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Making Every Note Count – Karl Perazzo of Santana [Podcast]

podcast shownotes Dec 10, 2020

At the tender age of 2, Karl Perazzo found his purpose: The drums. And since then, he’s become unstoppable…

The self-taught musician has gone on to play with the best in pop, jazz, rock and Latin music—with the likes of Prince, Tito Puente, Mariah Carey, Phish, and Parliament/Funkadelic’s Dennis Chambers… just to name a few.

Since 1991, he’s been playing with legendary guitarist, Carlos Santana, and his band. 

Karl talks to Jim about the deeper meaning he’s found in music, the time he was taught about what it really means to perform, how his instrument reflects his inner-self, and why it’s so important to play like it’s the first time… every time.

Karl also shares the story of his humble beginnings, what he learned from playing alongside some of the world’s most influential music legends, and what still makes him star-struck to this day.

Jim and Karl also recount the times they toured together—when a young, terrified Jim learned some very hard, very embarrassing life-changing lessons.

SHOW LINKS:

Santana’s Website:

https://www.santana.com/

Santana’s Africa Speaks Album:

https://open.spotify.com/album/7JiTWRntgMFo4bwxW9Kq6N


“Just Another Day in the Park” Raul Rekow tribute featuring Karl Perazzo, Alex Acuña, and Sheila E. :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOR7CU87vFo

Karl Perazzo’s Instagram Accounts: https://www.instagram.com/karlpwear

https://www.instagram.com/karlpperc/

Karl Perazzo’s Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Karl-Perazzo-131105760290330/

 


Transcript

 

TRANSCRIPT

JIM DONOVAN:

Hey, look at us with our big glasses on.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Yeah, we got… Yeah. I thought I looked like Martin Scorsese today.

JIM DONOVAN:

You kind of do. You’re rocking that, man. Where are you?

KARL PERAZZO:

I’m in Las Vegas at the moment.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, wow. You guys, you have House of Blues shows.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. We’ve had a residency here, yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, right on. Right on. How’s that going?

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. It’s going good, man.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah?

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Yeah, we’ve been knocking it out here for about… total including the Hard Rock, probably about eight years now.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh my God. That’s incredible.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. That’s a long residency.

JIM DONOVAN:

Fantastic. You have a few different people in the band since last time I saw you. I remember Benny. How’s Benny doing?

KARL PERAZZO:

Benny is good. Benny is still here, yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah, right on.

KARL PERAZZO:

He’s doing his thing.

JIM DONOVAN:

Excellent, excellent. Carlos doing okay?

KARL PERAZZO:

Carlos is doing great. His wife, Cindy, is playing drums now.

JIM DONOVAN:

I saw that, that’s exciting. I’ve got to figure out a way to get out there just to see you guys, because I would love to see you guys together.

KARL PERAZZO:

After the passing of my good brother, Raul Rekow, we have Paoli Mejias from Puerto Rico now.

JIM DONOVAN:

How’s that going? That’s a really big transition.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, it sure is. Yeah, yeah. But he’s doing a great job, you know.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

He’s a master at what he does, you know.

JIM DONOVAN:

Well you know, it’s always challenging when those things happen. I think as we go through the conversation, it would be great to talk more about Raul. He was a big part of my memory with all of you guys. He was such a special guy.

I’ve known you for a bunch of years. We’ve been in contact here and there, but I was looking through some of the things online in your bio and I noticed this one thing. You have this list of television shows that you’ve been on. The one that really jumped out at me was Solid Gold. I remember watching that as a kid for various reasons. When was that, and who were you playing with then?

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, that was in the ’80s, obviously. In the early ’80s. I did that with my sister and my family member, Sheila E.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, wow.

KARL PERAZZO:

Sheila Escovedo, yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah, yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

At that time, we were doing all those kind of shows. At that time, that was like the first American Idol.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, absolutely.

KARL PERAZZO:

Those shows were very important to have at that time.

JIM DONOVAN:

It was one of the few shows… I know I saw that you were also on Soul TrainAmerican Bandstand, but those were like the few shows where you could even see an artist. Especially if you couldn’t get to a concert, that was pretty much it.

KARL PERAZZO:

That’s correct. Yeah, that’s correct. Those shows really helped the industry stay alive.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah. Yeah, I was talking to my daughter about it today… we were driving to an appointment. So I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, where there’s really nothing. There were I think, two radio stations that we could get. There were two television stations that sort of had enough bandwidth to get to us, but it was often grainy. So it was maybe school, maybe the band room in school where it was a place that you could even find or see instruments. Maybe you got to go to a fair once in the summer, and maybe there was some music there. But it was very far and few between back then.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, for us too. I basically learned how to play percussion off records.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

You kind of play what you hear, and then you got to unlearn it and then relearn it the correct way. It also created different paths of how to play it a different way.

JIM DONOVAN:

Right.

KARL PERAZZO:

It’s kind of like a double-edge sword there. Now, you’ve got everything. You’ve got YouTube. Shit, I learned how to cook on YouTube.

JIM DONOVAN:

It’s true. You can be really in isolation with your smartphone, and take any lesson for any specific thing. I was thinking about that, and I was seeing some of these kids. So I teach at a university, and some of them are self-taught. And the one thing I noticed that’s missing in a lot of them is the ability to play with other people, because they’ve been in isolation so much.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Yeah. The thing about social media and YouTube and all that stuff, it doesn’t show you the preparation, and it doesn’t teach you how to be a band member.

JIM DONOVAN:

Right.

KARL PERAZZO:

It doesn’t really show the guys that hit the ground running. They just kind of… All of sudden, you’re doing para-diddle-diddles.

JIM DONOVAN:

Right.

KARL PERAZZO:

With really no history or meaning behind what it means and what each beat means, and how the importance of tone and your sound and your grip. Where in your body is it coming from? It doesn’t show you any of that. It kind of just shows you to be faster. It’s amazing how much knowledge they can put in a teaspoon.

JIM DONOVAN:

It’s true. It’s the subtle stuff. It’s all the intention. And like you said, it’s the nuance of… “If you do this with your hand, it’s going to change the tone just this little bit.” But that little bit makes a big difference.

You have the opposite experience, where you grew up in a… I was reading, in a musical household. Your parents played music, is that right?

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. My mother was a singer/guitar player, recorded records. And my father was a drummer. But they were also long retired before I was born, from music.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh wow, okay.

KARL PERAZZO:

And so, you know, I had a gift, and they just encouraged me to play. It wasn’t until I was like maybe eight years old or seven years old, where we formed a band called Los Corazones. We only entered talent shows.

JIM DONOVAN:

Okay.

KARL PERAZZO:

And winning.

JIM DONOVAN:

And winning.

KARL PERAZZO:

So I remember winning my mom, my dad, a whole living room set of furniture.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh my gosh.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Couches and lamps.

JIM DONOVAN:

That’s amazing.

KARL PERAZZO:

Side table. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

Wow. What kind of music did you play?

KARL PERAZZO:

Mostly traditional Latin, Mexican, Afro-Cuban stuff.

JIM DONOVAN:

Obviously, that’s your first exposure to those kinds of rhythms and feeling them in your body.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, yeah. Definitely, yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

Wow. Can you remember that far back, what were some of your favorite things to play? What favorite songs to play, anything like that?

KARL PERAZZO:

You know, it wasn’t so much the songs. It was more being involved with my parents.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah. I can see that.

KARL PERAZZO:

The stuff that you really can’t buy, you know?

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

It was that kind of… The interaction of music is a vocabulary without words, and it’s a communication that again, without words, that can make you laugh and that can make you cry. That’s the stuff I remember more.

JIM DONOVAN:

Did your folks talk about those nuances in the music, or was it more unspoken?

KARL PERAZZO:

I think they just let me find it, you know?

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

My mom was more, “Dig deeper.” My dad was just like, “Just play, man.” But my mom was like, “A little deeper than that.”

JIM DONOVAN:

That makes sense, because she was singing and she’s maybe emoting through the song.

KARL PERAZZO:

She’s definitely more spiritual musically, too. You know?

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

She just knew that it came from another place.

JIM DONOVAN:

What a good piece of knowledge to get at eight years old.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

The number one story that I often tell everybody is… My mom, she was talking to me about this, about differences of how to… She kind of put it like the differences between performing and a musician.

So she said, “Go get me the guitar.” So I went and got her the guitar. She just sat there very calm. She told me to sit in front of her, and she was in the chair. She just started strumming the guitar, singing an old Cuban classic by Miguelito Valdés, who was the original Mr. Babalú. So she started just strumming one chord, and started singing, (Singing). Watching her, watching her hands and watching her… Mostly, I was focused in on the guitar and what she was doing. And then she says, “And now, I’m going to perform the same song.”

JIM DONOVAN:

Okay.

KARL PERAZZO:

She did like a four-stroke with her nails on the side of the acoustic wooden, acoustic guitar. So it went like… you know, very Spanish, and slap. Then the chord came. Her hand went straight up in the air, and I jumped back about two feet. And then I had seen the side of my mom that I had never seen. She said, “This is the difference.”

JIM DONOVAN:

Wow.

KARL PERAZZO:

It was amazing. So now, you get someone’s undivided attention on a musical level, allowing them to jump out of their skin. So if you’re a guy that’s just there and you look forward, that’s what’s you’re going to give them.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

Because not everyone understands the ratamacue.

JIM DONOVAN:

Right.

KARL PERAZZO:

And what we do. But man, there’s a way to communicate with them through movements, colors, sound. I learned that very young, man, from my mom.

JIM DONOVAN:

That’s wild, because once you see and feel something like that, especially from your mother, I don’t see how you could go back to doing it any other way.

KARL PERAZZO:

No, no, no. From then on, I was afraid of her.

JIM DONOVAN:

As you should be, yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. I’m not messing with that woman.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah. But even like in the difference between… Here’s one way to play it, then here’s a way to perform it. As a young performer, that seems like it leaves a pretty big mark in your brain about, “No, no. If you’re going to perform, do this.”

KARL PERAZZO:

I just remember the energy that came across. It was like… The music thing was still there. All that never left, but it was like, man. I was like, “Whoa! What just hit me right now?!”

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

So what’s really important to learn is, my mom planted what I now know as “inspiration.”

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

And now, I have to do the same thing. I have to plant those seeds for the next inspire.

JIM DONOVAN:

Right. You did that for me over and over and over again, night after night on those tours, watching you and Raul. There were so many jump-out-of-my-skin moments watching that and marveling and just honestly, not understanding some of it. It being so deep that I’m like… You know what, stop trying to understand it, just be in it with them because your brain’s not going to work here.

KARL PERAZZO:

That’s pretty much it. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Yeah. You know, you go for the ride.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

Because at that moment in my life too, I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand, but I knew that it felt good.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

You know? I knew that that was a direction I wanted to go. You’re not really playing your instrument, you’re becoming one with your instrument. You’re not hitting, you’re going through it.

JIM DONOVAN:

I can see that.

KARL PERAZZO:

All these are very crucial, because how you approach your instrument, that’s what you’re going to get out of it.

JIM DONOVAN:

There’s a much more intimate relationship that can happen when you approach it that way, than just playing patterns and singing the notes.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, absolutely. Yeah. It’s an extension of your inner-self.

JIM DONOVAN:

Has it always been the drums for you?

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Drumming was it for me. But since my mom was a guitar player, I also loved melodies. I used to do a thing with my dad where he would grab the guitar, and he would play chords while I’d bang on the strings. So we would do that.

JIM DONOVAN:

Nice.

KARL PERAZZO:

You know, have that little father-son time.

JIM DONOVAN:

Ah, that’s so important.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Oh, yeah. Very important.

JIM DONOVAN:

Now you’ve been playing for a long, long time. You’ve risen through all these different places where you’ve played with some of the top people in the world. You still are touring with one of the most legendary guitarists in the world. What is it about drumming and drums that’s made you dedicate almost your entire life to them? What do you think it is about them?

KARL PERAZZO:

Well, you know, that’s an interesting question. I can start with, that’s basically all I know. It’s a blessing and a curse. You know? I’m starting to realize that it’s for a reason. And yeah, I’ve been doing it since already, over 50 years. It’s like I should almost be in the Smithsonian. I’m a dinosaur. You know.

JIM DONOVAN:

You’d be the best drummer there, man.

KARL PERAZZO:

No. No, the garden is vast, though.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

At the same time, I really never questioned. To get this far and to play with so many artists and different genres, whether it’s Afro-Cuban, Salsa, country music, funk, jazz, Latin jazz… You have to have a certain willingness, whether recording with Rusted Root. You have to have a certain willingness to not be regurgitating what you think is information.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

And complement your surroundings. I never wanted to be first in line. I want to complement the line. You know, to where everyone next to me looks and sounds just as good. I think that’s what’s carrying me.

JIM DONOVAN:

I could see that, and I remember that about you and all the guys in Santana. That was kind of the mode of operation. “We are lifting this thing up together. There are times that we each shine, and there are times when we just sit back and support and support. And as a result, the whole thing keeps lifting and lifting.”

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Sometimes, you’re not going to be the meat and potatoes, and you’re going to be the garnish. It doesn’t always have to be that way. At the same time, it really goes back to having the willingness. The best way I could put it, man, is listening and respecting music as people. There’s a lot of notes, man. And they’re like people, sometimes you’ve just got to visit them.

JIM DONOVAN:

Right, that makes sense.

KARL PERAZZO:

I’m very blessed to have done what I’ve done. And again, it’s been a long time, and I cherish every moment.

JIM DONOVAN:

The older I get, that gratitude piece keeps coming at me every day that we get to do this, that I get to sit here and talk with you today. I appreciate each of these moments so much more than I ever realized I could.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, I do too.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

I do, too. It’s just something that we’re at that time in our lives, we’re starting to see different.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

Musically, we always use the “third eye” and we try to get to that spiritual place, musically. Now it’s time that we get to that spiritual place all the time.

JIM DONOVAN:

Be it.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. That’s it, be it. That’s it.

JIM DONOVAN:

Just be it.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

In a way, it’s relieving. My younger self wanted to aspire and to reach, to reach, to reach, to reach whatever that next thing is. Those are good things, nice to have goals. But then coming into this time in life, I’m realizing it’s fine to have a goal and wow, appreciate this moment that you’re in because this is the whole thing. Right now, this is the whole thing.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, absolutely. Along with that, comes great responsibility to be all that you can be when you’re on the stage. To give someone a memory of their first kiss or their first dance, or to bring them back in time to say, “Man, I remember where I was at this time when I heard this song.”

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

If you’re regurgitating information as opposed to channeling, you’re going to go a lot further channeling.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah, because when you’re bringing it through, you must be present.

KARL PERAZZO:

You got to be present. We’re trying to tap in their spirit. The reason why I’m saying it is because we’re so busy trying to tap in their spirit, and then we grow as people and as conduits of divine, we need to visit our spirit now. To become the next level and to prepare us for our graduation, whether it’s not playing music anymore or… You know because what it is, is you grow up and you’re playing drums, and you love to play drums and you’ll play for free. Then all of a sudden you get blessed and you get paid to play music. Not necessarily become a job. Basically, they probably pay us to travel and to leave our families, not to play the music.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah, that’s the easy part.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. The full cycle is we start to play music again for free, and play it because we love it and love what we do. Keep us young.

JIM DONOVAN:

Keeps our head right.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Yeah. The heart, too. Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

Playing in front of people every night, it’s easy to let go of being present and start to go through motions. Because from the stage, these people, they tend to look the same every night. At least they did to me.

The crowd becomes like “a thing” instead of… I’m just speaking for myself. Instead of thinking of them as individuals that are there together, I start to think about them as the crowd.

And what you said about each of these people are having their own experience and developing their own memories… My responsibility in that—our responsibility—is if we can stay present with them… no matter if we’ve played Soul Sacrifice for the billionth time… that might be the only time they’ve ever heard it in their lives.

And if we can give them that high level of attention to what we are doing, maybe it makes it more likely that their experience raises up a bit.

KARL PERAZZO:

First time, every time. First time, every time.

JIM DONOVAN:

That should be required learning for all performers.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, for sure.

JIM DONOVAN:

So I read that back in 1991, you joined Santana. Is that correct?

KARL PERAZZO:

That’s correct, yes.

JIM DONOVAN:

So you’re a young drummer from San Francisco. That had to be amazing. Can you tell me, how did that come about? What was it like?

KARL PERAZZO:

Well you know, before that, I was touring with Sheila E. on the Purple Rain Tour and doing that whole thing.

JIM DONOVAN:

I didn’t realize that. I’m sorry.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. No, no. Yeah, it’s fine.

JIM DONOVAN:

Wow.

KARL PERAZZO:

That was an amazing time too, was the Purple Rain Tour. Then I wanted to get out of that and I just went a different direction, and I just started playing locally again. I was doing still shows. United Nations Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie. I stared recording a lot on Windham Hill Records with Ray Obiedo and Andy Narell, the great steel pan player.

JIM DONOVAN:

Okay.

KARL PERAZZO:

Then playing with local bands and just kind of doing the thing. I played with Malo when I was a kid. You know, with Jorge Santana, Carlos’s brother.

JIM DONOVAN:

Okay.

KARL PERAZZO:

So going up all through that, playing with Mike Carabello, the original conga player with Santana.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh my gosh.

KARL PERAZZO:

David Brown, the original bass player. Bands like that really shake me, man. These are all inspirations for me.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

You know? These are Mike Carabello and Chepito. Just the whole Santana thing kind of pushed me in that direction, because it touched me in a way that was like man, this is for real. This is what I want to be. And to now live your dream, but to really to get the opportunities. Sheila was the angel in disguise who really got me out there.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

After all that, playing with local bands and jazzy pits, Motown stuff, and jazz.

JIM DONOVAN:

So you were playing with Santana guys before you were in Santana.

KARL PERAZZO:

That’s correct.

JIM DONOVAN:

Santana graduate.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

I think it’s safe to say, you probably have a PhD in Santana.

KARL PERAZZO:

Well you know, I often said I played with Santana when I was a kid, but then my needle broke.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

From the record player. So there went the gig.

JIM DONOVAN:

What a fascinating series of events that all those things lined up, and then you end up doing things with Sheila E…

So the Purple Rain tour, was that with Prince too, or just something different?

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh no, no, no. Prince, yeah. No, no.

JIM DONOVAN:

With Prince, okay.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

I’m just making sure I’m not missing something.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. No, the Purple Rain tour.

JIM DONOVAN:

I did not know that. We’ll talk about that, too. That’s awesome.

KARL PERAZZO:

I’ve still got my tour jacket.

JIM DONOVAN:

Really?

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, I didn’t realize how little I was. I tried to put it on, and it just won’t go on.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh no!

So you end up with Carlos. Was there an audition, or did he already know what you could do, and liked you? How’d that go?

KARL PERAZZO:

I got a call. I was home alone, and I got a call from Jorge Santana, George Santana. You know, “They would like for you to audition.” I asked Jorge, “Anybody else going to be there? Because it’s going to be a bloody mess.” I went and they were all very sweet, and Carlos was very… you know. I remember just playing, and he stopped and he said, “I love it, man.”

JIM DONOVAN:

Nice.

KARL PERAZZO:

“I love it.” I was like, I dunno man. It was almost a dream, it was like slow motion. Everything that I ever wanted. It was like, it’s just there. You know–

JIM DONOVAN:

Wow.

KARL PERAZZO:

–In one person. I remember just hearing his notes on the records, and then hearing it in front of me and vibrating through my structure. I was like oh my God, man. It almost brought me to tears.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah, I bet.

KARL PERAZZO:

I could have lived and died right there, actually.

JIM DONOVAN:

That’s incomprehensible, honestly.

KARL PERAZZO:

It really is.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

And we’re still on a mission. This is like ’91. It’s like 28, 29 years, and we’re still on a mission. Jim, we talk about it all the time… We’re not done yet.

JIM DONOVAN:

No.

KARL PERAZZO:

We’re not, we’re not. There’s people that need to be healed, hearts that need to be touched, streets and neighborhoods and people that need to be cleaned. And most of all, just keep inspiring.

JIM DONOVAN:

Your actions can make it possible for somebody else to believe that it might be possible.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, yeah. For sure. For sure… 100 percent.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah, even the story that you just told me. That you used to play to Santana’s records when you were a kid until you wore out the needle, and then one day, that impossible thing happened. That you’re in front of him and he’s playing his guitar, and you’re feeling the notes in your body. It’s impossible, until it’s not. You know?

KARL PERAZZO:

I learned all the solos.

JIM DONOVAN:

Of course, you did.

KARL PERAZZO:

Whether it was Carlos’s, or Gregg Rolie. Then recording with Santana for… Oh, my.

JIM DONOVAN:

What a blessing.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. I would cry in my room, because that was like the… And to hear that groove, because that’s a whole other groove.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yes.

KARL PERAZZO:

That’s a whole other thing.

JIM DONOVAN:

It’s its own thing.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, it was another machine. You know. I just wanted to complement. I wanted to be the best that I could be and represent, and I really mean it. I know I have a name, and that’s… Thank you. Thank you for all the supporters and the listeners and all the brotherhood.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

But to really do this, you have to remember the great Chepito. Although I put my own fingerprint, there are certain things that he brought. Not even certain things, a lot of things that he brought to create a sound that I respect and admire. I don’t mind being in that part. Again, I don’t want to be first in line. I just want to complement.

JIM DONOVAN:

A guy like that builds… I mean, he builds a large part of the structure. There’s nothing wrong with being in that structure in that house, and playing in there, it’s beautiful.

KARL PERAZZO:

No, no, no. And representing him. I don’t have that problem at all.

JIM DONOVAN:

I suspect the reason Carlos loves your playing has a lot to do with your mindset, and that you think about it well.

KARL PERAZZO:

I respect it because I lived it. Yeah. It’s so much. So many hot summer nights on the beach man, listening to Santana. Camping, listening to Santana. But not listening. Listening… not in one ear and out the other. I would tell people around me, “Man, did you just hear that? Did you just hear what he said?” Not everyone was maybe not on the same level, but I made them listen even more deeply.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah. That’s it, because there is so much. Every moment of those records, there is so much. In your shows, all the shows that I watched… Every moment, there was just so much packed in there. So much meaning.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, exactly.

JIM DONOVAN:

When we were doing the tours together, Carlos was nothing but cool to us. He was extraordinarily kind to me. He had taken me aside a couple of times, and spoke with me and gave me advice. I couldn’t believe that someone of his stature would even take the time. Of all the people we toured with, he was by far the most gracious with that. You’ve been playing with him all these years. What’s it like to be up there with that?

KARL PERAZZO:

I still look down, and I can’t believe I’m there. Like I said, it’s the first time every time. He’s so important to music.

JIM DONOVAN:

He is.

KARL PERAZZO:

And to really transform his instrument to his emotions, and channeling it to the listener, which I am one of them. To where when he plays one note, you know exactly who it is, to where you get goosebumps. And his tone resonates his true self at what he stands for and who he really is. He is the tree that provides all the fruit for everybody.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah. That’s very well put. I hear that, and I feel that in the records. The newest one, the Africa Speaks record, I am so blown away by this thing. It feels so raw. Cindy’s playing drums on that one, right?

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah

JIM DONOVAN:

Just the interplay between the two of you, Benny’s gorgeous bass is always right. The notes like you say, those notes that Carlos play, they’re just so present with how his emotion is moving through the thing. It supports the singer’s voice just beautifully. I haven’t heard a record like that in a really long time. I just wanted to say that. So fantastic.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, yeah. It’s the missing link.

JIM DONOVAN:

Was there any click tracks or anything, or were you just playing things straight?

KARL PERAZZO:

Man, we just went for it, man. You would not believe it if I told you. We did like almost 50 songs in two weeks.

JIM DONOVAN:

You know, with the players that you guys have, I do believe that. I believe that.

KARL PERAZZO:

Carlos and Rick Rubin’s vision was way, way above what we ever even thought. They were on a path, man.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

We would go in and just play grooves and songs, and they took it to the next level, man. It flowered into something very powerful. And you’re not going to hear another record like that.

JIM DONOVAN:

No.

KARL PERAZZO:

You’re just not going to.

JIM DONOVAN:

Especially in 2020.

KARL PERAZZO:

You better dig deep, because… Is it a world album? I don’t know. Concept album? Is it a… No, it’s music, man.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah. I was going to say, it feels just like real music with real people going for it.

KARL PERAZZO:

It’s just music, man. You know. And most people kind of start clamming up in the studio. Like a photograph, it doesn’t lie.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

You got to go in, man. No mistakes, no wrong notes, and just play, man.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

We just play. If you notice, maybe there might be one track with timbales. There’s no timbales on the record.

JIM DONOVAN:

I heard a lot of different percussion. I didn’t hear many timbales.

KARL PERAZZO:

That’s the direction, man.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

Paying homage to all the great percussionists.

JIM DONOVAN:

You could hear it. The album drips with integrity. It’s real, and you can feel it. It doesn’t feel like it’s been manufactured or looped, or any of that crazy stuff.

KARL PERAZZO:

No.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

No. Raw dog.

JIM DONOVAN:

What a refreshing piece of music. A work of art actually, I should say. How was it working with Rick?

KARL PERAZZO:

Well you know, that’s an icon right there. He would just come in every day and just sit there or drink his teas and listen, and not say much. Because those guys that talk a lot, they only tell you what they already know.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

But the guys that listening are learning, and they’re already seeing. You know what? Only a couple of times, he’d call. Maybe, “I want you to go do this again.” And, “Do this.” Or, “Put some energy here.” Or, “I need you to come in and sing this or sing… ” You know.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

And it was about to bring more energy. It wasn’t about like, “No, no, no. Play this part.” It was about, to bring energy. So he was like four or five steps ahead of us. Thank God he turned around just to see what we looked like, because he was that far ahead, bro. He was like… man. Then he would get up and leave. After the session, he would just, you know, “See you tomorrow.”

JIM DONOVAN:

That’s it?

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

Sounds like he’s both feeling and listening. And like you’re saying, seeing multiple steps ahead.

KARL PERAZZO:

He was already there, man. Carlos and him were already there. Wow, what a thing to be a part of. You have to allow. You just say, “We’re going to do this groove right here.” And you have to go.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

You have to… Because now in today’s music, it’s like you play to a computer or a sequence. No, no, no, no. We have to create. So when you grab the lemon, you got to make sure that all the juice comes out.

JIM DONOVAN:

Let’s switch gears a little bit. I wonder if we could talk a little bit about Raul, Raul Rekow. Again, when I was with you guys, I watched you play night after night, after night. It felt like you had this synergy together where you not only were one with your instruments, but the two of you together felt like you were also as one. I wonder if you could just talk a little bit about your experience playing with him, and if there’s anything that maybe isn’t so commonly known about him that you think the world should know.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Well you know, we lost our brother.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

But I grew up listening to him. I grew up wanting to be him. And in a sense, I became him. Because one of the best part of him, we spoke the same language. We understood each other in a way that no one could match. I respected him, his ability. Giovanni Hidalgo said it the best. He said, “You know, there’s three duos in the world in the percussion.” He said, “There’s Marc Quiñones and Bobby Allende.” He said. “There’s myself, Giovanni Hidalgo, and Anthony Carrillo.” He said, “And then there’s Karl and Raul.”

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

And we were known as the dynamic duo.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

And we used to argue about who was Batman. One of his last days when I went to see him, I told him I loved him very much, and I told him that he was Batman.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

And he was.

JIM DONOVAN:

He had such strength. Just his sheer power when he played. Even when he just walked around, I’ve never seen anything like it.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. No. Yeah, for sure. For sure, man. That was a tough, tough, compassionate guy.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yes, all of that. When you guys played together, to me, it sounded like listening to heaven. That’s what it sounded like to me.

KARL PERAZZO:

Beautiful. Thank you for saying that. That’s beautiful.

JIM DONOVAN:

I hope whenever my time comes, that that’s what I hear.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

You know?

KARL PERAZZO:

Right. Well, it’s no mistake, Jim. It’s assigned and designed for you to be where you’re at in your life.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

And you’re also an inspirer. It’s like I said, the garden is vast, right?

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah, there’s room for everybody. It’s a big garden.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

When you improvise, both now and when you did it with Raul… Like I said before, you go to this other place. And to me, it sounds like the music becomes… the best word I have is “multidimensional.” Where it’s above you, it’s inside of you, it’s around you, it’s beneath you. When you’re in there, when you’re in that spot and things are all just going right… like you’re not thinking, you’re just feeling it, what’s happening in you? Is there a way that you get yourself there, or am I not thinking about it right?

KARL PERAZZO:

Well you know, again, it’s a language, right? It’s a language, and it’s about conversation. The drums that we play come from the earth. So there’s a spiritual element behind that. And in this vocabulary, there is spiritual meaning. You know, you start to channel a lot of this stuff. And there it is again, you have to work, or you have to have the willingness to allow yourself to be that conduit where information is coming from above and it’s flowing through you.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

And you become everyone that you ever admired. Whether it’s your mother or your father, your grandfather. Whether it’s Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Armando Peraza, Francisco Aguabella. You just become them. You become the best of them. You start to… And then you realize that my arms are moving, but I don’t feel it.

JIM DONOVAN:

Like effortless.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. You know. I mean, I like to say it’s a zone. Everything slows down, and you need to get to a place to where before you hit the drum, you know what it already sounds like. You need to get to that place. And then, you’ll truly understand what one note means. You’re not hitting a surface. For me, I used to practice six to eight hours a day. And there, it becomes almost a meditation.

JIM DONOVAN:

I see that.

KARL PERAZZO:

Within that, because you have to submit all your feeling. Whatever you brought with you, you have to put it on the table. And then you’re going to see all the luggage. You’re going to see it all right there. But then, you’re going to feel so brand new and clean while you’re playing, because it’s all new information. There’s no walls, there’s no borders, there’s no barriers. There’s no my God, I got to be here at 3:00, I got to get my phone bill paid. There’s none of that. None of that exists. It’s you and your real self, using the drum as a tool to get you to that place.

KARL PERAZZO:

So since Raul and I, we spoke that language, we would have fun with it, because we knew the power that it had. Sometimes, we would just let it transform into whatever it wanted to become. We didn’t get in the way. And sometimes we would end up laughing, and that’s the magic of what Raul and I had. You know.

JIM DONOVAN:

It’s like the two of you were creating a reality right there. A reality that was observable here in the present, but that was also in a completely different space and time, than our typical experience.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh yeah, for sure. Also, Carlos gave us that platform. You know?

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

He would say, “Go.” You know, “Go. Go. Soar.” You know?

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

“Go.”

JIM DONOVAN:

I love that about him.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

He wants you to soar. He doesn’t want to hold you back.

KARL PERAZZO:

He wants you to be how he sees you.

JIM DONOVAN:

To have someone who wants that for you in our world, can be a rare thing.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

You know?

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

Especially someone who is who he is, and has been through what he’s been through. Every leader should aspire to that. Let the people that work with them shine, because then we all shine.

KARL PERAZZO:

He could do seminars on music that you would not believe. He could tell you who’s who, where they came from, how it’s played, and what it means. From Muddy Waters to Patato Valdés, amazing.

JIM DONOVAN:

He’s like a living library.

KARL PERAZZO:

Just a supreme student, who is now Grand Master Yoda.

JIM DONOVAN:

You guys have this piece. So something that you and Raul and Sheila E. and Alex Acuña did, that “Another Day in the Park” you did a few years ago. I noticed that zone that you’re talking about occurring in that piece. I was watching it on YouTube the other day. How did that come about?

KARL PERAZZO:

Well, that’s a piece that I wrote.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, cool.

KARL PERAZZO:

That Raul and I recorded. We were asked to do the Modern Drummer Festival. Alex Acuña is another inspiration of mine. I couldn’t believe that they put this together of Raul and I, and Sheila E. and Alex Acuña. We didn’t have time to rehearse. So I remember, they were already there and I was flying in from somewhere. Right after, I had to fly out again. I just came in and I said, “I really want to do this piece.” You know, I think we only played one song, and it was a standing ovation. I remember being so emotional. It was unbelievable.

JIM DONOVAN:

Wow. Why do you think that was?

KARL PERAZZO:

You know, if you step outside yourself sometimes Jim, you see where you came from, who you wanted to be, what you wanted to be. And now you’re surrounded by greatness and your teachers, and you’re sitting at the same table now with people that you dreamed of being. And here I am, right there, just right there next… you know, I couldn’t even look that way, man. I was like, holy moly.

And you know, if you see… Every once in a while, I look at that footage, and I see their faces, and it was about everyone there being the same person, but yet proud of each other. And doing something that we just let happen, and it became magic. And there was nothing else to play after. We just got up and left.

JIM DONOVAN:

“Let’s go have dinner. That was plenty.”

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. I think if you go back today to that venue, you’d still hear the applause. We knew it was beyond drumming, and it was beyond hey, look what I can do, and chops. It was pure emotion. To see what Alex Acuña did, man. Just the touch. I was like, I can’t believe what I’m seeing, or being a part of.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

Running back to the airport, and then jumping on a plane to go and do something else. I have to tell you that I left everything there. I left everything there, Jim. I left everything on that stage.

And it was an offering. It was the best of all my peers there. I don’t remember to this day, the flight or where I was going or what I was going to do. I just passed out. Like a shaman…

JIM DONOVAN:

You spent the whole thing.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, spiritually cleansing.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah. Yeah, I’ve been to a lot of festivals like that. Sometimes it can be a chops fest. But when you all were playing, it felt like an expression of your friendships together. It felt like a genuine care and love for each other, while all playing at a ridiculously high level. It was relaxed, yet furious. I’m going to include the link for that video in my show notes so that listeners can go and see that, because it is a very, very special moment.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Definitely, for me too.

JIM DONOVAN:

Can you tell us anything about that Purple Rain time? Did you record with Prince, or was it just performance?

KARL PERAZZO:

Mostly performance. You know, maybe we’d do some recording after. But I don’t know what ever happened to any of that. I recorded with Sheila, obviously. Yeah, it’s another important time in my life to see a true master. He was way ahead of his time.

You know, a lot of cats just hear the music, man. They understand that this dude is super bad, right? But to see the innovation, to see how he goes about doing it, to see the hours that he puts into it to understand that he knew where to be on the stage at every moment. He knew how the lights should look, how it should sound. He would talk about your approach to instruments. He wanted me to play the cymbal real light, but the snare really hard. And he would say it’s sexy that way.

JIM DONOVAN:

And he would know.

KARL PERAZZO:

It was a thing about light on one hand, heavy on the other. Which is like almost off balance, but it wasn’t.

JIM DONOVAN:

He had such a granular vision of all the little pieces, it sounds like.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, yeah. If you didn’t get it, he would come and play it and show you. Yeah. And you’re like, “What?” You know like, “Oh my God, what did I just hear?” He was just a master.

JIM DONOVAN:

I’ve always appreciated him, but that appreciation just keeps getting deeper and deeper. The touring band, those shows were among the very best. What kinds of direction, if any, did he give to you when you’re performing?

KARL PERAZZO:

I think he talked to you mostly through his instrument. He would inspire you. His playing was such that once he started like Carlos, the band sounds one way, but when they both start to play with their band, all of a sudden it’s 5 to 10 notches higher… all of a sudden. And you’re like, “Wow!” It’s like, “Holy moly!” So they have that ability to really drive the Ferrari. It’s like, “Oh, that’s what 700 horsepower feels like!” This guy knows how to drive the car. You know? I think that’s more the communication.

JIM DONOVAN:

I see.

KARL PERAZZO:

Prince would say, “Play this part. Play this part.” Or, “Approach it this way.” When he got in on it, you realize, oh my.

JIM DONOVAN:

Almost like his vibration when he plugged into what was happening, almost like tagged you and everybody went up together in that, whatever that vibration was during the performance.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, yeah. Yeah, for sure. For sure. He just made it really powerful. You wanted to play.

JIM DONOVAN:

What an incredible experience to have. You’ve played with so many legendary people for extended periods of time, so you get to see the inner workings of backstage, behind the scenes. Maybe you see some of their preparation. Maybe you see the bad nights and the good nights, and all the in-between nights. It’s a privileged position. What a blessing you have there.

KARL PERAZZO:

One thing I never did though, Jim. I never go with the intent to look for the good nights or the bad nights. I just allow myself to fly with my surrounding. You know, if you come off the stage and say well you know, we didn’t have that good of a night, and I can tell you that. You start to get hung up on what really you sound like. I think even if a band had a bad night, 95 percent of the people don’t hear what you hear. Even if that was true on a bad night, we can hang with any band in the world. Yeah, you’d be pimp-slapped to death, in a spiritual way.

JIM DONOVAN:

In a completely spiritual way.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

It’s interesting, because there’s one particular group of nights I remember when Carlos had asked Rusted Root to come up and play “Exodus” with you guys on our first tour together.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

I don’t know if you have a recollection of this, and I didn’t know he was going to do it, but in the middle of “Exodus,” he comes up-

KARL PERAZZO:

I remember.

JIM DONOVAN:

He points to me to take a solo, and I attempt this. At the time, I wasn’t really much of a soloist. I was playing Horacio’s kit, and I’m playing all his different drums. He has like a billion drums. And I do this sort of triplet roll thing that I think is fancy because I’m trying to impress people, because I don’t know what else to do. Then I get lost and I can’t find beat one. I don’t know if you remember this, but I looked over at you. Do you remember this? You’re trying to show me… here’s one, here it is.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

I couldn’t grab it, even though I saw you giving it to me.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. But it’s okay, man. Because you know, sometimes you got to lose yourself to find yourself. It’s not about being lost. It’s almost like being in a place that people really want to get to. Whether you know, there’s a lot of jazz cats, man. They play the outside stuff. It was rad. They sound lost. You’re just trying to catch… It turns out to be your loss. I’ve seen a great thing the other day with Vinnie Colaiuta, man.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, my.

KARL PERAZZO:

He has this beautiful pose. The caption says… You know, I don’t always play one, but when I do, you’ll realize how lost you are.

JIM DONOVAN:

Pretty much sums up that night.

KARL PERAZZO:

Totally, really, bro. I was like, “Oh man. That’s the best!” Hey listen, that’s the one thing that you remember. But the real thing you remember is how much fun we had.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. The lost part of it is the true teachings of what made you transform to say, “Hey, there’s more of me that has to come out.” Right?

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah. That was the whole thing. Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

You never got lost again.

JIM DONOVAN:

Well it was wild, because Carlos saw me the next day at catering.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

And he said, “So, that was a rough one last night. Huh, man?” I said, “Yeah.” And I started to apologize. He’s like, “Yeah, be quiet. We’re going to try that again tonight, right?” So he gave me a chance the very next night. He sought me out to find me, let me take another chance at the thing. Then every night after that for the rest of the tour, he’s pointing at me and pointing at me. Dude, it took me multiple shows—probably six, seven, eight shows—until I got out of my head and out of that idea that I need to impress anybody. I just needed to play and breathe and relax.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

He took me aside, and we talked about breathing. After that all happened, then I could finally play. It was just so moving that he allowed me space on a stage at his show in front of all his fans, to figure out my stuff. That still blows my mind to this day that he allowed that.

KARL PERAZZO:

It’s sharing the fruit.

JIM DONOVAN:

Very, very, very, very, very grateful for that experience and for just getting to hang out with you guys. I think about it quite a bit. I tell people about you.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. I often tell the story about the time we recorded on your album.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

In Mendocino, California. It was in that beautiful home.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yep.

KARL PERAZZO:

Studio home. Overlooking, you could see the beach, in front of the ocean. It’s an amazing time.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah. I remember, we sat back in the kitchen one of those days. I don’t remember what story you were telling. I just remember laughing so hard that I hurt for two days because I was laughing so hard.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. I’m known to tell stories.

JIM DONOVAN:

Any good stories about having challenges performing at all?

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, actually. July 26th of last year, I had to do a show after the death of my father.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, wow.

KARL PERAZZO:

Although if you really sat back and you let your emotions take over, it probably could have been harder. But through the support, Carlos, and the band, and the management, and all the techs.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah, a lot of good people.

KARL PERAZZO:

A lot of good people, yeah. And a lot of good love. Most of all, was the training that my father had prepared me. “You have a job to do, and you’re going to go and you’re going to do it. I don’t want you to take time off. That’s not what you do or who you are.” I used to hear my dad talk to me. He says, “You’re just going to play. You go out there and you play.” So it was inspiring to become the voice of my father through my instrument.

JIM DONOVAN:

Wow.

KARL PERAZZO:

Which I’ve always done. But this time, it was more in a spiritual level, because I was dealing with pain, loss, and sorrow.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

But I wanted to transform that to power, inspiration, and giving. If you change the words, you can become something else through the support of the band guys and the techs. And although it was tough, I had a great show. We had a great show. That show was amazing. It was at the Shoreline, and we were with the Doobie Brothers. What made it weird was my father was at all those concerts. A lot of stories, obviously. Yeah, my dad’s walking on streets of gold.

JIM DONOVAN:

He left you all that good stuff that you get to be.

KARL PERAZZO:

Oh, heck yeah, man.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

Times 10. Yeah. Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

I bet he was so proud of you.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Oh, yeah. My dad, that was a true question for my dad. My dad said… If you went to my dad and said, “Oh, you must be proud of your son.” Can you swear on this show, Jim?

JIM DONOVAN:

Absolutely.

KARL PERAZZO:

Some guy recognized me, recognized my dad as my dad. My dad’s listening to this guy, looking at him. Then the guy turns in 100 percent direction to my dad and says, “You must be very proud of your son and all his accomplishments, and what he’s done.” He goes, “Hey, hey, hey. Let me stop you right there, fella.” That was his thing… “fella.” He goes, “I would be proud of my son if he was shoveling shit.” He said, “That’s my son, for Christ’s sake.”

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, man. I wish I would have got to meet him. I love that guy already.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

Wow.

KARL PERAZZO:

He stopped the dude dead in his tracks. The guy said, “Oh okay, yeah. No, I get it.”

JIM DONOVAN:

Yes, sir.

KARL PERAZZO:

No, man. Give me a break.

JIM DONOVAN:

That’s my son.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Yeah. First and foremost. The rest of him is just, you know,… He would follow things up. The rest of him is lucky, because it was a lucky shot in the dark. You know?

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh Karl, man. It’s so good to get to reconnect with you like this.

KARL PERAZZO:

Thank you, Jim. I appreciate you having me.

JIM DONOVAN:

Hey, I’m wondering. I saw that you’ve got a new business on Instagram, making some really beautiful jewelry. You want to tell us about that?

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Yeah. You know, I had a dream. I was like oh you know, just all these patterns just came to me. To tap into maybe another creative side. You know?

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

Although I design and assemble, I am not a jeweler. I do create in tying and knots and braiding and viking weaving. But mostly, just inspired to assemble my own jewelry and then design my own how I see. And people just started asking for it. The Doobie Brothers, I made 25 lanyards. I braid and kind of trick out with paracording. Then I make kind of like that rock-and-roll wear, if you want to call it that, using… most of the stuff is silver now. I started not knowing any of this, but started with more costume jewelry. Using real triple-A, grade-A stones. Yeah, people like it.

JIM DONOVAN:

It’s stunning. I looked at it. I’m like, “What is this?” I went through some of your posts on Instagram. I’m like, “Oh my God, he’s making this stuff.” I thought, “What a great thing to do for creativity,” because it’s using a completely different part of your whole brain and your hands, and the way that you have to think about that. Maybe they’re in the same ballpark as the creation of music, but it’s just different enough that I just love that you’re expressing that way. I think it’s a beautiful thing.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, thank you. I pretty much do it when I feel creative. Although, I still need to know the marketing and all that stuff that goes… you know.

JIM DONOVAN:

Right.

KARL PERAZZO:

I’ve gotten a lot of support. I’ve really gotten a lot of support.

JIM DONOVAN:

I’m going to include your Instagram in the show notes. If somebody wants, they can go on your Instagram page.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, it’s Karl. Karl, K-A-R-L-P. And then wear, like clothing, W-E-A-R.

JIM DONOVAN:

Got it. I’ll definitely include that in the show notes so you can find it as well. If somebody wants to get something, how do they go about doing that?

KARL PERAZZO:

They can DM me, direct message me. If I have that piece in stock, then we can… Everyone’s different, all wrist sizes are different. Or I can create something for that person.

JIM DONOVAN:

Excellent. Excellent. I wouldn’t be surprised if you get some of those.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah.

KARL PERAZZO:

I’m open to creating. I’ll be posting some of the new stuff that I’m doing. I’m doing some leather pieces now.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, awesome. For the podcast, I’ll be putting up a lot of social posts. I’ll make sure I include your address in there so that people can come and find you right away there too.

KARL PERAZZO:

They can direct message me too, through my percussion one. That’s Karl P. Perc. That’s Karl, K-A-R-L. And P. Then Perc, as in percussion, P-E-R-C.

JIM DONOVAN:

Got it. We’ll put both on there.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. Thank you, Jim. I appreciate it.

JIM DONOVAN:

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. So you’re off to a show tonight in Las Vegas?

KARL PERAZZO:

We’re off, we have a show tonight.

JIM DONOVAN:

Beautiful. Hey, well you tell everybody I said hi.

KARL PERAZZO:

I sure will.

JIM DONOVAN:

I’m going to try to get out there and see you guys here before long.

KARL PERAZZO:

You’re more than welcome.

JIM DONOVAN:

That would be a whole lot of fun.

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah. And thank you for having me on your show, I appreciate it.

JIM DONOVAN:

Yeah. It’s my pleasure. Really, I’m so glad just to get to reconnect. Thank you, again.

KARL PERAZZO:

Thank you for keeping music alive, man.

JIM DONOVAN:

That’s it. That’s it. That’s all we got here, right?

KARL PERAZZO:

Yeah, that’s right.

JIM DONOVAN:

Well, that’s it for today. I appreciate you tuning in. Remember to come see us on our social media channels. On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Just search “Jim Donovan Sound Health.”

TIMESTAMPS:

 

2:49: Karl Perazzo and Jim Donovan talk about how accessing and learning music has changed

6:22: Karl’s early musical life playing with his parent’s band

8:10: The musical wisdom of Karl’s mother

12:48: Karl’s relationship to the drums

13:39: Jim and Karl talk about how important it is to have the willingness to play a support role and complement your surroundings

16:07:  Jim and Karl talk about being present onstage and the true responsibility of the performer

18:56: Karl recounts his audition for the Santana Band

25:24: Jim and Karl touch on the magic that is Carlos Santana

28:46: Karl on working with legendary producer Rick Rubin

32:36: Jim and Karl talk about what happens in “the zone”

40:13: Karl on performing with Prince on the Purple Rain tour

43:52: Karl offers Jim a new perspective about his “failure” on stage with Santana

47:49:Karl shares a moving story about playing a show while grieving his father’s death

51:03: Exciting news about Karl’s new creative venture

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