Say It's Your Birthday: Battle of the Drummers

Get comfortable, kiddies, because today we present the ATN

Marathon Drum Battle, where no less than four drummers will compete for your

birthday favors. First up is Thom Mooney, born this day in 1948 in Altoona, PA.

Thom manned the drum stool for the late sixties Philadelphia band Nazz, and it

was his Moon/Bonham stomp that powered the pop tunes written by a kid named

Todd Rundgren. Next is Grant Young, born in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1964. He

followed a kid named Dave Pirner as drummer for Minneapolis band Soul Asylum.

He kept his job for ten lean years until the band broke through with 1993's

Gravedancer's Union, at which point the pressures of success became too

much for somebody and Grant became an ex-Soul Asylum drummer. This problem has

not yet confronted the suspiciously monikered Bryan Hitt, born in 1954 in

Parts, Unknown. It's true that Bryan drummed for the group Wang Chung when they

were ridding high, but only as a salaried sideman. He then went on to join

troupers REO Speedwagon in 1990, a few month's past that band's platinum peak.

Trouper doesn't even begin to describe our fourth drummer, George Brown, born

in Jersey City, NJ, in 1949. The man they call Funky started drumming with

neighborhood pals in 1964. Thirty-two years later he's still at it with many of

those same pals under the name Kool and the Gang. Other birthdays on this day

are Sam Phillips, (born 1923) and Chris Stein (born 1950), the conceptual

geniuses behind respectively, Elvis and Blondie.