Why "Cruise Ship Drummer!"?

It's a Burroughs reference.
“I have found my profession. I am an exterminator.”

I have not played on a cruise ship in over 15 years.

The name of this site is a reference to Exterminator!a book of short stories by William S. Burroughs, which is partially about a menial job he held early in his writing career.

I was thinking of that when I created this site, when I was working as a drummer on a sternwheeler on the Columbia river. For about six years it was my main source of income, and I was a little bored with the down time, and I was taking a lot of pictures of the other musicians looking bored, and wanted a place to share them.

Long after I quit that job I started posting things actually related to drumming, and I couldn't think of a serious site name that didn't suck, so I decided to keep the name— I didn't have any grand plans for the site anyway. In the context of a drumming blog the name was ironic in a slightly different way than before, and it kept expectations low, so I would feel more free to write whatever I wanted.

And, I thought, the way names of things* work, people quickly forget what the actual words mean, and it just becomes an abstract label that is very particularly linked to the product. Nobody laughs at the Beatles for conjuring the image of a vile, scuttling insect for their name. After awhile nobody sees the actual words.

As my readership has grown, it has occurred to me that hey, dummy, maybe it's time to change it to something more serious, but again I was faced with the problem of all the serious names sucking. Now it's been over 10 years, and it just seems dumb and a pain to change it. 

So the hell with it. We are CRUISE SHIP DRUMMER!

* - I refuse to say “branding.”


Juanjavier Martínez said...

Simply impressive!! Keep up the good work!!!

Steve Cournane said...

Never change the name. A perfect name

Anonymous said...

Hi Todd

I am just starting to practice the Spangalang Jazz Ride.

I want to begin with the best technique. Speaking as a Professional What fulcrum do you use?

The thumb and index fingers
The thumb and the middle fingers

5 Steps To French Grip Mastery For Drumming



Brad said...

I agree with Steve C. Cruise Ship Drummer is very descriptive, and on point.
My first teacher (in San Diego) had been an “at Sea” drummer on Viking or Royal Caribbean or some such. The audition, competitive talent, and professionalism were similar to Broadway if I remember.
He left it after several years, because there is zero home life for those musicians.
Cruise Ship Drummer says a lot to me.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff on your site Todd. I've been marginally aware of your site for several years and have always enjoyed and learned from what I have seen, but I haven't looked deeply into your material until I started doing some research on 3 Camps for my own teaching. Your material related to 3 Camps is great! I also started looking into other things on your site and I've found a wealth of great stuff. I'll be exploring and using it in my teaching and personal practice. Anyway, I just wanted to give you some praise for your educational efforts. Thanks man. The drumming community can really benefit from your work.