Brian Tamborello was always one of those super-attractive, quiet, somewhat mysterious people that I am fortunate to be friends with.
I first met him outside of a Thrifty's drug store where Sam and I had stopped in to get some ice-cream. He had stopped to say “hi” to Sam, and he mentioned that he had listened to some of our “Rotten Metropolis #2” tape and thought there were some parts that were quite good. Totally untrue, but nice to say anyway.
Shortly after that, Sam and I played our first show at a burger place called “Busters.” One of Brian's bands, Martha Dumptruck, “opened” for us. The truth is that we were the opening band, but we didn't want to scare off the audience before the real music came on. Also, as part of our act, we needed to have a drum-kit set up on stage with the cover story being that Brian was letting us use it but our drummer is nowhere to be found. Who would have guessed that some months later, it would, indeed, be Brian backing us up?
But, that's what happened. By some crazy stroke of luck, despite hearing our demo tape and seeing Sam and I perform live, Brian agreed to work with us for a summer as a temporary drummer for the band that we ended up calling Jeberrekenelle. By the end of the summer, miraculously, he stayed on with us and helped Sam and I make music that people could actually listen to.
I like to pretend that I played a somewhat significant role in expanding Brian's playing too. When we first started playing, his style had a very distinctive straight-edge/metal sound to it. He was an amazing pounder. And he really knew how to use his double-bass pedal. As amazing as he was to start with, I still “heard” a lot more in the way of possibilities and as our time together as Jeberrekenelle progressed, everyone's playing became more and more progressive and abstract. Sometimes, while playing, I could swear I was embarrassing myself with the size of my smile.
Eventually, when Jeberrekenelle broke up, I was quite at a loss as to what to do. I started off with the best drummer in Santa Barbara who also happened to be an incredible person. It would be hard to replace Brian in anything I tried.
From the Jeberrekenelle experience, a strong friendship had been formed, but at the same time, it was a bit of an uncomfortable one. Two quiet, shy people hanging out together.... Conversations are hard to create and carry on.... But we remained good friends and when, a couple of years later, Ben Jaques and I were unsuccessfully working with another drummer on a very short term project, HUSK, I saw it as the perfect excuse to recruit Brian's talents once again. As before he blew me away. Four practices led to some incredibly powerful music, and Brian's resolve to play, almost more of a “favor” (or kindness or inability to say “no”) than true enjoyment of the music being played, was quite impressive.
- Martha Dumptruck
- Incurable Complaint
- Jeffrey and the .6 System
- Strictly Ballroom
- The Psychic Ills
Brian is also an amazing photographer. You can check out his work here.