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We want to share the best we've seen and experienced – as well as new, emerging ideas – with professionals in the industry and promote conversation with the best of the best! Our blog topics will promote conversations around the following and more:

  • Highlights from band members
  • How to develop new "edgy" world-class talent
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  • Choose entertainment for your event
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  • The core entertainment attributes
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  • The agency view and the entertainer's perspectives
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Feel free to engage and add your own voice to the conversation. We hope to inspire the entertainment and music industries to continue to raise the bar to help create the perfect PARTY for years to come!

– Dennis Smith


Billy Joel’s Drummer’s Insight To Reality.

Posted by Dennis Smith
Dennis Smith
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on Thursday, 02 February 2017 in Party on the Moon

Billy Joel’s Drummer’s Insight To Reality.

Several years ago, I attended a lecture/workshop for drummers. Their experience level ranged from beginners to full-time professionals. The speaker was Liberty DeVito, best known for recording and performing with superstar Billy Joel for over 30 years. The audience was spellbound as Liberty, known for his aggressive and explosive style, played along with a few of Billy Joel’s well known studio tracks. After his performance, Liberty asked the audience, “Who knows the drum part to Joel’s mega hit “Just The Way You Are?” Half of the drummers in the room raised their hands enthustiacally.

The first drummer sat behind Liberty’s kit, the track started, and 20 seconds into the song Liberty stopped him. “Nope, not it,” he said. Next. The second drummer took the throne. Same result. Next… After several attempts, Liberty stood in front of the room of confused drummers and asked the question, “Why did you say you knew the part? ” You could hear a pin drop…. the drummers were on the edge of their seats.

“I’m going to play you the part,” Liberty said.  He proceeded to play along with the track, and it became painfully clear that the drummers who raised their hands were not even close. It was also a reminder to all of us what an innovative drum part he and producer Phil Ramone had created.

Liberty stood again in front of the stunned drummers. “It’s easy to jump to a conclusion when we think we know something when, in fact, we don’t. It was clear you didn’t know the part and you were making stuff up. Remember I asked you to play the part on the record, not make up your own versions of what you thought it was. And you want to be a professional? Really?”

Liberty is saying a lot about the creative process in this lesson. We need to know what current reality really is. As these drummers demonstrated, they thought they knew the part when they didn’t. They were guessing and filling in the blanks. 

The truth is vital when you are creating. It’s like building your foundation on solid ground. In today’s fast paced world, it can be easy to assume we know what’s going on when we don’t. We, like the drummers, just make up stuff and fill in the blanks instead of checking out our assumptions.

Liberty is a reminder to us that there are many levels to being a professional. He reminded us to continue to improve our skills and to listen to what’s going on. As artists, there’s always another level. We never arrive.

I recently heard Denzel Washington say, “ In today’s media, it’s about who gets the story out first. It doesn’t matter if the story is true.”

I encourage all of us to slow down. It’s okay for us not to know the answers. Take your time and do your research before you raise your hand.

And just because someone says they know the truth, you might want to check it out before you decide to believe it. They just might be making it up.

And listen to the drum part to “Just The Way You Are.” It’s a real treat.

Thanks Liberty!


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