How many drum sticks does it take to really Rock?

facebooktwitterlinkedinby featherRob YoungbergI was fortunate enough to check out the performance of Baby Spiders, a New York City rock trio comprised of  my buddy  Rob Youngberg, on drums, along with Tony Zajkowksi on guitar and vocals, both formerly with Lotion  and  Albert Kelly, formerly of the Apathetix, on bass and keyboards. Cream meets early Pink Floyd late at night in a turkish bathhouse. All these guys were great! But of special interest to me was Rob on drums.

Listening to Rob “pound” his drums to me was reminiscent of the great legendary drummer from Cream, Ginger Baker. I just never, ever saw or heard anyone playing drums with such intensity, and joy. After breaking 6 drum sticks from the share energy of his performance, I was screaming for more.

The members of Lotion (band), including Rob,  ruled the Lower East Side in the 90’s.According to the Wall Street Journal 2012 article,  here’s the scoop.

The members of Lotion, the can’t-miss band that ruled the Lower East Side in the early ’90s, gathered for beer and pierogies at Veselka on Tuesday evening and considered a question commonly posed by their devoted fans: Why didn’t this group, with its catchy melodies, insightful and funny lyrics, and mastery of distorted guitar, make it big?

The Village Voice voted Lotion’s debut album, “Full Isaac,” the best of 1994. They made a cameo on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” toured with Frank Black and Pavement, and Taco Bell bought the rights to “Tear,” with its supercharged guitar riffs, for a compilation CD. Thomas Pynchon wrote the liner notes to the group’s follow-up album, “Nobody’s Cool.” The band improved with each album, each song tighter and more addictive than the last. And then they disappeared.

“At the time we were like, ‘These boy bands just killed everything!'” said bass player Bill Ferguson, who is 47 years old. (The Backstreet Boys released their first album in 1996.) “Looking back, we definitely could have worked harder. I never f— practiced bass, ever.”

Drummer Rob Youngberg, who is also 47, responded: “But then we would have lost the Lotion sound! ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m sure I can figure it out by looking at the other three guys.'”

Mr. Ferguson suggested the band might have missed an opportunity with the radio-friendly song “Blind for Now,” which never caught on: “We did use the verb ‘fluoresce’ in the chorus.”

After a brief debate, Jim Ferguson, 43, Bill’s younger brother and the lead guitarist, turned the definitive phrase: Lotion’s music was “too weird for pop, too pop for cool.”

If you want to check Baby Spiders out, you ‘ll have to wait. Their current keyboard player Albert Kelly is moving on. But fear not Baby Spider fans, I’m told that behind the black curtain, they already have plans to bring on another Spider real soon.

Check out their facebook page to for their next gig. You’ll be glad you did.



Rob Youngberg, left, and Jim Ferguson, of Lotion, rehearse at 6/8 Studios for this weekend’s shows.Adrian Fussell for The Wall Street Journal

Lotion’s Tony Zajkowski and Bill Ferguson rehearse at 6/8 Studios. Adrian Fussell for The Wall Street Journal

The band in 1994. Steve Eichner/WireImage/Getty Images

Drummer Rob Youngberg, who is also 47, responded: “But then we would have lost the Lotion sound! ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m sure I can figure it out by looking at the other three guys.'”

. Here’s what Wikipeida says.


Lotion formed in New York City’s East Village and released two seven-inch singles—”Head” and “Tear“—on Kokopop before releasing their debut album—Full Isaac—through spinArt Records in 1994. The album received album of the year from The Village Voice.[1]

To promote the release of Full Isaac, Lotion toured America and Europe with Pavement, Throwing Muses, and Mercury Rev. In 1995, the band released a self-titled EP on Big Cat Records, with a second EP—The Agnew Funeral E.P.—recorded the next year. In 1996, Lotion released their second album—Nobody’s Cool—, withliner notes by Thomas Pynchon.

The Telephone Album followed in 1998. During the promotion for this album, the band made an appearance during an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and toured the US with Frank Black and the Catholics.[1]

In 2001, Lotion announced that they were officially on hiatus while they pursued their own interests.[1] Soon after, they announced that they had decided to part ways. Tony Zajkowski has gone on to play bass and sing for Schizo Fun Addict and has joined with former Lotion band-mate Rob Youngberg to form Honeycomb.[2]


Written by Jaimie Blackman

Jaimie Blackman

Jaimie Blackman — a former music educator & retailer— is a Certified Wealth Strategist & Succession Planner. Jaimie helps business owners maximize the value of their company through education & coaching. He is a frequent speaker at the National Association of Music Merchants, (NAMM) Idea Center and has spoken at Yamaha’s succession advantage.

As a financial literacy educator he has taught at New York University and has lectured at the 92nd Street Y, Marymount Manhattan College and CUNY.

His column is published in The Music & Sound Retailer and contributes to NAMM U online, as well as other industry trade magazines.

Jaimie is CEO of Jaimie Blackman & Company, President of BH Wealth Management, and Creator of MoneyCapsules® and the Sound of Money®.

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The purpose of this post is to educate. Our content should not be construed as advice. If legal, tax or other advice is required by the readers, professional advice should be sought.

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