From There to Here: Revisiting a Life in Music
by Scott K Fish
A new friend, a musician, upon learning of my Modern Drummer past, can’t believe it. “No! You were managing editor of Modern Drummer?” His reaction surprises me. I think, “Well, somebody has to be managing editor of Modern Drummer.”
I was hired as Modern Drummer‘s managing editor in 1980, part of a MD‘s transition to nine issues a year from six issues. I stayed exactly three years. October 1980 to October 1983.
My friend asks, “How did you get that gig?” My short answer: “The publisher was looking to hire a drummer who could write. I fit the bill.” That answer usually works to change the topic of conversation. But my new musician friend is still curious and keeps asking detailed questions. He is like a little kid. In response to every question I answer, he asks, “Why?”
Also, I was on the phone recently with a Maine State University professor interested in my speaking to a class of music majors about a career, or supplemental career, in music journalism.
How do I condense a half-century of my musical life into brief remarks that might help college students? Thinking about that, and also coming up with answers for my musician friend, has me remembering people and places – influences – for the first time in a long, long time. Some days it feels like I’m solving a 1000-piece music career jigsaw puzzle.
I knew very early – age six – I wanted to play drums. Around age 18 I also wanted to be a writer. Not just a music writer. A writer. How did I get from there, to Modern Drummer, to here? Looking back over those 58 years – can I recall moments – good and bad – that might help aspiring music journalists and drummers?
There’s one way to find out. And Life Beyond the Cymbals blog is the perfect place to post pieces of my story, my jigsaw puzzle. I will commit to at least one post a week until the puzzle is complete. As always, I welcome your questions and comments.