BY JORDAN LIFFENGREN
Some time ago we asked our Facebook followers if their neighbors ever got upset about noise when they were practicing. Did they ever? It seems we in the percussion clique know all about police coming to the door in the middle of the day. Dozens of drummers responded with stories about their best (and worst) noise-and-neighbors experiences,
“My high school would only let our drumline practice one hour after school, however, defending our state title required more so my parents let my drumline practice in our backyard. Mom warned the neighbors that it would be loud and we all feared the worst about being shut down again. At first neighbors just shuddered — by the second or third time they were setting up lawn chairs and barbecues and it became an event. Eventually the high school caved and we got permission to use the grounds as long as a teacher was present but used my back yard anyways. Three years after I graduated my parents moved, but the drumline still used my backyard on Tuesdays and Thursdays because it made the neighbors happy to support them. It’s not often, but every once in a while it works out for the drummers.”
“A cop shows up at my house during my band’s practice. But instead of stopping us, he gave our music a chance. He sat outside for 30 minutes until we stopped playing, knocked on my door, and asked if he could buy a CD! Ha ha ha ha. He even told me he would tell the other officers not to bother us if the house that was complaining keeps calling.”
“A neighbor called the cops on my garage band. Cops came, hung out for a bit, listened to us play, and told us what an a*s#o*e the neighbor is; that he calls them all the time for everything.
Dave De Carlo
“I was kicked out of the dorm so I moved to an apartment and the women who lived above me kept calling the cops. Then they finally moved. The cops threatened to arrest me in middle of day for not opening the door ‘cuz I couldn’t hear them knocking, I said “Officer it’s the middle of the day and quiet time doesn’t begin until 8 P.M. you can come back then.”
“I had a cool neighbor — he too was a musician. He played piano and I rocked my kit. We would bounce off each other.”
“When I lived in a dorm, we would have full band practice in the bedroom, and throw a mattress over the door and lock it to keep the RA’s out. After a while, all the neighbors would come over and watch us. Eventually we got a house…”
“Only when I lived in an apartment complex. Nothing like blast beats to wake up the neighborhood.”
“My neighbor would fire up his chainsaw and rev it up whenever I played with the window open. We would see who could be the loudest. Whatever man, burn your gas.”
Caleb Drew Morence
“I’ve literally pushed my neighbors until they moved out… They hated it cause every time I would play, they would’ve just so happened to put their two-year old down for a nap at the same time… Me and them have had some major yelling matches… The joys of living in town right? Gosh I miss the country.”
“Next door neighbor called the cops on my brother’s band and told my Dad that my playing was a racket. Then my old man sold his kid my beginner kit!”
“My neighbors would call the cops on me everyday. They were school teachers so they had summers off. I played a huge stainless steel Ludwig kit (late 70’s model) — it was loud. They went to the city council and got the first noise ordinance put in place in Ventura, California. All because of me. Hell yeah.”
“My friend and I were jamming in the garage and my neighbor called the cops on us.”
Robert “Boom Boom” Vezina
“One time had a guy renting the apartment next to my studio. One night he came into the studio with a hammer. I pulled out the 9mm and asked what his plans were. No answer. He went right back to the apartment and moved out two days later.
…But it’s all behind me now. I have a studio now so no bull**** with neighbors anymore. I’ve been arrested for playing and put in jail, but it didn’t stop me.”
“I rock in my basement and I might be a little loud, but I also have a neighbor that’s a drummer and he soundproofed his room. I mean you can hear it like every few months a little but is it a big deal, nope.”
“Long story short: if you get an e-kit, you won’t get kicked outta the band. I was allowed to practice only on weekends. The neighbors were old, and didn’t have funds for rent. We went homeless and had to leave behind a $3,500 tama kit. Uncool neighbors. Yeah, half was my fault, but I’m going to get my e-kit soon. But someone is bound to bitch about all the sticking noise. Can’t live in peace…”
Frank P Mora
“When I graduated high school and moved away to play music, the neighbors said they missed my playing. I never practiced past 5:30pm when my dad got home.
I thought I’d get complaints from the neighbors when I started practicing in my room during my high school years, but instead they began making requests for Floyd, Rush, Zeppelin, Chick Corea, etc. I learned a lot about some great music I might never have heard or played otherwise!”
“I was playing my drums at 2 A.M. in the morning. Yeah, I made a few neighbors angry.”
“At my sister’s funeral I found out that she spent a lot of time enlisting the help of her friends to gather up egg cartons to put up to dampen the racket.”
“I had the cops called on me at noon. I got a ‘disturbing the peace ticket.'”
“The summer of my freshman year I guarantee I had the cops called on me at least 15 times. I live next to a nursing home. I thought old people can’t hear? Hmm…”
“I had a senile neighbor who would call the cops on me all the time. Even when I wasn’t home or in the middle of the night. There were multiple times the cops would ring our doorbell at 2:30am or later waking the whole house up with complaints.”
“My neighbors always liked listening.”
“I got two solicitors letters to shut the f*** up.”
Zig Markowski III
“I had my kit in my barracks when I was in the Navy. I was stationed on Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego. I had the town’s cops show up at my door with base security to tell me to knock it off.”
Martin Lego Nilsson
“Haha. One time the old lady next door came knocking hard on the window of my neighbor’s garage with a broom, screaming her lungs out that I had to stop or she would call the cops.”
Bob Birney Jr.
“Every town has a noise ordinance. If you’re jamming before that time there’s nothing anyone, including police, can do about it.”
Cap Tain Vegas
“We used to get cops at my house all the time. It sucked. I used to say, ‘We could be out making trouble, drinking and smoking… all we want to do is play some rock ‘n roll in my garage for a few hours.’ Cop laughed and said he’ll give us two hours and will ignore neighbors’ calls… Anything past two hours he’ll come back, haha.'”
“My neighbors don’t say ANYTHING. I’ll be playing at 10 PM sometimes and they never complain! They encourage me, actually!”
“Cops have been called more times than I can count. The best was when my neighbor came running over and started banging on the window.