Date Event
1980 My parents blew $30 at Sears on a "Diamond Disco" drumset. It was made from metal and had one "cymbal" with rivets drilled in it for a jazzy sizzle effect. The unremovable plastic heads were broken within months of purchase, but not before my good friend Kyle and I made some recordings with it.
Late 1985 I was in Mr. Jenkins' drafting class. He would always start the class with some instruction, but afterwards, he would turn the stereo on while we all made our drawings.

The drafting boards were oriented such that if you hit one area you got a nice "thud" sound like a kick drum and if you hit another you got a good "krak" like a snare drum. Naturally, I played along with the hits of the day.

I was approached by Jeff (guitar, sax), who asked if I played drums. I said no, and he said "well, you should". He proceeded to tell me about the big Veneman's Rockville Half Price Sale that went down every year, and urged me to go to get a drumset so that I could join his band.

May 1986 My friend James and I camped out overnight and attended the Veneman's Rockville Half Price Sale (about a 40-minute drive from my home). I picked up what I believed to be a black Ludwig Rocker 5-piece drum set. In my excitement to get home and play, I bypassed the important step of inspecting the goods. Turned out in the confusion of the sale, I had taken delivery of half of a much larger double-bass drum set, so I was missing a lot of pieces. The situation was made right later that day and the drumming started in earnest.

It was this first band where I met some great friends: starting with my best friend Paul (bass). Initially, we practiced in the basement of my parents' house. The earliest version of this band was called "Chasm" which became "Precious Metal" which became "Las Vegas Fire" (named after the 1980 fire at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino) which became "Rich Corinthian Torpedoes".

Early 1987 The band of friends played the high school talent show, butchering some glam metal hit by Poison, Ratt or something similar.

The lineup morphed as time passed, adding John (vocals), Mike (guitar), Gregg (guitar), and Andy (keys). I would always return from college and play with this band every summer.

1987-88 at college Played in a band doing modern rock covers. Met Shane (vocals), Eric (guitar) and Dan (bass). This band was popular at frat parties. Admittedly, we always played the off-the-beaten-track frat houses.
1988-89 at college Tried out for "Katch-22", an established band that played classic rock covers that had just lost their phenomenal drummer. Met Ken (guitar), Kent (guitar), Wes (bass) and John (vocals) in the process.
October 29, 1988 "Katch-22" returned to the stage at The Phoenix with me on drums.
1989-90 at college
1990-91 at college Played in a huge funk band called "Funkmonster". Met Jake (guitar), James (guitar), Jim (bass), Leo (vocals), Rich (vocals), Mark (alto sax), Peter (tenor sax), Mark (keyboards) et al.

After college, I returned home and continued with the band of friends.

1991 During a break from practice in Gregg's basement, we turned on MTV and noticed that the drummer in the new "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video (the parts we could see through the hair) looked an awful lot like our old TJ classmate David Grohl. We scrambled to someone's copy of "Nevermind" and spent the rest of the day amazed.
Mid 1992 Jerry (guitar, vocals) was added and brought some funky chops and a good frontman personality. The band got the name "Shoelace Soup". We all moved into a band house together.
Late 1993 I left "Shoelace Soup", looking for something in more of an alternative rock vein.
Middle 1994 After jamming with various groups, I caught on with Hipper Than Thou and met Wes (guitar), Tom (vocals) and Jeff (bass) in the process. I left that band about six months later and started looking for a new group almost immediately.
April 28, 1995 In the Classified ads of the Washington City Paper, two ads ran in the Music section:

DRUMMER SEEKING BAND: 26 y.o. (9 yrs experience) looking to play strummy, college stuff w/ strong vocals (a la Toad, Live, DMB). Mike, 703/978-1788.

2 inches to the right and 2 inches down:

ISO F/M GUITARIST, drummer for Gadget White's (F singer/songwriter) backup band. Soulful teamplayers able to tour. LP release with major label. No homophobes. 202/882-4336.

So ...

May 2, 1995 The former met the latter when I met Georgianna "Gadget" White (guitar, vocals). Thus began an on-again/off-again experience as her drummer. Met Donna (bass), Aiko (lead guitar), Helen (violin), Mark (guitar) and others during the process.
October 28, 1995 I played my first gig with Gadget White at the Grog and Tankard.
1996-1998 A local joint called Jaxx - known for hosting B- and C-list musical acts - booked Gadget's band frequently, so we got to open for a lot of interesting acts: Steppenwolf (6/7/96), Joan Jett (6/12/97), Eddie Money (10/24/97), Vixen (7/10/98).
April 8, 1996 At an open mic jam at the Laughing Lizard Lounge, I met Larry Burnett, ex-guitarist for Firefall, a band from the 70s I really like - they of "You Are the Woman" and "Just Remember I Love You" fame. He convinced me to join him for a few jam sessions. They didn't go very well, but I met his bass player Garth in the process.
July 18, 1996 Played my first "last show" with Gadget White. I was frustrated at how Gadget and Aiko were always fighting, and I thought the band lacked management and focus. Shortly thereafter, Gadget moved to Chicago.
July 22, 1996 Started playing with Garth and his friend Mark (guitar, vocals) in a band that came to be known as Heliotrope. I also met Jeremy in the process, one of the better keyboard players I'll ever know.
January 14, 1997 Helped Gadget track a demo during a visit.
February 26, 1997 Heliotrope played on stage for the first time. A forgettable experience, the band fizzled and faded in the weeks that followed.
April 1997 Gadget had moved back to DC, so it made sense that we would play gigs together.
Mid 1997 Started hanging out at a regular blues open mic where I met Wyn (guitar, vocals) and Pete (guitar, vocals). I ended up playing with their band LoDown frequently (and still do). It was here that I also met Eric (guitar) who got me gigs with 60s acts like The Marvlettes, The Drifters and The Coasters.
September 1997 Dabbled with a band called Venus Sparkplug. Met Rich (vocals, guitar), Mobasha (bass) in the process. For a while I commuted to practice with them in Baltimore, before coming to my senses about how crazy a proposition like that was.
March 4-5, 1998 Had favorite studio experience ever at Secret Sound in Maryland (helping Gadget with her ongoing album project). John Grant was and is a masterful studio engineer and guitarist.
June 24, 1999 Played the MCI Center, a 20,000 seat arena in Washington DC. Opening for David Lee Roth and Bad Company was the prize for winning a "Battle of the Bands". The Bad Company tour manager approached us after the show and told us that opener Billy Squire had to cancel on their next stop, so, as a result ...
June 26, 1999 Opened for Bad Company at the Bryce Jordan Center, an arena at Penn State.
Mid 2000 Started to get jealous of Evan, a drummer friend who played with a band called 24fps. Gadget White Band imploded, Evan offered the 24fps gig to me as he no longer had the time. Met John (guitar, vocals), Jen (violin), Amy (cello) and Marvin (bass) as a result.
January 13, 2001 Played the first gig of my life that involved an overnight stay - The Living Room (NYC).
March 11, 2001 Played the second gig of my life that involved an overnight stay - The Cave (Chapel Hill, NC).
December 10, 2005 Finally played the 9:30 Club with Justin Jones. Met Tom (guitar) in the process.