Nashville music legend was born to drum - WSMV News 4

Nashville music legend was born to drum

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Chester Thompson is an adjunct professor at Belmont University. (WSMV) Chester Thompson is an adjunct professor at Belmont University. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

It takes a certain coolness to say you're the drummer in a band.

Nashville's Chester Thompson has been making that happen for more than 50 years, and you might have been listening to him and never knew it.

When Chester sits down to drum, other musicians come running to see and hear a legend. Part of his cool is that to him, it's no big deal.

In the world of music, Bruce Springsteen was born to run, while Chester was born to drum.

The eight-minute solo was never his thing.

"Having a good rhythm or good, solid groove is much more important," Chester said.

He's been grooving since the second grade.

"I think I was probably 8 when I knew I had to play drums," Chester said. "And it's just as much fun today as it was then."

For years, he played for Phil Collins, and he wrote the four-second lick we all wait for.

"It's the most famous drum lick in the world," Chester said.

Music careers come with choices. Inside Nashville's Fork's Drum Closet, they prove it. Tambourine, cymbals or more cowbell could be your path.

The drum is what did it for Chester.

"You get an energy from the crowd, but I tend to play with my eyes closed, so in the beginning of the show I see them, but not much after that ... something in here, it's the best," Chester said.

After 58 years, the beat goes on. Chester now teaches the future generation of drummers as an adjunct professor at Belmont University.

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