My Give the Drummer Some column returns with an interview with great studio drummer Leslie Ming, who joined BT Express as a teenager and went on to play with Kashif, Madonna, Evelyn Champagne King and more in the 80s. This one is one of my favorites just because of how I met Leslie. Long story but a crazy one.
The doctor who delivered me was the financial backer for funk bands Brass Construction and BT Express, so my parents had both bands’ albums in the crib just because. As a kid I would get into the albums and BT Express’ Energy To Burn album always stood out because of how good the drumming was (I was a bass player then) and how wild the outfits on the back of the cover were. Always wanted the outfit Leslie had on – it was straight out of the Willie Dynamite pimp meeting, man. 20+ years later, he was one of the drummers who inspired me to start playing. A few years later, I’m driving through my neighborhood and pass a brother in a Guitar Center drum-off t-shirt standing in front of his crib. I recognize him but don’t know from where. He looked like the same dude on the BT Express album cover but obviously a bit older and in normal clothes. At the risk of coming off as a psycho, I got out the car, approached him and asked him if he was who he was and it was a huge shock to us both! A story I can’t make up. Leslie became a friend and mentor over the years and has shared countless rhythms (I got a Du-Rites groove or two from him), crazy stories from the music business and life advice in general that has helped me get to where I’m trying to go. So it’s only right he’s among the greats I’ve interviewed thus far.