SKF NOTE: I am happy to pass along this SOS from Gary Chester’s daughter, Katrina, who is working on a Gary Chester documentary with Tony Cruz. Here’s the original post from the offical Gary Chester Facebook page.
Dear Friends, Family, and Students
This August 17th will signify the 30-year death anniversary of the great studio drummer, teacher, guru, etc., Gary Chester.
His playing was innovative and has laid the foundation for thousands of hit records of a bygone era of beautiful music that spans three decades! Equally impressive is the fact that his book, The New Breed, is still one of the top-selling books of all time! His teachings are equally innovative, and like no other! Students around the world continue to try to dissect his systems.
Those who have met, studied, and/or worked with Gary can still close their eyes and feel the unforgettable force and love – even through the cloud of smoke & cursing. His wonderful sense of humor and no-bullshit attitude carried many through some of the hardest times of their lives, while creating hard times for many others, too! It is quite difficult to describe Gary to someone who didn’t meet him, but that’s about to change!
For 20+ years, Gary’s youngest daughter, Katrina, has carefully and skillfully managed and maintained her father’s works from a place of honor and integrity. She has also been approached by many filmmakers interested in making a documentary on Gary, but each time her sharp, savvy business acumen (undoubtedly planted and nurtured by her father, and her own business ventures) led her to respectfully decline. That changed six months ago when one of her father’s long-time students called her out of the blue! He came with intimate personal experience of Gary, no desire to trade Gary’s integrity for a Hollywood dream, only to carry honor and love for his teacher and family.
We are excited and proud to announce this documentary partnership between a very special long-time Gary Chester student, Tony Cruz and Katrina Chester!
With no expectations and much grace, our initial talks yielded many ideas, but this project quickly developed a soul of its own. We have begun an incredible emotional and life-changing journey that has surpassed anything that we could have imagined!
We’re asking for your help in making this the ultimate tribute to one of the greatest drummers/teachers of all time! Here’s how!
Please look through your collection of memorabilia that involves Gary!
We are looking for the following:
Any audio, video, and/or pictures that include Gary; Gary with students; or his family, including – interviews, cassette lessons, voice mail messages, playing examples Gary may have done for a student or peer, Gary giving someone shit, etc. Nothing is too small or insignificant! When put in the context of the documentary, it has the potential to be powerful! And if you have anything “not-so-flattering” of Gary, PLEASE share that with us too – it is equally welcomed; stories or memorabilia you can share; letters Gary may have written to you or cards he had sent – personal and business related.
We realize this may take a little digging or a few storage wars, but we’re hoping someone out there must have footage and/or audio we have NOT yet seen/heard! Someone must have snuck a “tape” recorder or a camcorder into a lesson, or a fishing trip, or one of the parties?
*All memorabilia will be safely returned and not be used without your signed consent.
*You may also indicate if your share is for the Chester family only and not for use in the documentary
*Please note: We already have the only two live clinics we know of. Inquire within if you feel you have others we do not know about!
Formats accepted: We can digitize and share the updated version with you (when we send you back your original) – Cassette tapes, DV8 camcorder video tapes, VHS tapes, micro cassette tapes. Email if another format.
**Regarding all shared audio and video it is best if we have the original so we are digitizing from a first generation source – for big screen.
Ways to Share:
Free-internet storage and transfer up to 2 GB – “wetranser.com”, “dropbox”, gmail drive, to name a few & email directly to: GCDoc.Memories@gmail.com
Mail to: (make sure to include your return address for your return!)
Garuji Productions, LLC
17412 Ventura Blvd. # 269
Encino, CA 91316 (packages of any size are welcome, Fed Ex, UPS, and USPS)
Record your story and upload to one of the above sources to email. You may also write the story to email, or snail mail to the address in #2.
Stay tuned for more as it develops right here on Gary’s Facebook! Thank you to everyone for the help with Stage 2 of this incredible and humbling project. Please share this invite on Facebook with anyone else that may also be able to contribute!
With Love, Tony and Katrina @ Garuji Productions, LLC.