My name is Rob Valichnac. I began the study of playing drums in 1968 at the age of ten. After seeing a Mesa Community College stage band concert, I was enthralled with percussion. My music teacher took me back stage after the concert to meet Tim Bastedo, the drummer for the evening, and he agreed to give me lessons. I studied under Tim for a few years, then under Dave Paige of The Squeeze, and then Bill Cone, who later opened Symphony Music Store.
At the age of 12, I was playing in Elk Lodges, Moose Lodges, and similar venues, with a guitarist named Jessie Fanion and his father. Shortly after that, I started playing with a family band whose members were Don, Dave, and Jim Gerkin. I then played with a rock band called Straw David; this group was made up of Gil Stuart, Eddie Clift, Jeff Nevitt, Dave Gerkin, and Stan Walston. The next paying gig I had was in a country group which was the house band at Rawhide Steakhouse, managed by Jackie Waddel. When the guitarist left to join Glen Campbell’s band, Waddel hired Ross Curran to replace him.
By now, I was 18 years old and a senior in high school. After I graduated, my next band was a rock group named Cambridge; the members were Danny Anderson, Al Robinson, and Ron Gomez. We played the north Phoenix area for a couple of years before I moved to Pinetop, AZ, in 1979. I filled in for local bands in Pinetop for a few years before I joined Bobby Padilla and the Apollos in August of 1982. The Apollos consisted of; Bobby Padilla, Alan Knight, Dave Harris, Sam Horlacher, and myself. I played with this band off, and mostly on, at a venue called Mr. C’zs, for the next eighteen years.
In the early 1990’s, I joined a band called Legacy; this group consisted of Gary Gross, Alan Knight, Dave Harris, and myself. After a few years of playing with this band at a local place called Bill’s Bar, in Show Low, Gary Gross left the group and was replaced by lead singer, Penny Menze. The new band was named Highway 260 and we returned to Mr. C’zs for 2-3 years.
I joined a band called Penny and the Loose Change Band; this group included Penny Menze, Johnny Johnson, Darren Perkins, and myself. Penny soon left the group and moved to Nashville to pursue a singing career. The remainder of the band played at Mr. C’zs until 2000, when the demands of Johnny’s fishing show took precedence and the band took a break.
Johnny eventually purchased a local bar named The Black Bull, and the Loose Change Band became the house band, with the addition of Spencer Hayden on keyboards. I left that group a few years later and started a rock band with bass player Mike Ferlisi; we named the group The Quarter Moon Band. Dave Harris was on lead guitar and vocals, Lynn Leon on lead vocals, and, eventually, Vergina Pierre on keyboard. Currently, I am playing in a four-piece group called Full Arrest; this band consists of Steve Mehta on lead vocals and bass guitar, Dan Greco on lead guitar and vocals, and Will Waller on vocals and keyboard.
I am currently playing TJS Drums, which are the finest quality drums I have ever played. Tom can build a drum which more than covers any application necessary. Even his low-end features are comparable to most high-end manufacturers. Tom can build drums for those just starting in the profession through to those requiring the highest quality necessary for live performances or studio work. I have been playing Tom’s drums for approximately 5 years and I wish I would have known about them sooner. Tom’s expertise in drum manufacturing and musicianship far exceeds others in the business.