I’ve been a drummer since I was 10 years old. In high school, a fellow drummer and I made an annual pilgrimage from Connecticut to Modern Drummer Magazine’s spring festival in Montclair, New Jersey. At the festival, attendees would be exposed to some of the world’s best drummers, such as Frank Zappa’s Terry Bozzio or the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith. Basically, it was the drumming world’s equivalent of a Star Trek convention.
One year, Mickey Curry, the drummer for Bryan Adams, was on the list of performers. My friend and I looked at each other with puzzled faces as I’m sure others did. The drummer for Bryan Adams? Really? Mickey didn’t fit in with the other performers who were all associated with more current and heavier styles of music.
Once onstage, he told the audience he was nervous and he looked it. Mickey must have recognized that he seemed out of place with the other performers. He told the audience that he was going to play along to the track of Bryan Adams’ 1983 hit “Cuts Like A Knife”. Again, there was a sea of puzzled looks among audience members.
And then he kicked off the song and everyone – I mean everyone – sat riveted in their seats. Mickey’s performance was not riddled with drum solos or fills like the others, but it was one that highlighted the often unseen value that a drummer brings to any band. I’m trying to avoid drumming geek speak here, but he had the cleanest beats and transitions and kept tempo like a metronome. It was an amazingly refreshing session that highlighted the value of a drummer’s fundamentals and that you have to get that right before doing anything else. Mickey received a standing ovation after his performance, the only one at the festival that year.
In my current role as a Customer Service marketing manager, I’m routinely challenged with highlighting the sometimes unseen value within EMC’s Personalized Support Services portfolio. The offerings in this portfolio often have both reactive and proactive components to them. But like drum solos and fills (or Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers), sometimes the reactive resources in Customer Service get the most attention. The customer has a problem and a member of EMC’s Customer Service team solves the problem. The value associated with that problem resolution is tangible.
However, with the proactive and preventive components of our offerings, the direct value can be more difficult to see. As some of EMC’s Personalized Support Services resources, such as the Technical Account Manager, execute their daily deliverables for customers, they are often preventing problems before they occur. Is this valuable? Of course, but it rarely receives as much attention or fanfare. Its value is more difficult to see or prove.
So for all you rabid Bryan Adams fans out there, know that part of the reason you may see value in his music is because of the excellent, but often unmentioned, drumming from Mickey Curry.