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    John Porth
    Inspiration for us all
    (Letter to Drum Bum)

    "I was able to take a life changing injury
    and turn it into an inspiring career


    Hey Folks,

    Here is a shot that might well be a little inspiring (below), Its me on my acoustic stage kit at one of my live shows when I was with the band "Out Of Control". The bass drum heads have a unique design. You might not have seen anything like this before. Due to a work related injury back in Feb '95 I have a prosthesis in my left leg. These are the x-rays of my left leg. One is the front view, and the other is the side view. For me, the inspiring part is the fact that I have had 5 operations on my leg after a life changing injury, but it still has not kept me from enjoying a full time career in music.

    Once I received the settlement from my personal injury case, I went out and bought myself a set of Roland V-Drums, just to keep me busy during the daytime recuperation periods. (I hate daytime TV with a passion) Just from playing on my V-Drums, in about a month I started getting offers from several local bands. I found myself lugging my V-Drum kit to many local bars and clubs. Things really began to take off from there.

    Soon I hooked up with a local Motown dance band that kept me busier than I had ever imagined. The only problem was that the V-Drums just could not deliver the sound that was really needed for that size band and the venues we played. Depending on who was running sound, the snare and kick would always get lost in the mix, so I began building what would soon become affectionately known as my "Stage Kit". I attached a picture of me playing on that stage kit.

    Since then, I have built a digital recording studio, and have kept quite busy. Now, if I am not performing, I am recording or mixing for bands that I produce or other bands in the bay area. (see website - link is below) There are more pictures of the studio and V-Drums located within the website.


    I was looking at your site and noticed that you like to get pictures of other drummers in their own world doing their own thing. While I wasn't wearing a "DrumBum" T-shirt at the time, I have bought quite a lot of gear from you guys, and plan to continue to do so as needed. You guys have a really nice operation set up there and I like everything about what you do for all us drummers.

    The glow sticks have been a huge plus for me. I do a lot of stick twirling while performing, so I added a 48 inch portable hanging blacklight over the stage kit connected to a footswitch next to my hi-hat pedal. Every now and then, I hit the footswitch to turn on the overhead blacklight and the sticks glow bright as ever and it livens up everything I play. It really ads quite a lot to my show. I'm hoping to get a pair of laser sticks for the same reason.

    The bass drum head idea came to me one day when I was in my Doctors office looking at my most recent X-Rays. I had suggested the idea to a few different bass drum design manufacturing companies, and one by one, they all thought it was such an amazing idea, they were surprised that they had not come up with it themselves. From there is was simply a matter of choosing which company to use. I ended up using a company called "Head First". The ironic thing is that shortly after they made the heads for me, they ran an add in "Modern Drummer Magazine" and used my head as one of the samples showing what they can do with bass drum head design. So, I guess you could say In that respect, I'm a little famous.......(well, just a little.....it is after all, just my leg that made it into the magazine) Check out the September 2007 issue of Modern Drummer! (Page 66)

    Since then, this new bass drum head design has become a signature logo for me. I now have T-Shirts, coffee mugs, and key chains, and luggage tags all with this logo on them.

    It's just amazing how I was able to take something that was initially a life changing injury and turn it into an inspiring career, and then into a truly unique design that defines who I am and what I am about as a Professional Musician.

    Well, that’s basically it……This is just me blowing my own horn,……………..or,……..well,………….”Banging my own drum.”

    I hope it shows other drummers that even in the hardest of times, nothing stops you if you really want to play.

    John “BamBam” Porth

    A truly inspiring story John. Thanks for taking the time to write in.
    I'll share this with our visitors. Good luck to you and KEEP ON ROCKIN!
    - DB


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