Interview with Scott Crossman
Monday, Sept. 18, 2000
Rose Murray interviewing for Ray Price Fan Club
I was able to get this interview with Ray's drummer, Scott Crossman, in Bakersfield, CA, between Ray Price shows on September 18, 2000. At that time, Scott was full of plans for the future and looking forward to finding the right woman and settling down.. We are sad to report that two years later, at the age of only 35, while at a high point in his career, Scott was rushed to the hospital with an embolism lodged in his brain. To the great grief of his wonderful parents, Kay and Paul Crossman of San Antonio, Texas--and of all who knew him--Scott passed on not long after on November 1, 2002.
Scott was always so full of life, wit, and intelligence, that it is difficult to realize that he is no longer with us -- except in spirit and memory. Bon voyage, Scott.
Fan club: Were you musically inclined and talented from an early age?
Scott: (Laughing) Not exactly…I had to work really hard at it…I had an inclination to play the drums…I was encouraged by my parents…
Fan club: Why the drums?
Scott: Why the drums? I couldn’t play trumpet. (Laughs) I’d like to play trumpet. I liked Herb Alpert. So I said if I couldn’t play the trumpet, I wanted to play drums…I was about 11 years old…started in the school band…and I liked it, so I wanted to get a drum set, My parents said: “Look, we’ll help you…we’ll make you a deal…we’ll get you a drum set if you’ll take lessons so you can use it…So then everything kind of went downhill from there and I became a musician…(Laughter)
Fan club: Is there anything you'd like to mention about your musical training, teachers, mentors, or persons you credit as keys to your success?
Scott: I had some great teachers and I got to meet and learn from some really great people. I started with Jeff Ryder. Later on, I studied with a man by the name of Fred Hoey, who co-invented the drum head and drum roll. He was a very big man in the music business. I was his assistant at The Remo drum company. I helped with product development and testing. And I was drum tech for Louie Bellson. Louie was Pearl Bailey’s husband, and he’s considered by many to be the best drum set player in the world. My favorite drummers are Ed Thigpen—he lives in Norway and is a phenomenal musician—a great drummer, and a wonderful educator, Louie Bellson, Vinnie Colaiuta--who plays drums for Sting--and Terry Bozzio. In that order. I’d consider them all mentors—and, of course, my Mom and Dad. (Laughs) I credit them with a lot of my success. My Mom, Kate Crossman, used to sing, but she doesn’t any more. She had a recording contract. My father, Paul Crossman, played guitar for a few years in Southern California—in Long Beach.
Fan club: When and how did you become a Cherokee Cowboy? Is there an interesting story involved that you'd like to share?
Scott: Oh, boy…I got called up by Blondie, who’s Ray’s musical director and does all the hiring and firing. They just needed someone to fill in for the weekend at a gig in East Texas…and I went out and had a little rehearsal with Blondie and Ferdy…and they said, “Okay, you want to play?” And I’ve been with them for eight years now.
I had actually retired from the road..and had started teaching in Austin, Texas. But this was something I couldn’t pass up. The thought of being able to play with an artist as statistically big as Ray Price--I’ll never ever be able to play with an artist as big again. . I’ve played with some big artists, but not as big as Ray. Statistically, it’s just not possible.
Fan club: What instruments do you or have you played?
Scott: I studied all of the percussion instruments in college, but always focused on the drum set. That’s all I really play.
Fan club: Were you a music major in college?
Scott: Yes, I was a music major…business minor…at Southwest Texas University.
Fan club: Are you also a singer, composer, songwriter, etc.?
Scott: Not really. I teach a songwriting course and I did write a song that ended up in a movie. But I prefer to just play the drums.
Fan club: What other roles do you play in the musical, managerial or business side of the band?
Scott: I do a lot of consulting at a music studio in San Antonio, doing some production, but basically helping bands on the business side. I help them get recording contracts, tell them on whether or not to sign. I give them advice. And I’m also setting up websites, especially setting up internet radio stations. It’s giving the little guy a chance to compete in a global market. (Update: Scott also is now assisting the new conductor in Ray Price’s band—“I guess that makes me semi-conductor,” he quipped in a recent letter.)
Fan club: Have you performed with other groups or singers in the past that you'd like to mention?
Scott: There are really too many to mention. I had my first gold record when I was still in junior high. But, of course in the music business, it’s " what are you doing now" that’s important.
Fan club: What do you like best about the music business?
Scott: Oh, man, what I like best about it is the chance to play in it. That’s all I really want to do. And, of course, I do like to travel. If it was up to me, I’d never go home. (Laughs) I’d just fly my family out to see me. Let them experience some of this.
Fan club: What do you like least?
Scott: Oh, the ethics. It’s a very unethical business. It doesn’t have a whole lot to do with talent. And I think that’s wrong. But that’s big business.
Fan club: Any awards or honors that you've won that we should know about?
Scott: I won pretty much every award you can win by the time I was a sophomore in high school. However, the one thing I don't have that I have always reached for is a platinum CD to put on the wall
Fan club: On tour, do you have a favorite city, venue, or area of the country that you like most to visit?
Scott: Ooh, I love Japan. I like Venice Beach. I like Manhattan. Also San Diego. I mean, if I were to go somewhere to enjoy just traveling, that’s where I would go. And, of course, it’s always great to play for the people at home in Texas.
Fan club: What about all those casinos where the band plays?
Scott: Casinos are fine, but I don’t gamble that much.
Fan club: Do you have any amusing stories about incidents or events on tour that you'd like to share?
Scott: (Laughing) They happen every day. Every day there’s something different that happens to keep it interesting. Thinking about it, some of the best times that I’ve had working for Ray have been the Acme studio years. We (the band) used to carry around a karaoke machine on the bus. We would record songs in our motel rooms. You should have heard us. (Laughs) That’ll probably end up as Chapter Thirteen in Ray Price’s book!
Fan club: What's the worst weather or road conditions you've run into on tour?
Scott: Oh, man, I got snowed in this year, in February. At Ray’s house, I couldn’t move my car for three days. I drive a sports car and I had to just stay on the bus. I couldn’t get my car out of his driveway. That was the worst. I was totally unprepared for that much snow.
Fan club: Do you have a sideline career or business that you'd like to mention?
Scott: Basically, I’m doing the music stuff pretty much. But I am toying with the computer, doing websites, setting up internet radio stations, and playing with other bands.
Fan club: Are you married or single? Any children or other family members who figure prominently in your life?
Scott: No, I’m not married—still looking! And no children—yet. My Mom and Dad—I’m very, very close to them. And to my cousin Jenny. She lives in Dallas, and is a computer network engineer. Whenever I go to Dallas, I stop by. Also, my cousin Glynn, who has a construction business.
Fan club: Any favorite sport, hobby, recreation, or objects you like to collect?
Scott: I like to play pool. That’s my hobby. As far as recreation, I have a Coronado Yacht and a ski boat that I call the money pit. Collecting things? Let’s see, what do I collect. Postcards. Yeah. I’m getting a pretty nice postcard collection. You, know the postcards are much better pictures than I take, so I just get the pictures off the postcards. Yeah, everywhere I visit, I get a couple of postcards. You know, can you beat that? I couldn’t do that.
Fan club: Anything else you’d like to mention?
Scott: Well, I’m sponsored by three companies. Sonor Drums. Minl Symbols and Gibraltar Hardware. They give me drums, they give me cymbals, they give me hardware, even t-shirts. (Laughs) What I do in exchange is I go around and do lectures and educational seminars. Mostly at schools. And in sports stores. I tell them about the drums, but mostly I tell them about how to play them. We discuss technique and what people are looking for in a drummer, what’s expected of you in the business. Teach them everything from my own past mistakes. (Laughter) (Since this interview, Scott has written to say that he is switching drum companies to Premier Drums.)
Fan club: Scott, at this time in your life, what’s your biggest ambition?
Scott: I think raising a family is as big a thing as you can do. I mean, I’m an only child, I don’t have any brothers or sisters, and I’m so close to my Mom and Dad.
Fan club: Then I guess you’d like about five children?
Scott: (Quickly) No, no, just one. Maybe two. It depends on how much money she makes because I play music for a living. (Hearty laughter)
Fan club: Anything else you’d like to mention, Scott?
Scott: I do want to credit My Mom , Dad, Grand Mother, ( now deceased) Jeff Ryder, Morgan Leeth and Fred Hoey for the support and education. Without them I would have never been able to achieve the level of success I have reached in life.
Fan club: Thanks, Scott.