How did this happen?
Although I can hardly believe it, it’s been over 30 years since I had the idea for the Rhythm Stick.
I was just 19... If someone had told me then, how much that simple idea would develop, and what a massive effect it would have on my life, the joy, the heart ache and missed opportunities, I simply would not have believed them. It even cost me my two front teeth.
I’ve realised over the years that many people have ideas. Good ideas, bad ideas and crazy ideas, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter, is if you turn them into a reality.
Is not easy.
A dear friend Paul financed the development of the early Rhythm Stick back in the 80's and negotiated a licencing deal with Dynacord and then it was called the 'Dynacord Rhythm Stick'. After that deal went spectacularly wrong, I tried to relaunch it as 'The Jamma' in the 90's.
From my invention, I received and lost a small fortune, I demonstrated The Jamma to many well known musicians and bands as diverse as U2 and David Morales. I taught Michael Jackson how to play it and I unwittingly contributed to getting Jules Holland kicked off the seminal U.K. TV series The Tube (the video clip has been edited to remove the bit where both Jules and I use the 'F' word by accident!). I’ve lost dear friends over it, and found new ones through it. I’ve tasted huge success with it, and been devastated by it.
There are many mobile MIDI trigger instruments now, but the Rhythm Stick was the first in its field and precedes them all. Fast forward a few decades with the development of the Raspberry Pi and and the awesome MegaDrum, and it's a totally new ball game. The Jamma, dear friends - and I - are back. Big time. I’m redeveloping The Jamma using this new tech and will post videos soon, you might be surprised.
So... I could not tell the story of this instrument without telling my own personal story. If you read on, be prepared, for this is the real, ‘warts and all’ experience that I had in turning one of my ideas into reality.
BiG LOve, Pete :)