Scott K Fish: Les DeMerle Interview 1984

SKF NOTE: Last year I began posting small exchanges from the full transcript of my 1984 Les DeMerle interview. Here is Les’s full interview as published in Modern Drummer October 1984.

In my 1984 introduction I write, in part, “During this interview, Les DeMerle voiced slight annoyance and perplexity at reviewers who ‘always’ refer to him and/or his music as being ‘eclectic.’ I believe that the commonly misunderstood definition of eclectic music is that it’s wierd, hard to categorize, or esoteric. But the proper definition of ‘eclectic’ is: ‘Choosing or consisting of what appears to be the best from diverse sources.’ In that context, Les DeMerle’s music is eclectic. He’s certainly not playing music that is weird or esoteric.”

Les DeMerle also offers valuable insight into the business of professional drumming. While the internet has changed that business, much of Les’s experience as a drummer/businessman is still very relevant.

Also, I am pleasantly surprised at how many photographers contributed to this interview: Charles “Chuck” Stewart, Tom Copi, Paul Jonason, and Veryl Oakland. They were all excellent to work with.

One last thought: I almost didn’t scan/post this copy of Les’s interview because of it’s pen markings. But those markings, and the numbers written in pen in the page margins, might be of interest to drum journalism junkies.

When I left Modern Drummer in October 1983 I was still working on a handful of feature interviews — including this Les DeMerle interview. Apparently MD founder/publisher Ron Spagnardi and I agreed I would be paid for that handful of feature interviews X-cents per published word.

My 1984 system for counting published words was: count 100 words and mark the page, count 100 words and mark the page. Then I counted my page marks and wrote the total in the right margin. So first page has 900 words. The second page has 600 words.

Trust me, having computers count words is much better.

[SKF NOTE: 6/17/17 – Les DeMerle’s full interview is now available on MD‘s Archive Page.]




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