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Life in Double Time: Confessions of an American Drummer by Mike Lankford

Mike Lankford might be dubbed a thinking man’s drummer. As a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop his prose is a cut above the usual music autobiographies. There are a number of excellent descriptions of life on the road, various experiences, gigging with a variety of bands, and some that even delve into the perspective from the bandstand as the music is being played.

While he documents his struggle to become a working musician, there’s little here for the jazz fan. Lankford’s life as a journeyman drummer ranges from high school garage band to a variety of rock and blues groups, and culminates with a Chicago blues band called Salt and Pepper. Lankford was the “salt” and this was his one close brush with fame. Eventually he suffered burnout, put away his drums, and gave it all up for a life of letters and a more normal life.

Originally Published