Friday, September 10, 2010

Max Mariash and WFL Drums

The pictured ad is courtesy of Scott Mariash, Max's son. Max Mariash endorsed Ludwig Drums from 1950 to 1956. This ad is from somewhere in that period. I was simply thrilled to see it, for I didn't even know it existed. Max can be seen just below Buddy Rich and right next to Cozy Cole---select company indeed.

I studied with Max for 6 years. To those of you who have visited my site, my feelings about Max are no secret. I was lucky to have met him, but perhaps, even more importantly, I was lucky that he kept me on as a student. At first, I was a terrible student--mad at the world and constantly battling with my father about each and every little thing. My father was, and still is, a very conservative man. He's a World War 2 survivor, a veteran of the Guadalcanal campaign. For him, being a musician, and a drummer too boot, was simply taboo.

Max occupied the opposite pole of my father. Max was a lifelong musician, who know many famous players and associated with them. He was constantly talking about drums and drumming. He was no way dogmatic in his teaching philosophy. But he would constantly push me and he pushed me a lot. His favorite word was "invent". It's written all over my lessons. I remember one time in particular when Max told me to " take out my dick and hit the snare drum if that was the effect I was looking for". Needless to say, I turned beet red. I never forgot that. I also never tried it, but he had made his point.

Max charged me 5.00 a lesson. At first the lessons were 1/2 hour. Then they went to 45 minutes. Then 1 hour. We would go through the rudiments and then listen to records and Max would dissect what was going on. It was a wonderful experience.

Max would always tell me, "You'll get out of this, what you put into it." No truer words were ever spoken. I'm still pushing myself with those words ringing in my ears.


  1. I am so glad to read that you had a fantastic experience with Max Mariash. He was my great grandfather, and I never got to meet him. But I have heard so many stories about how wonderful of a man he was! Thanks for adding to the list! :)

  2. I just stumbled upon this and I'm so happy I did! I was blessed to have Max as my teacher for 3 years and he had such an impact on me as a drummer and a young man (in high school). Max had class, patience, passion, wisdom, humor and most of all he truly cared about the development of his students. What a wonderful man and drummer and teacher. He even took me to see Buddy Rich one time. Buddy was not friendly to Max and Max told me they had a falling out once Max discovered Buddy was using drugs to enhance his performance! Max also had a sweet wife that would sit and talk with my Mom while I had my lesson. What awesome people! The world need more people like Max and his wife.