Jane Macdougall: The Bookless Club and life-long learning
Rocket Norton wasn’t exactly living a lie. He was living the dream.
A dream based on a youthful fib.
Go back a few decades. Some musicians were putting a band together. Every band needs a drummer, but they didn’t have one. Rocket had musical experience … of a sort: he played the accordion.
When the question came up, he answered right away.
Moxy delivered Rocket the life of a rock star, touring across North America and playing packed arenas. He was the drummer for a batch of Canadian bands, the most famous of which was the Juno award-winning band Prism. Good call, that, ditching the accordion.
Rocket’s drum training had been simple. He would come home from school, put a record on the hi-fi, and do his best to play along. He’s the first to admit that he had no technical training, that he was figuring it out as he went along. His technique was simple: “I played from my gut.” Rocket maintains that drumming is, at its core, instinctual. The mechanics of it can be taught, but the artistry is innate. You can fake the mechanics, but you can’t fake the passion. Rocket had buckets of passion, but he wished had more scholarship.