Rush - “Tom Sawyer” – 2:31
That’s really where it all begins. Two minutes and thirty-two seconds into Rush’s classic song, “Tom Sawyer.” That’s all you really need to know about why Fred Berman started playing drums.
The son of a successful band-leader, Fred started playing piano at age 5. In fifth grade, Fred had to make a decision as to what instrument he was going to play in the elementary school band. His band-leader father looked him square in the eye:
“Whatever you do, Fred, don’t start playing the drums…You’ll have to schlep ‘em all over the place. Try the flute – it’s much easier to carry.”
Two years later, Fred (with the help of his parents and their car) was schlepping his brand new Emerald drum set to his first Battle of the Bands gig….and the schlepping has continued ever since.
A born and bred New Yorker, Fred has been playing and recording steadily in the New York City music scene for more than 10 years. His last band, Lisa Jackson & Girl Friday, was a staple of the NYC rock scene. With LJ&GF, Fred recorded two successful albums, played to packed clubs all over the city, and toured all over the United States, sharing the bill with the likes of Pat Benatar, The Motels, and yes, even Naughty By Nature. Before LJ&GF, Fred served as the drummer/singer/co-songwriter of the pop-punk outfit, Zipthunk! (who are rumored to be staging a comeback any day now...) He has also lent his drumming skills to Dalin recording artist Gregg Swann; the blues combo Third Rail; NYC’s premier Metal Tribute band, Lyxx, and singer/songwriters Ofrite, Michael Pemberton, and Steve Friday, among others.
Fred has also been lucky to parlay his musical talents into his acting career. In 2000 Fred starred as Crickets’ drummer Jerry Allison in the National Tour of Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story. Fred’s energetic and charismatic approach behind the drums earned him rave reviews all over the country as he played to at least 2,000 screaming Buddy Holly fans every night, in almost every major theatre or concert hall in the country and Canada.
After returning from the tour, Fred was able to lend his guitar-playing skills to the role of “Feste” in The New York Classical Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night. In February 2005, Fred once again brought his drumming to the stage when he began work on The Tiger Lillie’s “junk opera” Shockheaded Peter. Named “one of the must-sees of the decade,” (The Guardian, UK), the show played to sold-out crowds at The Little Shubert Theatre in New York. This production was followed by an acting/drumming stint in the World Premiere of the new musical, The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde at The New York Musical Festival.
So, now that you have all the basic info, check out “Tom Sawyer.” 2:31. Turn it up. Loud. No, a little louder. Yeah, that’s all you really need to know.