Outside of dentistry I have a passion for music and playing the drums.
I was first inspired to pick up the drumsticks at the age of 11 in my final year of primary school.
A drummer who played for the band Status Quo came to our school for an open day with the view to inspire children to get into music, especially percussion.
It did exactly that for me – INSPIRE.
When I saw what this man could do with a drum kit I knew at that point I just wanted to play the drums. So, when I joined High School I enrolled in private drum lessons. I carried these lessons on for my entire time at high school but just felt I wasn’t learning enough. It was difficult to make real progress in half an hour lessons once a week with 3 additional people also taking part.
When I was 16 years old I bought my first drum kit with money that I had saved from newspaper rounds, weekend jobs… and a little help from ‘the bank of mum and dad’ (drum kits and cymbals don’t come cheap!)
I then found myself a great drum teacher through my local musical instrument shop. He taught me so much about technique and helped fuel my passion for playing the drums even more. Going to see him play in his bands was always so inspiring and even more so when he would come to my house for lessons and play on my drum kit. He really made my own drums sound amazing and I would sit there in absolute awe.
Throughout my teenage years, I would play drums with friends, especially those that had learned to play the guitar and who were inspired by similar music to me.
There was no shortage of people that played guitar, not so many drummers. LUCKY FOR ME! We made a lot of noise, much to the annoyance of many neighbours, but we were having fun.
My first band
Then, when I was 19 years old I joined my first band with a group of boys that I found through my local music shop’s ‘Musicians Wanted’ page. We practised in the guitarist’s garage for a few months and put a few songs together in readiness to find our first gig to play in front of people.
This was what I really wanted to do with playing the drums; play in a band in front of as many people as I could.
My first gig playing in front of people was at a small pub supporting a local band. There was a space in the pub where the bands played and it was amply filled with people there to see the local band play. I was surprisingly not very nervous, I remember feeling more excitement, anticipation and just wanting to get up and play! We only played 3 songs that we had written ourselves so the time on stage was very short.
However, after each song, we received applause and cheering. It was an amazing buzz and thrill to feel.
This was just the beginning and it inspired me to want to do more!
Since those first years of playing the drums and playing live music, I have had many highs and enjoyment out of my playing. I am proud to say that I have done many things with my music and playing drums.
I have recorded at many professional studios, played live and had interviews on local radio stations, I have had my music played on BBC radio, recorded music videos had professional photoshoots, played festivals, pubs, clubs and some great venues alongside some bands that have toured with some big-name artists, played in front of large and not so large crowds too.
My passion for music and playing the drums lives on over 20 years later, even though now I may not have as much time as I once had.
Having my own family with a toddler, other hobbies and work commitments tend to make it a challenge to juggle but I know that my music and drumming passion will never go away and I hope that I can inspire my son to do something similar as soon as he can hold a pair of drumsticks.
From the blog
A little about me and my passion outside of dentistry My name is Tony Atkins. I began a fantastic life in Dentistry at the tender age of 16 in the West End of London. As a young apprentice, I was fascinated by literally everything that went into the fabrication of...