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Music for the Inside of Your Body...♪♪♪

Dave Raven

DaveRaven 00Drums

The Coach House

Drummer Dave Raven is a man with wide-ranging interests. As a performer, he has played with the titans of rock, including Keith Richards. In his time off, he loves to garden, unless he's in Colorado or the Swiss Alps, blazing down black diamond slopes.

He looks a little fierce, at first glance, but sounds like a soft-spoken intellectual. Despite a lifetime in rock and roll, he's still happily married to his high school sweetheart.

Dave grew up in west Texas, where football is king. "I was a weird, arty kind of kid.", says Dave ."I could run, but wasn't mean enough for football. My dad said, 'You don't have to play football. You can join the band.' " Dave played drums and percussion for the marching band at Permian High School, which was the inspiration for the book, and resulting TV shows and movies about "Friday Night Lights."

While his classmates were celebrating State Championships every year, Dave was wearing out records like "Are You Experienced?" with his buddies, hanging out in their playhouse, the "Psychedelic Shack". The kids down the block had a surf band. "In west Texas," says Dave, " there wasn't much to do. You did one of three things: work on cars, go to football games, or make music."

Dave played in the orchestra as well as the marching band. He learned to read music. A pivotal moment came when he saw The Who destroy their instruments on the Red Skelton show. "I was blown away" he says. At 16, he began playing drums for the roughnecks in honky tonk bars. After graduation, he was off to St. Paul, Minnesota to further his studies in music.

His future wife sang in the choir, but the curriculum offered only classical music, which, says Dave, "offered charts full of emptiness for a drummer, 1-2-3 smash, followed by more emptiness." He joined a country rock band and got to meet a lot of jazz musicians at the Long Horn jazz club. He played in several bands while in college, and began to write and record jingles for local radio stations. Dave stayed in school and wound up graduating with an art major.

Dave got his teaching credential and did some student teaching for high school art classes. "I loved it", he says. "You'd have these sorta dorky kids, feeling like they're losers. They'd find art and just come alive."

The siren song of music kept calling to him, however, and he moved to LA in the late 70's. "I played around in bands for awhile. Then one band was signed to a record deal and needed a drummer. So I joined them and played on 10 or 12 records."

Eventually, he left to play in Germany. His wife joined him, and his son was born there. He did sessions in Munich for a while, then "things got ugly and I came back bone-broke."

He still had a few friends in LA and soon he started doing sessions. Dave played on Amy Grant's big song, "That's What Love is For", worked with T-Bone and Songwriter Mark Heard. One thing led to another and he had a lot of songs in TV and movies. "Sons of Anarchy", for example, features five of Dave's songs.

He managed to get enough studio gigs and mini-tours to stay busy and pay the bills. "I had a career, and raised a family without having to leave too much."

His list of credits goes on and on. Asked about performing with Keith Richards, Dave says he's one of a kind. "He never counts out the time to start a song. No 'Is everybody ready?'. He just starts playing. His timing is on. It's like a big fat pillow and you just dive in."

Dave met Dan Carlson through Randy Mitchell. He listened to Waldo Bliss music on the way down the coast from Big Sur. "I was so refreshed. It's really interesting music. Love that Beach Boys harmony."

Dave just completed a "cool little piece of work" called "God's Home Number". "I'm thinking of submitting it to some film festivals. Maybe doing some webisodes", he says.

The creative spark still burns brightly in Dave Raven. He goes surfing occasionally, plays a lot of drums, and skis whenever he can. There's always more to learn about gardening. Above it all, though, it's still about family. That's the real rock.

Get a look at Dave in a video with his group, The Mojo Monkees, performing "God's Home Number".

If you need even more Dave, go to his website here:  www.davidraven.us.