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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GUITAR CENTER CROWNS DONALD MARPLE OF KEYSER,
DRUM-OFF GRAND CHAMPION
— Angels & Airwaves, Stephen Perkins, “Go Get A Late
Pass!!!” featuring ?uestlove & Nikka Costa, Street Drum Corps,
Adrian Young, Brooks Wackerman, Shannon Leto, John Sawicki, and Byron
McMackin also Participated —
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, January 14, 2008 –
Donald Marple of Keyser, WV was crowned the Guitar Center Drum-Off Grand
Champion this past Saturday at the Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood, CA.
Playing in front of a packed house, 20-year-old Marple proved he had
the skills to be the nation’s greatest undiscovered drummer. He
also walked away with a prize package that included a Toyota FJ Cruiser,
$10,000 cash, a feature in a Guitar Center ad campaign, a $2,500 Levi’s
shopping spree, a custom designed drum kit, a Roland TD20 electronic
drum-set, a set of cymbals custom printed with the winner’s signature,
a one year drum, cymbal, stick and head endorsement deal, and a write-up
in Modern Drummer magazine valued at more than $40,000.
After four rounds of intense competition, Marple battled
it out with Paul Stoot of Everett, WA, Sherman Arnold of Aurora, CO,
and Ivan Garcia from Oglethorpe, GA, to win the title of Drum-Off Grand
Champion. Performing a five minute drum solo, Marple impressed the likes
of Thomas Lang, Joey Castillo of Queens of the Stone Age, Vinny Appice
of Black Sabbath, Ray Luzier of Army of Anyone and Korn, Kenny Aronoff,
Alan White of Yes, drummer for Rob Zombie John Tempesta, Steve Smith
of Journey and David Garibaldi of Tower of Power, who had the tough
job of selecting the winner among the four outstanding Drum-Off finalists.
The incredible night, hosted by Stephen Perkins of Jane’s
Addiction, featured performances by the four Drum-Off finalists as well
as Angels & Airwaves, “Go Get A Late Pass!!!” featuring
?uestlove of The Roots and Nikka Costa, as well as Street Drum Corps
with special guests Adrian Young of No Doubt, Brooks Wackerman of Bad
Religion, Shannon Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars, John Sawicki of Stomp
and Byron McMackin of Pennywise. Steve Smith of Journey and Dave Garibaldi
were presented with the Drum Legends Award by Alan White. Also attending
the event were Kirsten Dunst, Matt Dallas and Josh Groban, among many
Drummers across the country began competing this past
September at Guitar Center stores. Beginning with preliminaries in over
213 Guitar Center stores, drummers then advanced on from store preliminaries
to store finals. Winners of store finals then went on to compete at
district finals at 24 Guitar Center stores nationwide for the chance
to advance on to four regional competitions with the winner of each
of these regions advancing on to compete, this past Saturday, to be
crowned the Drum-Off Grand Champion.
“Tonight marked a life changing experience for four
incredible drummers from across the country,” said Dustin Hinz,
Manager Entanglement Marketing, Guitar Center. Guitar Center is proud
to provide these amazing drummers with the opportunity to further their
careers through showcasing their talent in front of drum legends, industry
VIPs and celebrities. Guitar Center’s Drum-Off represents the
core essence of our brand; we are a vehicle to achieve dreams.
“I am so in awe; this has been such a wonderful
experience, and I am thankful for the opportunity that Guitar Center
has provided me” said Marple. “I have met new friends, my
idols, and this has changed me as a person. It has opened my eyes to
a whole new world of drumming. I have no idea where this contest will
take me now, but I do know that I want to play the drums for the rest
of my life.”
Born and raised in Keyser, WV, 20-year-old Marple began
playing the drums at the age of three at his former church, Elk Garden
Assembly of God. A high school percussion instructor by day, Marple
perfects his talents on the drums in a local Christian rock band, High
Pressure. Having never had a drum lesson in his life, Marple’s
practice and persistence has paid off with him being crowned Guitar
Center’s Drum-Off Grand Champion.
Previous Drum-Off winners have gone on to enjoy successful
music careers, record albums and tour the world with noteworthy artists.
Drum-Off Champion 2002, Cora Coleman, is currently performing with legendary
recording artist Prince. Eric Moore II, Drum-Off 2003 Champion, has
also achieved notoriety by performing with psychedelic funk band Sly
and the Family Stone as well as singer Bobby Brown.
Partners for Drum-Off 2007 include: Levi’s, DW,
Evans, Vic Firth, Remo, Zildjian, Pearl, Roland, Sabian, Tama, Gretsch,
Pro·Mark, and Modern Drummer.
Photo File: Donald_Marple.JPG
Photo Caption: Guitar Center Drum-Off Grand Champion Donald Marple of
Keyser, WV gives his winning performance Saturday at the Music Box @
Fonda in Hollywood, CA. Photo By Robert Knight.
Photo File: Jay_Donnie_Perkins.JPG
Photo Caption: Shown Left to Right: Jay Wanamaker Executive Vice President,
General Merchandise Manager, Guitar Center; Drum-Off Champion Donald
Marple, and Host/Judge Stephen Perkins (Janes Addiction). Photo By Ryan
Photo File: AY_AW_Donnie_SP_BM_BW.JPG
Photo Caption: L to R: Adrian Young (No Doubt), Atom Willard (Angels
and Airwaves), Donnie Marple (Drum-Off Grand Champion), Stephen Perkins
(Janes Addiction), Byron McMackin (Pennywise), Brooks Wackerman (Bad
Religion). Photo By Ryan Hunter.
Photo File: Angels_Airwaves.JPG
Photo Caption: Angels and Airwaves performs at Guitar Center’s
Drum-Off 2008 Grand Championships at the Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood,
CA. Photo By Robert Knight.
About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the leading United States retailer of guitars, amplifiers,
percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment.
Our retail store subsidiary presently operates more than 200 Guitar
Center stores across the U.S. In addition, our Music & Arts division
operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale
and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and
students. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical
instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary,
Musician's Friend, Inc., and its catalog and Web site, www.musiciansfriend.com.
More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company's
Web site at www.guitarcenter.com.
The Guitar Center logo is a registered trademark of Guitar Center,
Inc. Other brand or product names may be trademarks of the respective
companies with which they are associated.