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Donnie Frank - Drums, Percussion, and Vocals


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Donnie Frank A self taught musician, at the tender age of 17 Donnie did his first professional gig February 28, 1981 and never looked back.  "At the time I was bussing tables for Vips Big Boy.  I was making like $3.00 an hour before taxes.  Then I did this wedding gig with my new band 'Hot August.'  I not only made 50 bucks that night (I still have the first $20.00 bill handed to me hanging on my wall) but I got to make out with an 'older woman,' Robin.  She was 26-years-old.  I thought to myself, 'This is for me!'  I never looked back."

Locking himself in his room every day after school, Donnie would listen to Neil Peart (Rush) for hours and hours - learning every lick, trick and nuance of Neil's playing style.  He also listened to, and learned, every John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) lick he could get his hands on.  Donnie credits Neil Peart as his main inspiration with John Bonham coming in a close second.  His more-recent influences have been Steve Gadd, Terri Bozzio, and Vinny Colaiuta.

"Back in the day, when Della Street first formed and were still rehearsing, they already had another drummer picked out.  I remember almost forcing Marshall to take my phone number 'just in case something went wrong.'  Lo and behold, their original drummer quit that night.  My phone rang the next day.  The rest is history.  I felt joining Della Street was a huge step in the right direction.  Not only were all the guys talented, but their attitudes closely matched mine.  'Perfection' was the tune of the day and nothing less would do.  They didn't mind rehearsing, and rehearse we did - 3 months prior to our first gig.  They all loved 'classic' rock-n-roll just as I did.  Honestly, it was a match made in heaven."

In 1986, on the way to Elephant Butte lake to go fishing, Donnie was a passenger in a car accident that almost ended his career.  He suffered a catastrophic leg injury that made his right leg useless for over a year.  Determined to perform, he simply changed his lead foot from right to left.  Donnie performed left-legged for about a year before he could start using the right leg again.  "Almost losing my leg didn't stop my career, but it certainly slowed it down.  Kudos to the Della guys for not replacing me.  I loved those guys for that.  To this day (2010) I still struggle with the injury.  Some days its so bad that I simply switch over to my left leg and give my right leg a rest.  There are bass drum licks I still can't do with my right leg that I could do pre-accident.  I feel I would have been a much better player if not for my injuries.  But what can you do ...I love playing and refuse to quit...life goes on..."

In 1995, just after Della Street broke up, Donnie did his first world tour for the U.S.O. with the band Tangled Web. More tours followed with "Ravin" and "Frankendorf."  His last tour was Feb. of 2002, just after 9/11. Donnie still performs in various bands today and hopes to get back out on tour someday.  Donnie has his own web site, www.drummerdonnie.com.


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