by Jonathan Brown
Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a copy of Don’t Shoot the Drummer and a link to order it from Amazon.
When I was a kid, my dad would often take me to the movies. For a time my favorite genre was the Western. One thing that grabbed my attention was that in several saloon scenes there’d either be a sign that read ‘Don’t shoot the piano player,’ or at the end of a shootout, the piano player would hold his hands up in surrender and say, “Don’t shoot me, I’m just the piano player!” And often the bad guy would give the musician a reprieve.
As a young drummer at the time, I thought, what the hell is going on here? Why doesn’t the drummer get the same get-outta-gettin’-dead pass? Smash-cut to modern day and the music world is rotten with drummer jokes—none of which are funny. You might be saying, “Whoa, can’t this crime writer take a joke?” Certainly, but like I said, they’re just not clever nor well written and alas…not funny. Regardless, I took a little poetic license with the piano player line and came up with my title: Don’t Shoot The Drummer.
Without spoiling the story, I can tell y’all where I grabbed my premise. Over ten years ago acquaintances of mine had a termite problem. They called a fumigation company and set up an appointment to rid the home of the little critters once and for all. The treatment involved tenting off the home, releasing a noxious gas and voila—problem solved. Ah, not so fast. When the homeowners returned from their three-day hotel stint, they found more than a few things missing. The place had been robbed. T.V.s, electronics, high-end women’s shoes, jewelry, and men’s suits were gone baby gone. At the time the cops initially looked at the fumigation company as the likely perpetrators. But after a thorough investigation backed up with several more similar robberies, it turned out to be a ring of tent burgling thieves.I was barely a writer in those days, but the story stuck with me. In those days I was pursuing a music career as a drummer, so the story gradually moved deeper into the back basement of my mind. Drumming since the age of ten, I found myself in a been-there-done-that stage and the writing bug began to grow. (Could that writing bug have been a writing termite? Hmm). I toyed with a few short stories but found that I really dug the long form better. After all, I was a big novel reader and rarely read short stories. So, I self pub’d a couple books, which I’ve tried to yank from Amazon, but Bezos’s merry band of algorithmic love-children keep cramming those books back onto the virtual shelf. In truth, I don’t care too much. Good or bad they are my words at the end of the day. Besides, it’s good for a Cat to remain apprised of his starting point.
If one considers audio kids books and novellas as quote ‘books’ then, Don’t Shoot The Drummer, released in 2020 on Down And Out Books, is my seventh book. This means that the unfortunate event that befell my friends simmered, steeped, and gestated over time and tales before being wrest from my mind’s basement to become a book I take more than a little pride in. And I’m cool with that because like a fine wine, you can’t rush these things. So, be kind, read, and above all, don’t shoot the drummer, baby!
To enter to win a copy of Don’t Shoot the Drummer, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “drummer,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 5, 2021. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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