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Meet Dean Zimmer: A Drummer With Three Heads

"Drummer Wanted" a film by Ross Harris and Stanley Gonzales

(SNN) - Dave Lombardo, drummer and founding member of the metal band “Slayer” once said, “I like to be one of those drummers who actually add to the music, not one of those guys who sits in a room trying to outwit or outplay another drummer.” Dave should then meet Dean Zimmer, a drummer with three heads. Zimmer has a style and the cadence of a true conductor who sets the pace and is so relaxed you cannot help but be a part of his performance.

One more detail: Dean Zimmer is handicapped.

Born with a rare birth defect known as arthrogryposis, Dean has severely restricted joint movement in his arms and legs. Even after numerous operations Dean has never gained full movement of his limbs and his mobility is dependant of the use of a wheelchair. But the truth is, even if Dean Zimmer did not have his physical disability, we would still list him as one the best drummers the world has ever produced.

As Dean explains it, whenever he showed up to an audition, people looked at him stunned, like he has “three heads.” In fact Dean has six heads, a snare, bass drum and four toms, a kit that he works so smoothly and that produces such a seamless rhythm with a hit pattern that even legends like Buddy Rich would admire. With his drum sticks strapped to his hands, Dean lays his whole body into the music, locks on a smile, then just lays down the beat.

Gregg Bissonette, drummer for the “Ringo Starr Band”, and David Lee Roth, referred to Dean Zimmer as the “Lean Dean Drumming Machine”. Dean has opened for many celebrity bands, the likes of Styx, Kansas and Thin Lizzy over the years.

Growing up in South Dakota, Dean fell in love with music. With his disability the guitar was out of the question, but Dean could be seen keeping a beat on his legs. Even with no formal training the drums had become the natural extension of Dean's musical expression.

In August of 2013, film makers Ross Harris and Stanley Gonzales produced a short video biography titled, “Drummer Wanted,” a film that makes an instant fan out of anyone would views it. Featured here is that film, and the man with more than three heads.  

Image: Image capture from the film "Drummer Wanted". Rights owned by Ross Harris and Stanley Gonzales, used here to illustrate the video featured and the subject matter. No other media available. 

DISCLAIMER: The above article is provided for entertainment purposes only. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Entertainment and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.
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