So let me tell you about this kid Cobus Potgieter

Every now and again, I post videos of this guy drumming to current songs. I usually have some glib line about liking hot drummers (I mean, seriously, who doesn’t?).

I first saw a Cobus video about three or four years ago, when I was researching drumming techniques for A Wicked Little Rhythm. He was just a guy who’d posted a few videos of himself drumming, and gotten some popularity around YouTube. According to his YouTube site, he taught himself to play, and he just did it for the love of it. He wasn’t trying to get some big recording contract or land sponsors or anything like that. He just loved it, and you could see it in his videos.

I wrote to him somewhere, like on a message board or something, and said that I loved his videos and I was writing a book about a drummer, and he wrote back that it was cool, he’d love to read it one day, whatever. (All the nice things you say to an unpublished author writing a book.)

There’s a scene in A Wicked Little Rhythm that is based almost entirely around the concept of a guy playing drums along with a song on the radio. I wrote that after watching this guy’s videos.

Cobus doesn’t know me at all, and he probably wouldn’t recognize my name if you said it to him. (He might, just might, remember the chick who emailed him once about writing a book about a drummer. But not much more than that.) That book didn’t sell, but the one I wrote after it did. Maybe we’ll get back to the drums one day.

But anyway, I’m getting away from my story.

Cobus is just a kid who has worked really hard at something he loves. Really hard.

It took several years, but now he’s got all kinds of sponsors and I think a recording contract, and he’s finding success.

By working hard. At something he loves. He never wanted any more than that, and he didn’t give up.

I think there’s a lesson there, don’t you?