Diana’s Drums

These are some beautiful shells. I played them recentky at a reading for a new musical called “Diana.”

We spent a week creating parts for the show. It was intense at times but a lot of fun because I got to work with David Bryan again.  He not only wrote the music for the musical Memphis that I was in from 2009-2012, but he is also the keyboardist for Bon Jovi

He’s great to work for. I know what he is looking for when it comes to certain drum grooves. He appreciated the fact that when he references songs like “Rag Doll” by Aerosmith or “Paradise By The Dashboard Lights,” I totally understand what he wants and where he is going. If he talked about playing a song that has the feel of a song in Les Miserables, I’d be lost. Rock songs? Yeah, I’m all over it.

He also knows how to write catchy tunes. I was singing them all week long. It was a great show. I hope it eventually comes to broadway. We’ll see.

These drums? A breeze to play. I haven’t really looked into Tama, but I think I’ll have to check more of their products out.

The team behind the Tony-winning Best Musical Memphis has reunited. Nearly ten years after their first collaboration bowed at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre, book writer Joe DiPietro, composer-lyricist David Bryan, and director Christopher Ashley will premiere an early version of their new musical Diana this summer as part of the Reading Festival at Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater.

Tucked away in upstate New York—and closed to critics—the trio will test the waters with the developmental reading. The story starts with a bit of Diana’s childhood before focusing on her 1981 marriage to Charles, Prince of Wales, and their subsequent separation. “Diana was 19 when she got married. Imagine yourself: 19 years old, most famous person in the world,” DiPietro tells Playbill. “She had this princess fantasy and when her fantasy came true, she realized fantasies don’t always play out the way you want.”

The majority of the show centers around Diana in her 20s, and DiPietro and Bryan emphasize they’re on the hunt for a new, young powerhouse actor. “Diana is a big role,” says DiPietro, “and there’s a lot of talented young people out there. We’ll find someone.”


Working on Broadway Is Like Job

In 1993 when I first came to New York, I was trying to meet as many musicians as I could. I was walking up Broadway near 51st St. and I saw a man with what looked like a saxophone case on his back.

I ran up to him and said, “Hi, my name is Clayton Craddock. I just got here to New York recently. I just want to introduce myself. I see that you are a musician and I wanted to ask you what kind of things are you doing for work in New York City?”

He told me that he plays Broadway shows. I said, “What show are you working on?” He said, “This show right here, Cats.” I asked him what it’s like working on a Broadway show.

He said, “Hey man, it’s like a job…you might not really want to do something like this.” I said, “OK, thank you!”

Then I left.

I wound up working at a bank a few years later…and hated it. I tried to be just a full time musician, but I realized very quickly how high the cost of living can be in this city. I wasn’t making the kind of money to sustain myself from the gigs I was getting at the time.

I don’t know what the guy’s name was, but I immediately dismissed playing Broadway shows as an option for a young hungry musician coming to try to take over in the New York music scene and become a rockstar.

Well, seven years after that meeting him, I began playing Broadway shows for a living and I really haven’t looked back.

To me, Broadway shows are the best gig to have as a full time musician in town, other than maybe being on a TV show like Jimmy Fallon or something like that.

it’s funny how I wound up playing Cats l after all, even if it was just subbing like I did today.


I’ve been subbing for the drummer of this show since last fall. It has been great because it is challenging music to me.

It looks like this week might be my last time subbing at the revival of Cats that is currently because I’m leaving for California next week to work on a new musical. Also, this production is closing at the end of December of this year.

I think after playing the show about 20 or so times, I figured out what a Jellicle cat is!

I would tell you what it is but it is a secret they only tell the employees of the show. It’s like the nuclear code. That’s just how deep it goes-LOL!