By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN If you want to be a better drummer, Pete Johnson of Delano is one musician you’ll definitely want to meet.
Or, maybe you’re not into music lessons, but you have a few old cassettes or VHS tapes you’d like converted to CDs and DVDs.
Johnson can help with that, too.
His new business, Pete’s House of Groove, is pleased to offer both services.
Johnson’s passion for drumming began when he was just 2 years old, banging on Folgers cans to the beat of his parents’ Beatles albums.
“I’ve been playing drums professionally for 32 years, and I’m excited to share the tips and tricks I’ve learned throughout my career with the younger generation of musicians,” Johnson said.
His teaching style is flexible and fun, geared toward the individual needs of each student.
“I’m not going to dump a bunch of music on a student, and expect them to parrot it back to me the next week,” he said. “Instead, I see where their strengths and weaknesses lie, and work on both of those.”
Johnson remembers taking piano lessons as a child, and not enjoying the type of music he was told to play.
“It has to be fun,” he said. “Otherwise, why do it?”
Although he quit piano after a few years, the lessons taught him “just enough to be dangerous” with his drums.
By age 16, Johnson was already playing in clubs, even though he’d never had a formal drum lesson.
“I’ve learned a lot of the things not to do,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons why I’m teaching lessons I’ve been playing so long and had a lot of success with it, and I’d like to pass that on.”
Johnson has been in several bands throughout his career, and is currently playing in Brat Pack Radio (one of the metro’s most popular cover bands), featuring four-time Emmy Award-winning songwriter Ryan Lance. With LED light shows, energetic choreography, and comic one-liners, the band pokes fun at the ‘80s while playing dance-pop and R&B hits.
“We typically travel in a six-state area, as well as Canada,” Johnson said, adding that they’ve even played at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a one-of-a-kind luxury resort.
Every now and then, Brat Pack Radio will also perform locally.
“We were just at the Delano bowling alley a few weeks ago,” Johnson said. “We love to play, no matter where we are.”
When Johnson was a child first developing his drumming ability, he often recorded his songs on cassette tapes.
Many years later, Johnson decided to preserve those early recordings, and started converting the audio to CDs.
“I thought, ‘this is really cool. There’s got to be a lot of people who could use this,’” he recalled.
In addition to cassettes, Johnson also converts VHS tapes to DVDs. Whether it’s family home videos or a favorite old movie, Johnson said it’s nice to have them made into a long-lasting format.
“Big camcorders came out about 30 years ago, and the tapes from those are ready to deteriorate any day,” he said. “Often, some of the quality is already lost.”
Fortunately, Johnson’s restoration process can sometimes enhance the sound quality and reduce the noise on the tape.
“I try to make lemonade out of lemons,” he said.
Anyone who would like more information about digital conversion or drum lessons at Pete’s House of Groove in Delano is encouraged to go to www.peteshouseofgroove.com.
Johnson can be reached at (612) 965-1075 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.