SKF NOTE: Last Saturday I visited Tony Cruz at his Nyack, NY home. We were meeting in person for the first time, but being interviewed on camera, by Tony, about drummer extraordinaire Gary Chester was the real purpose for my visit. Tony and Katrina Chester, Gary’s daughter, are producing a Gary Chester documentary.
I left Tony my only complete transcript (61 typed pages) of Gary Chester’s interview so he can scan the pages. Also, I passed on to Katrina the original two-page typewritten letter Gary wrote to Modern Drummer to introduce himself and to give us a first peek at his strong career as a studio musician.
Somewhere I have my Gary Chester interview tapes — which I will digitize and give to Katrina. The one tape I’ve located is digitized and with Katrina and Tony. On that tape you can hear Gary Chester introducing me to Katrina — who was age 14 at the time.
If you’re a former Gary Chester student, co-worker, and have some stories you’re willing to share, please consider contacting Katrina and Tony. Every piece of the tapestry helps. I know, for example, Gary gave lesson instructions to students through audiocassette. Katrina and Tony have at least one of those in hand. Odds are there are more of those cassettes floating around.