That happy guy pictured is Mitch Eckler, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute employee by day, drummer for The Old Main by night...and whenever else he can fit it in.

October 10th is National Hug a Drummer Day, a day dedicated to the guys and girls who are sometimes lost in the background, but who provide the crucial backbeat that drives every song.

Of course there are some famous drummers who have managed to shine, despite these handicaps. Phil Collins, Ringo Starr, and Dave Grohl (who began as the drummer for Nirvana and now is front and center on guitar and lead vocal for Foo Fighters) come to mind.

When we asked you to name your favorite Central New York drummers, our in-box overflowed. Here are some of your nominees, in no particular order: Steve Orlando, Liz Stroedel, Jimmy Johns, Lenny Milano, Ricky from Under the Gun, Mark Adamski, Dan Curtacci, Mike Faraino, Rick Szczyt, Jeff Tortora, Kevin Dean, Kevin Orr, Joe Deyulio, Buke Babikian, Sal Piazza, Slivers.

It's my personal belief that drummers are the healthiest members of any band--physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Their job is more of a workout.

They toil in relative obscurity, in the background on stage, but often seem grounded and generally okay with that fate.

They usually have the best sense of humor.

Put it all together and it adds up to longevity.

So, ironically, drummers may be the last guys to NEED a hug. But we DO love 'em, so they get the hug anyway...whether it's National Hug a Drummer Day or not.

If we're missing any others, write 'em in.

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