Q & A WITH DON FRIEDMAN, DRUMMER
Don Friedman is Yiddishe Cup’s former drummer.
What’s the best part of retirement, Don?
Not schlepping my drums to gigs.
You were with Yiddishe Cup about 20 years. What was the worst part of being in a klezmer band?
What were some of your highlights with the band?
Playing outdoor gigs – you know, festivals. But I didn’t like the druggie stuff at the outdoor festivals. I think the kids call it mollys – ecstasy. And bearded mountain-men dudes — I don’t like them. They got ugly with us a couple times and called us anti-Semitic names, but we just ignored them.
The band clashed internally. A little or a lot?
Not that I’m aware of you. But I do want to say I was totally gutted every time Bert belittled my hometown, Erie, Pennsylvania, on the bandstand. I finally told him to shut up about it.
What kind of music moves you the most?
Klezmer, jazz. You know, I grew up with jazz. Saw Philly Jo Jones and Trane in the 1950s. I went off to Berklee for a while. It was just one building.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Drink more at gigs. I only had a beer per gig. It was all free. I should have had two per gig.
Who are your heroes?
Buddy Rich, Stan Levey, Teddy Charles — any Jewish jazz drummer.
This interview is fiction.