Bobby's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    United States 2008

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Miami, FL

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 5

  • ON DVD:

BOBBY THOMAS JR

Percussionist

“Don't entertain ‘if.' Get that out of your vocabulary. Don't entertain ‘fear.' If you put that thought in your mind, it's gonna manifest. Tell yourself, ‘No more if; when.”

INTERESTS:

Music

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Chance Desire Determination Doubt Experience Fear Planning

FOUNDATION:

Being Creative

TAGS:

American Bandstand, drumming, drums, Florida A&M, follow your heart, hobbies, Jewish temple, learning, making time, marching band, mindset, parents, priorities, putting yourself first, time management, what if

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Came home from school everyday to his mother singing along to American Bandstand—first introduction to music.
  • Then he saw the Florida A&M marching band; “Everything was so fast and perfect...wow, I wanna play like that.”
  • His father took a job at a Jewish temple; now he was hearing cantillations, added on to his rock and drumming influences.
  • A friend introduced him to Ray Charles’ drummer, Billy Peeples, who taught him swing, bebop drumming.
  • Transferred his knowledge into his preferred method of hand drumming; innovated, popularized hand drumming.
  • Says, “make yourself a priority”—if you get excited by something, you obviously love doing it, should pursue it.
  • Make time for all of your hobbies and passions; like “the head of a corporation,” make time and get them done.

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