Here's my music page.

Music, Music, Music...

Click on the band to see my performance schedule

Click on the band to see my performance schedule

If you're one of the users having problems accessing my schedule, click here.

Hey everyone...Obviously music is a pretty important part of my life.  This essentially means that my "Music" site is going to be a monster.  As you can see I have a pretty good start on the initial music page (this page) with peripheral pages peaking in here and there.  Since my music site is going to be so vast I will be adding to it over a period of a year or so.  If something is missing chances are I haven't gotten to it yet as of this writing.  If something is incorrect, mispelled, doesn't look right or doesn't load correctly, please feel free to comment via the e'mail link at the bottom of this page (There are e'mail links at the bottom of all pages).  I check my e'mail every day and am pretty good about fixing web stuff right away.  When this red section goes away, the "music" portion of my site will have been completed.

In the beginning...

My earliest memories of wanting to be a drummer started around age 5.  I remember asking my parents for drums and sticks when I was a small child (Buddy Rich got his first sticks when he was 2).  Being inner-city folk, my parents were always apartment dwellers.  So a "noisy drum set" was out of the question.  Finally in the seventh grade I signed up for band at Cleveland Jr. High School.  My teacher was Jim Sterns, and a great teacher he was.  I was always a bit A.D.D. (they called it "hyperactive" back then), so being "studious" wasn't my thing.  I just liked to beat the drums.  Studying my music was easy for me compared to Math or History.  I was always in 1-3 band classes from seventh grade on through graduation.  Any and all of my "formal" training (which was limited to the snare drum) came from those schools.  I'm completely self-taught on the drum kit.

Finally, around 1979, my mother purchased a used drum set from a friend of mine that had lost interest in playing; Phil Seamster.  Funny I remember his name...  Still living in apartments, I was allowed to practice from 3:PM (when I got out of school) to 5:PM (when my father got home).  It was fortunate for me that we lived in a corner apartment, so we really had only one neighbor, the Palmers above us.  The Palmers consisted of 2 women; Peggy and her mother.  Peggy didn't mind my "banging" noise and Mrs. Palmer didn't get home from work until after 5:PM.  I didn't waste a second.  I came home every day and practiced, practiced, practiced.  It was all I wanted to do.

Eventually after a year or so I figured I was good enough to join a band.  Over the next 2 years I played in a few garage bands.  Their names escape me right now.  In one of those bands I jammed with a guy name Thomas Bennett (to jam is human - to gig is devine).  He and I still work together to this day.

Hot August - 1981-'83

Eventually I got tired of the mediocre garage band musicians so decided to move on to an older age demographic.  This turned out to be an excellent career move for me, as I eventually landed my first paying gig with a band called, "Hot August."   The date was February 28, 1981.  I was 17 years old.  Can you tell which one is me?

                                           Click on image for larger picture.

Funny, eh?  Was I ever really that young?

Sorry about the scratchy scan, but the picture is an original from a professional studio (Read: no negative) and has been in a sealed frame for many years.  There's dirt between the glass and the picture that can never be cleaned.  The picture had to be scanned while still in the frame.

From left to right is me (drums), Mike Tullo (bass), Cindi (vocals), Bill Miller (keyboards/vocals), and Terry Jackson (guitar/vocals).

As with Thomas Bennett, I still do gigs with Mike Tullo to this day.  Hard to believe I've been in bands with those guys for almost 25

Terry and Cindy (co-leaders of the band who also happened to be dating each other at the time) eventually fired me after 2 years for "not being professional."  To this day I have no idea what they're talking about...<:^)

I saw Terry in like 1990(?).  I don't think he plays any more.  I heard Cindy got married and has kids.  I never saw Bill Miller again.  Too bad...Bill was an extremely talented singer and keyboard player.  I know Mike still plays, but I don't know if he's currently in a band other than the band he's in with me.  Over the years Mike and I played in different bands together, our latest project being U4EA, which formed in 1999 and still performs the occasional gig now and then.

Zozobra - 1983

The next band I joined was called Zozobra.  They were like an 8 piece band made up of all Spanish players (except yours truly) headed up by singer/songwriter Ed Sanchez.  Those guys were a great band and I still see some of the players today.  That band turned out to be quite a feather in my cap as a most musicians in this area have heard of them.  Though that band hasn't played in well over a decade, they are still known in this area even to this day.  I played with those guys for about a year before quitting to join my next band.  Unfortunately I have no pictures of Zozobra.

Destiny Show Band - part of 1984

My next band was an all black, 8-piece funk band called, "Destiny Show Band" based out of Amarillo, Texas.  I joined them because I was promised a salary of $400.00 per week by their "manager," Rose Abeyta.  Unfortunately Rose turned out to be nothing more than a lying groupie with no other agenda then to impress the leader of the band for, shall we say, "personal" reasons.  Her promises of money and travel turned out to be completely empty and unfounded.  She took advantage of a naive, 20-year-old kid, promising him the world and delivering nothing.  That's okay...I'm not bitter...I'm over it...really...I, really.

The entire time I played in that band I lived in black neighborhoods and played in black clubs.  I would often go days without seeing any white people.  It was an interesting experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.

For the 6 months I played in that band I never had any racial problems with the band or the patrons that came to dance to our great music.  Those were the days...  Like Zozobra, I have no pictures of those guys.  Eventually, after making $50.00 a week, I had to quit for financial reasons.

I ran into the leader of the band, Perry, some years later.  He was always a straight-up guy.  Funny...the first thing he ever said to me was, "I don't know what Rose told you, but she doesn't manage us."  Oh well...I was young and dumb.  Lesson learned...

I had my 21st birthday in that band...worst birthday of my life.  My birthday fell on a Tuesday while we were in Hobbs, N.M.  I had no friends, no family, no money, and no gig.  The band had no money so there were no presents for mois.  I went to the local watering hole, drank my first legal beer (totally by myself), and walked back to the band house.  It was as pitiful as any birthday could ever be.  Just one in a line of sacrificed holidays given to the music Gods.

After 6 months of really good music and really lousy pay, I joined Steve O'Neill .

Steve O'Neill band - 1984-'86

(Click on either image to enlarge)

One particular evening for no particular reason I called home from Amarillo, Texas to tell my mother that I love her because I'm such a wonderful son...<:^)  It's a good thing I did, too.  My mom said to me, "Donnie, some guy named Steve O'Neill called for you.  He says he needs a drummer.  I don't know what your situation is with Destiny, so I told him I'd have you call him back."  THAT was the call Daddy needed to get the hell out of Dodge.

After several phone conversations with Steve O'Neill, it was decided that I would go back to Albuquerque to play in the "Steve O'Neill band."  With my last remaining dollars I purchased a bus ticket, packed my drums and rode home to Albuquerque.  It was the first and last time I rode in a public bus a distance greater than 10 miles.  Why are those things so damn slow???

The "Steve O'Neill band" was a pretty awesome project for me.  We started off as a 8-piece band, touring up North and throughout the Mid-West.  During my tenure in that band I spent the worst Christmas of my life in Rapid City, South Dakota.  As always the band was dirt poor, new in town (had arrived the day before to set up on Christmas Eve), had absolutely no presents and not even a Christmas dinner.  I remember eating cold Ravioli from a can.  I remember thinking that Chef Boyardi looked a lot like Santa Claus.  Yet another holiday sacrificed to the Music Gods.

After about 4 months it became aparent that there wasn't enough money to support an 8-piece band.  One day as Steve and I were riding in the band truck (I think Steve was driving), Steve says to me, "I don't think we can continue touring like this [because of financial reasons].  I'm thinking of reducing the band to a 2-piece act with just keyboards and drums.  Would you be interested?"  I readily accepted.

Over the next 2 years Steve and I toured all over the Southern U.S. as a 2-piece act.  I have to credit Steve with getting me started doing backup vocals.  I now consider my vocal abilities a major asset to my marketability as a musician.

Eventually we had some disagreements about how the drums should be played (odd argument to have with a keyboard player), so after 2 years Steve replaced me with Jack Moore, an excellent drummer and vocalist.  Admittedly Jack is an awesome drummer and much better vocalist than I, not to mention much nicer hair...<:^)  Jack is presently playing in Austin, Texas with The Electric Gypsies.

The 2 years I spent touring with Steve were great.  I wouldn't trade them for the world.  Steve is presently playing with a band called The Soul Deacons.   Though I've not heard them play, I hear they are very good.

Della Street - 1986-'94

Della Street was a huge part of my music career with the greatest longevity of any band I've ever been in.  For 8 1/2 years Della Street rocked the Southern region of the United States.  There were good times and bad times, but I can honestly say the bad times were few and far between.  I wouldn't trade those years for anything.

To read more about Della Street, please click on the above image.

Tangled Web - 1994-1995

Tangled Web was another one of my favorite bands and the first band I toured overseas with.  Here's a promotional picture of Tangled Web taken at Roosevelt Park in Albuquerque, N.M. (our home town) around September of '95.  From left to right is me (Drums/Vocals), Dorothy Miller (Vocals), Mike Larson (Keyboards) and Thomas "Batman" Bennett (Guitar/Vocals).  The story of how Tangled Web formed is an interesting story, indeed.

To read more about Tangled Web, click on the above image.

Rare Form - 1996

Rare Form was Wayne on vocals, Allen on bass, Karl on guitar, and yours truly on drums.  Though I didn't play with Rare Form for a long period of time, we were a good band and made our mark in the local music scene.  Some of my most memorable gigs were with Rare Form.  Since I was in the band for a short period of time, I'm not going to donate a lot of bandwidth to their synopsis.  Here are a couple pictures of me with Rare Form.  I apologize for not having promotional pictures of this band.  Because of the short time we were together, it's quite possible we didn't take any.

These pictures were taken during a support gig for either Jefferson Starship or 3 Dog Night - I forget which one.  Both gigs were done in the same venue (Camel Rock Casino), so I can't tell from the picture which gig this was.  You can see Wayne singing in front of me in the right picture.  In the same picture, to my left, is Allen on bass.  Unfortunately you can't see Karl in either picture.


U4EA - 1999-Present

U4EA formed in either '99 or '98.  I can't remember which one.  From left to right is Mike Tullo (Bass), Nancy Hills (Vocals), Chris Ravin (Guitar), and yours truly.  U4EA has been around for quite a while and has certainly made a mark on the Albuquerque music scene.  We continue to perform throughout N.M. and Colorado at bars, casinos, and private parties.

If the guy on the left looks familiar, that's because he's the same bass player in "Hot August" as seen earlier on this page.  The "Hot August" picture above was taken about 25 years ago.  Hard to believe that Mikey and I have been in bands together for over 25 years.  I perform in another band called "Ravin" with Chris Ravin, which leads me up to my next band.

Ravin at the Acropolis in Athens - 1996-Present

Click on picture to go to the Ravin web page.

From left to right, Ravin is; yours truly, Thomas "Batman" Bennett, and Chris Ravin.  I joined Ravin in 1996 when their old drummer, Graham, retired.  I had been in bands with Batman before, and I had also been in bands with Chris, so when it came time to replace their drummer, I was a natural pick for the job.  The band formed seamlessly.  With only a couple rehearsals under our belt we came out with a very strong set list of over 100 songs.  I couldn't even begin to tell you how many songs we have now, but it's well into 4 figures.

Ravin is famous for "winging it," so it's not uncommon for us to perform a song that we had never performed as a group before.  This tends to make us popular with the chicks and the "in" crowd - if you will, the "beautiful people."

Since I've performed in over 50 countries with this band, the "Ravin" page is going to be a HUGE project.  The Ravin page will, more than likely, be the last music-related page to be added to my web site.

This page is up as of January 15, 2005 - 2:AM and was updated July 27, 2005 - 4:AM.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please

e'mail me.

All pictures & material Copyright © 2005 Donnie Frank