Friday, February 5, 2010

Matters of Great Importance: Uncle Batiste's Stolen Drum

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 8:19 AM

click to enlarge man without a drum

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Photograph by Greg Rhoades

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There are lowlifes and there are lowlife scum-of-the-earth piss buckets that don't give a second thought to stealing a man's instrument. And not just any man, mind you, or any instrument. Uncle Lionel Batiste, among the eldest of the elder statesmen of New Orleans jazz musicians, had his bass drum stolen (this, one and only hand-made bass drum) after marching with the Treme Brass Band in Krewe de Vieux.

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The man is 79 years old. He made the drum himself and used it not only to preserve the New Orleans sound of music, but to teach and mentor countless musicians under him. Unc is a city treasure and his drum is an artifact. Whoever stole that drum is either very ignorant or very hateful, but either way, they must be found, caught and made to pay.

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You do not steal a man's drum. Especially if he's still alive and beating it. Anyone who sees it - on the street, on eBay or wherever - that drum is stolen goods. Let's get it back into the right hands and back into the groove.

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