Rod Morgenstein is one of the preeminent musicians of our time. He is known for being in one of the most important fusion bands (Dixie Dregs) in history, one of the most popular hard rock bands (Winger, also known for their individual musical virtuosity as well) of the 80s, and a legendary educator (author of several popular method books, hundreds of pedagogical articles, and a twenty year stint at the Berklee College of Music).
Fresh from an extensive North American tour with the Dixie Dregs, Rod was kind enough to join us from his home in New York to chat about drums, his education, performing, the music business, and his passion for writing and teaching.
We discovered during our chat that Rod has connections with DWG guest and advisory board member, Tom Brechtlein. Both drummers studied under Ronnie Gould while attending Nassau Community College. Rod then transferred to the University of Miami where he befriended Danny Gottlieb, graduated with his music degree and ultimately formed the Dixie Dregs with Steve Morse, Andy West, Allen Sloan, and T Lavitz.
We then discussed the music business and what it means to be a full member of a working band. Rod details the pros and cons along with how it sometimes pays to be a side man in certain situations.
Winger happened just at the right time after the Dixie Dregs went on hiatus and Rod relocated to New York to find work. Rod tells us how a chance meeting turned into his lifelong dream of playing in a successful arena rock band.
We finish up with Rod detailing how he was hired on a temporary appointment to teach at the Berklee College of Music. Ultimately it turned into a twenty year association with the school having Rod commute 240 miles (one way) each week during his tenure there. Finally we put Rod to the test with the DWG Rorschach test!
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