“Play that part the way it is on the record,” he said, his face getting red. The drum part in question, in a song I can’t even remember now, was a mistake on the part of the drummer who recorded it. It was almost impossible to duplicate. But John wasn’t hearing it. Rehearsal had come to a complete stop and we’d been arguing for about ten minutes. Then, with the calmest expression, John reached behind him and came up with a sawed-off shotgun. “Do what I tell you,” he said.
I had known John about two years. He was a hot head, but a great guitarist and I liked playing with him. We’d had arguments, but never did it occur to me that I would be looking down the barrel of a shotgun because of one of them. It’s amazing how big that gun looks when it’s pointed at you.
What seemed like three years passed, although it was probably only thirty seconds. I could hear my voice saying, “You’re right. I just can’t get it.” Then after another eternal pause, I added, “I’m not a good enough drummer for you.” With that I began to tear down my set. John got this faraway look and put down the gun, leaving the room. I could have been dead at seventeen. It was the first of three times I’ve had a firearm pointed at me.