When Ozzy Osbourne's drummer Tommy Clufetos was growing up in the Detroit metro area, his parents had no trouble with the racket he raised as he learned to play his chosen instrument.
"Unbelievably, they did not. They were nothing but supportive," recalls Clufetos, who's also played with Mitch Ryder, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent and Rob Zombie. Of course, it helped that his father, a singer and saxophone player, also led a band that employed Clufetos when he was just 11 years old.
So Clufetos has accumulated plenty of experiences, some of which he plans to share during his clinic next week at Rochester Adams High School.
"You have to learn different songs and different approaches," he explains. "Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper and Ozzy are pretty similar because it's straight-ahead rock 'n' roll, but the Zombie gig was different because it was more electronic-based. But to me it's all the same approach of playing the music the way the fans want to hear it, playing the specific parts but updating it with your own energy."
Osbourne is currently on a break from touring, but Clufetos says he's not wringing his hands about what to do next. "At this pint I just take it as it comes," he explains. "I've learned the less you worry about what's happening next, the easier it comes because you can't plan things in rock 'n' roll. You've just got to go with it."
Tommy Clufetos presents an educational drum clinic on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at Rochester Adams High School, 3200 W. Tienken Road. Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes a performance by the Detroit School of Rock & Pop Super Band. Call 248-726-5200 or visit www.detroitschoolofrockandpop.com.
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