“Close Encounters”

This page is set aside for all those followers of the Museum who want to include their experiences of meeting and/or seeing and hearing Gene in their lives. Preferably with an accompanying photo and short story.
[One simply has to send an email of the story/photo (if available) to the site admin and it will be copied and pasted onto this page. The only prerequisite is that it includes as much factual ‘data’-dates/times/places/etc-. and that you keep the ‘story’ as short and concise as possible.]

Here is the story that goes with Bob’s photo:
“My dad played with many big bands in the 40’s. Being Bob Jr. I got my first drum set on my very first Christmas. As I grew up, my dad would tell me Krupa stories. He said he knew Gene. I didn’t really believe him. Then he said Krupa was playing with the house band at the Holiday Inn for one night only. We arrived at the club, and there was Krupa, surrounded by hundreds of drummers and admirers. I asked my dad if we could get an autograph so we waited in line. There must have been 100 drummers waiting just to see him. My dad said, “Gene, over here “. Gene looked up and said, ” Bob, is that you “. I couldn’t believe it…..Gene Krupa actually did know my dad. He called us up to the front of the line. Gene asked if I played and I said , “Yes sir”. He said “sit down and tell about your playing”. I sat next to him for over 40 mins as he met the line of fans. One guy asked him, Gene , who’s the Kid?’ Gene looked up and said , “Kid………….he’s not a kid, this is my new friend Bob Jr. and he plays the drums too!” Never forget that night.

(Very proud to add this one from a legend in jazz drumming, my friend Butch Miles!). Butch reminiscing about a gig in Toronto:

“Here’s a short one…I was appearing with Mel Torme and my first road gig with him was at a club in Toronto. The stage was a half moon formation with a curtain. We always opened the show with a Torme original “The Mel Torme Overture” which included a batch of his hits (“Comin’ Home Baby”, “The Christmas Song”‘ and others) and the curtain would slowly rise. One night the curtain rose and I looked at the packed house and sitting center ringside was my idol, Gene Krupa. I had three heart attacks, a stroke and I plotzed onstage but I kept playing, shaking, and sweating. The show was killer and afterwards Mel introduced me to Gene. I have NEVER gotten over looking out at the crowd and seeing the One, the Only, Gene Krupa sitting there directly in front of me. That very well may be the last memory I ever have but I will never forget that night. Howzat?

From Rob Wallis of Hudson Publishing
   “I have a personal Krupa story- though I never met him- when I was about 10 years old (probably around 1965) he would order meat from my grandfather, who was a butcher in a nearby town. One day my Uncle delivered his order and got me a signed 8×10 that I cherish to this day and may be responsible for my becoming a collector of a number of things!!”

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