Everyone knows when they’ve met a prodigy. Steve Tambone was a musical prodigy. What made Steve so good was that he could hear a song once and know how to play it perfectly. I witnessed this once while driving with Steve to get lunch during band practice. I myself was embattled in a pretty serious crisis of character, but like most guys in their senior year of high school, I didn’t know much about anything, so I talked it out with Steve.
Our band had decided to start playing Goldfinger’s “Here in Your Bedroom” so Steve told me to put the song on in my car. He tapped his sticks on the dashboard and tapped his feet to the song. I didn’t think much of it, but he was learning the song while we were talking. When we got back to the house, Steve knew how to play it. Having this sort of drummer makes for a pretty sweet cover band. He could also sing the high harmonies, so that was cool. We only practiced a couple times, but our shows were really good. We all knew it was because we had Steve Tambone as a drummer. That was the summer of our senior year in high school and it was truly the best of times.
Our band “Joey Tomatoes” kicked off the summer by playing at “Project Graduation”. Project Graduation is where they lock all the high school seniors in this big arcade/lazer-tag place on the night of graduation so that the graduates don’t go insane, get drunk and drive off a cliff. Steve and I arrived early to set up the equipment. We pulled up and Steve and I walked in the front door. Someone who worked at the place said, “You guys can’t be here yet.”
“We’re the band,” Steve and I said together.
“Oh well then come right this way,” the woman said as they showed us where to set up. After setting up, Steve and I waited outside for the rest of our class to get there. We kept re-enacting our entrance where we said we were the band and the whole staff went imediately from hostile to accommodating. I don’t know why we thought it was so funny, but Steve had a knack for pulling humor from everything.
Like most who are the best at something, Steve remained very humble without being so humble you know the person’s kinda full of shit, like wanting you to know they’re humble. He was the best drummer that I have ever seen. Even professionally, maybe Travis Barker contains the raw talent needed to be that good.
Life unfortunately is full of awful things that happen to awesome people. There is a connection between the extremely musically-gifted and the vices that take people out, just ask Bradley Nowell. Steve Tambone will always be remembered for being great, but his absence will always leave a hole for his family and friends, a void that none can fill.
The Devil is a very real part of life. It can manifest itself in many ways that cause suffering and pain, and it touches everyone at some point. We fight these demons by casting light upon them and showing the world how evil and dangerous they really are.