Roy Burns (My Mentor)

my mentor

I ran into my old mentor Roy Burns today at the 2017 NAMM show in Anaheim California.¬†I first studied drums with Roy back in 1982 or so. At that time he was just starting his company Aquarian Drumheads. He taught me about drumming with the help of his books and his mentors books (Jim Chapin). And he also taught me how the mind and emotions could interfere with one’s natural capacities via books like “Zen and the Art of Tennis”.

I was standing in front of the Aquarian booth waiting for John Wackerman to say hello to the company that supplies drumheads for promotional purposes. I saw Roy there with the usual crowd of people around him. I think John, Chuck Wackerman or maybe it was Chris Brady told Roy that his old student Ken was here. Roy said I thought that was Ken but it looks like he lost 100 pounds. Roy told me to sit next to him and that he was very happy to see me. He told me a story about his drum mentor Jim Chapin and in that moment I felt he was on some level speaking about he and I. He spoke of pride and its effect on one’s ability to embrace change. I felt as if I was 18 years old again listening Roy talk philosophy.

Someday I may write a lot more about Roy, he has this endless understanding of human nature mixed with conservative ideals. Truly someone you would want to sit and talk with for a long time. Im lucky to say that he has always felt comfortable enough around me to share some deep concepts.


I have never met anyone like Roy Burns and I have a feeling I never will. Thank you Roy I heard everything you said, and you had a profound impact on my life.

Chuck Flores 11-24-2016

When I play the drums my teachers influence “sound” out of my hands and feet. Greg Perry, Kenny Peters, Roy Burns, Roy Mcurdy, Rick Latham, Chad Wackerman, Murray Spivack, and Chuck Flores. Im so sad to hear that drummer Chuck Flores passed away yesterday. I studied drumset coordination with Chuck Flores back in the 1990’s at his house. His studies made a huge difference in my overall coordination on the drum set. And he was a really decent and generous person.