HOMETOWN: Louisville, Ky.; moved to Augusta in 1988; now lives in Aiken
OCCUPATION: Communications director, South Carolina Bar Association
PLAYS: Pictured with five-piece, all-maple, Pacific drum kit. "I bought it last July; the set I had before that for about 10 years was a real beginner set, but this set really inspires me to play."
FIRST SHOW: "I started playing in a rock band in college called Tastes Like Chicken around 1993. Our first gig was at a frat party in Columbia. We didn't take it really seriously, though. I don't remember any of us being particularly nervous; it was just a good time, and a good way to meet girls."
PLAYED WITH: Tastes Like Chicken, 1993-98; Dispatch, September 2003 to present; Air Apparent, November 2004 to present; The Perpetual Change, January to present.
FIRST CONCERT: Chicago in Louisville, 1984 or '85, with his father. "They had a horn section, and a big band; they had this virtuoso reputation. It was kind of a harmless kind of genre, but it was fun anyway."
PERSONAL BEST: New Year's Eve 2005 with Air Apparent at Hotel Aiken. "We had a quartet with a trumpet. So much of jazz is improvisation; they don't have a beginning or an end, and it was just a lot of fun. I really enjoy playing the Hotel Aiken; it's always packed late at night, the crowd is very appreciative, and we can be really loud. We feel like we're hosting the party."
WORST SHOW: "At another frat party that Tastes Like Chicken played in Aiken, the frat was going to have a wet T-shirt contest in between our sets. They started pouring water and it started splashing on our equipment; so we packed up and left. They felt so bad, they paid us $100 for playing, like, two songs. That was nice, but it was just a bad scene."
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY BANDS PLAY FOR YOU, WHO WOULD THEY BE: "Dave Matthews Band, I think they're great; Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers; a lot of people don't really know them. They were big in the '50s during the jazz boom; Led Zeppelin, I never get sick of them; Guns N' Roses, I grew up in the '80s, and you got to love GN'R; they had something real about them; it was just good blues-based rock; Blood, Sweat & Tears; they're kind of old school and I never get sick of them."
IF MONEY WERE NO ISSUE, WHAT PROP OR STAGE EFFECT WOULD YOU USE IN YOUR SHOW? "I want one of those drum risers that Peter Criss had that goes way up in the air. I'm stuck behind all the other members of the band now. Smoke bombs too, you got to have those."
- Patrick Verel
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