I could take was one of those old style automatics, with no zoom. I had no choice. I had to take it. Traffic wasn't the best either. I was afraid that I was going to miss my chance, if I had any of getting a note to him.

I was going to meet my contingent there (4 learned fusion lovers, one is a monster bass player and his son, who was also there; plays it even better than him!). Bob, my music buddy, bought the tickets so I said the food and drinks are on me. I won't tell you what we had but there was enough for everyone.

Now, when I walk in, I can see that the sound check is all done and the doors are open, for the general public. My heart sank.
All that trouble and I missed my chance.

What luck...

I showed my ID, as if I don't look like the old man that I am and make my way over to my spot, next to the soundpost. On the way, I notice a slender person, talking to someone.

It was Virgil!

I stood there, waiting for a turn to speak to him, my enthusiasm revived! He turned to me and shook my hand, saying hi. I told him that I was Peter from the Messageboard and that I promised you guys that I'd take some pictures of him, also asking if it was OK, course. You know what he said to me? Were you the person that said something like, "It wasn't destruction, it was..." He thought to himself what the word was and I finished it for him, saying "evisceration". He laughed. He said Chris mentioned our reaction to the clip from out West, that he hasn't had a chance to get to site lately with everything going on but he did hear about what we were saying.

Well, that he would remember me... I was really, really impressed.
What a guy!

He said he was really busy just then, alot going on BUT that after the show, he'd be glad to have some pictures taken for us here.

We sat down, chatted... We started talking about the 1970's and this guy were sitting next to came over and said, "Hey, you're taking about my favorite musicians here. I got to get in." I had to apologize to his girlfriend for all the music talk. You know what happens, when you get kindred spirits together, especially from a time period like the Fusion 1970's.

Before I knew it, it was showtime!

So, on a quiet evening, in Northern Chicago, we go out to the Lake, waiting for the "Battleship Virgil". Instead, we look out on the water and in the distance, it's was all black... Next thing we know, an aircraft carrier runs aground and out came Virgil Donati!

So that there was absolutely no doubt about whether Virgil Donati can groove (it was as if he'd been listening to us talk about him), he laid a sledgehammer of a half-time shuffle, spraying concrete in his wake! It was a terminal assault of a groove!

What a configuration! This is a special band!

I'm telling you right now. This is Jazz-Fusion. This is not Planet X. Now, I know how we all love Planet X here and we know that Virgil doesn't rock but boulders but there are so many guys out there that do not realize just how musical Virgil can be in other situations. Of course, we know he can do anything he chooses and that's what he does but I thought to myself that this is going to be a ground-breaker for him. People are going to expand in their appreciation of him!

I was so excited. Of course, so were the guys. They had never seen him. When they asked me to describe him, I kept saying that I couldn't. Finally, in one's doubt, I did break down and say that "...it was like witnessing a miracle...". I needed witnesses.

Well, the guys played so well - all of them. Tony was just great. Bunny was SO musical! Steve was right there, with them and then, there was Virgil...

I'm telling you, as if you don't already know, he is the most important drummer on the scene today, pushing the physical boundaries like no one else. I kept thinking to myself how proud Tony would be of him. I have to admit that even I felt a kind of pride, just knowing about him, being here, sharing him with you... It's hard to explain.

The flams, staggered triplets, linear-crashes, ghost lead-ins, speed, the impossible, seamless coverage of the kit and to add insult to injury, HIS DELICATE, MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT AND MONSTER GROOVE just left us devasted. It was like being swept up into a tornado and being taken to the Land of Oz! We did NOT want to come back but there's more!

One more thing - his work with his HH, his left foot, left me aghast. It was taking one of the two 16th-note riding patterns... disgusting! There were other applications... It was just drop-dead, fugly.

After the desolation, I told my buddies that I had to stay to see if I could take some pictures (I took some from where I was but I don't know how the light was. I hope these come out). Well, I paid my bill and asked where the band was. They said that they would not let me up there. I went over to the door and waited and waited and waited. I saw the guys from THE DRUM PAD, supplier of fine drum requisites, who were helping to break down the equipment and they said that he was still up there, changing and that he'd eventually come down.

I was having the last of my margarita, when someone tapped my shoulder and it was an old, old friend of mine from years ago, a great guitarist and singer, Antoine Brumfield! We hugged each other forever, it seemed. I couldn't believe it! It has been years! He came to see Tony and I to see Virgil! Go figure! Well, we talked, while I was waiting for Virgil. I asked about his family, the studio - you know, catching up, exchanged e-mail addresses and vowed to stay in touch. It was great seeing him. We parted.

I was still waiting for Virgil. I was getting worried. Another band was almost set up. I went to front of the club, by th booth, where they wree selling CD's and stuff. They had his cymbals there. I picked up one his sticks and played them a little. I REALLY liked them. They were nice and thin. I love the sound of them.

Behind the counter was this pretty girl selling the stuff. I overheard her say that she worked for The Drum Pad. I asked if she was a drummer and she said yes. I told her how pretty she was, to which she thanked me, with a very pleasant smile. We talked about what it was like to sell to mostly guys and then female drummers, like Sheila E., who is in town, doing a clinic, who can bury most guys on the kit and stick them with a stilleto heel to boot! I asked her if she'd help me out and take a picture with Virgil and then take one of me with him. She said she would.

I took a stick and waited some more, twirling it, hoping that he'd come and there he was!

Greeting me with a smile, I checked with him if it was still OK - if he wasn't in a hurry... He said it was fine, that he just wanted to put some stuff in the van but before he went out there, I put my arm on his shoulder and told him that I thought there was so much Tony in him and that he would be so proud of him and then he told me a great story about Tony.

Just before Tony died, Virgil was doing a clinic with Dennis. Tony was there. Virgil never talked to Tony. Dennis told him this later. He said, "Virgil, I think you scared him, man." Dennis told Virgil that Tony looked at him and just shook his head. Dennis knew what that meant. Of course, Tony is an icon and for him to shake his head... Well, he'd only do it, when looking at Virgil!

Virgil was so kind. I took his picture, with pretty Meg and then she took a picture of us. I should have taken one with her!! I hope they come out. I think these will, at least.

Virgil Donati... What a consummate drummer... What a consummate guy! I'll never forget seeing him tonight!

Thank you, Virgil and thank you, Christopher for mentioning us!

Forever brothers,

To Virgil,
A Drummer Who is Changing the World

Last edited by peter on 08-11-2003 at 03:12 AM

10-07-2003, 07:33 AM
Cool pics peter! thanks for sharing that with us:) i really like that midnight blue kit too.
btw i hope Virg got a haircut by now, he'd probably look like OJ from the naked gun 2 1/2 by now if he didn't :D

10-07-2003, 09:20 AM
I just wish I had a better camera,
especially when he did that back-
sticking on both hands simultan-
eously! It was an eye-popper! :)

10-07-2003, 11:20 AM
Did you take any of Virg at the kit? I mean i'd go mad with the camera if i went!:)

10-07-2003, 01:23 PM

I did but sitting at the bar, by the
sound booth and at a distance, not
to mention the flash, without the
zoom - well... I just did not pick him
up well, at all. Sorry. :(

Next time.

10-08-2003, 01:23 AM
Not to worry, those pics are cool and you still have all the memories:)

10-08-2003, 02:08 PM
I actually have a Pearl MRX kit in "midnight fade" finish, just like the one on these pics and it is BEAUTIFUL!!! :)

10-10-2003, 11:31 AM
Can you post pics maggimus? It would be cool to see that kit in detail:)

10-22-2003, 09:04 PM
im so happy for you i wish that i was there, i wanted to see virgil playing. by the way the pics are nice dont worry we did enjoy seeing it. tnx

10-22-2003, 09:10 PM
by the way im just curious, why he didn't invert his toms i most often see his kit in an inverted toms

10-30-2003, 07:09 AM
I'm not sure why he didn't,
unless it was a question of
time but they did do a sound
check and all. I don't know.

His perogative, though.

10-31-2003, 03:10 AM
He mentioned in the Sabian Chat a couple of months ago that he has now begun to use the toms in the standard order again, so any pics you see coming from his Euro Clinic tour will be the same, ok?:)

06-07-2009, 10:01 AM
Just thought I'd bring this past thread back to life. What a great review! Makes me feel like I was there. These kinds of descriptions about an experience with Virgil makes me sleep well at night. :)

06-07-2009, 01:56 PM
Thanks for bumping this. Great read. It was vicariously splendid!

06-07-2009, 07:03 PM
This is so inspiring! This brings back the feeling i had when i saw Virgil for the first time ( and all the other times as well ) I remember when i was back in school the day after, i had to leave the lunchroom because i didnīt wanna show everyone that i was crying! His playing and his charisma
reminded me that life can be very good and challanging in a good way, had a difficult time then so that night was one of the bests i ever had! It gave me back all the power i needed and motivation to keep struggling and setting upp some goals in my life :)

Virgil has clearly been the most important person in my life.