Top 5 Undiscovered Drummers in the Nation Set to Compete For Title of Drum-Off Champion, $25,000 Cash and More

Judges Include PETER ERSKINE (Steely Dan), TAYLOR HAWKINS (Foo Fighters), DREW HESTER (Joe Walsh), THOMAS LANG, JASON SUTTER (Chris Cornell), KENNY ARONOFF (John Mellencamp), JOHN TEMPESTA (The Cult), TONY ROYSTER JR. (Jay-Z), NISAN STEWART (Jamie Foxx / 50 Cent) and RAY LUZIER (Korn)

January 8, 2010 - The Wiltern - Los Angeles

December 22, 2009 - Westlake Village, CA – Guitar Center today announced the top five finalists of Drum-Off 2009, the world’s largest and longest running search to find the nation’s top undiscovered drummer. These five finalists will travel to Los Angeles, where they will compete in front of a star-studded capacity crowd at the Wiltern on January 8, 2010. One talented drummer will win a prize package worth more than $40,000 and the title of “Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Champion,” making them the nation’s top undiscovered drummer.

The five drummers battling for Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Championship crown are:
Troy Molsberry (Carlsbad, CA)
Eugine McBride (Flint, MI)
Stanley Jamal Hampton (Smithtown, NY)
Ramon Sampson (Cordova, TN)
Michael McGrath (Henderson, NV)

Beating out more than 4,000 other drummers in several rounds of local and regional competitions over the past several months, the five finalists will now face the final round of competition judged by a panel of highly accomplished drum celebrities including Peter Erskine (Steely Dan), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Drew Hester (Foo Fighters / Joe Walsh), Thomas Lang, Jason Sutter (Chris Cornell), Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp / Sessions Legend), John Tempesta (The Cult), Tony Royster Jr. (Jay-Z), Nisan Stewart (Jamie Foxx / 50 Cent) and Ray Luzier (Korn).

The evening includes an A-list line-up of guest performances, including “Bezerk” – an exclusive project presented by Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe) and the Street Drum Corps’ Frank Zummo, featuring Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), José Pasillas (Incubus), Abe Cunningham (Deftones), DJ Aero, Sully Erna (Godsmack), Jay Weinberg, BANG! and others to be announced. Hosted by Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), this historic evening will also include a very special tribute to the legendary John Bonham by Jason Bonham, along with an exclusive collaborative performance by Danny Carey (Tool) and Brann Dailor (Mastodon).

Guitar Center will also induct drum icons Billy Cobham and John Bonham into Guitar Center’s Drum Legends as part of the evening’s festivities.



Four of the sexiest singer-dancers are off on a rock-and-sex-fueled journey through the history of rock music thanks to their legendary guru Matt Sorum, drummer of Velvet Revolver, The Cult and Guns ’N’ Roses fame.
Matt’s love match with lead singer Ace Harper led to the creation of the Darling Stilettos, who track rock from the early days of the first British invasion to punk and the classic rock through the 1970s and ’80s. Matt showcases the glamour girls tonight and tomorrow in free concerts at the Palms.
The Darling Stilettos also will perform in early January at the Las Vegas Hilton in another showcase.

“We’re looking for a regular home here in Vegas,” Matt told me yesterday. “The Rock ’n’ Roll A Go Go show is a natural for Las Vegas. It belongs here. People will make comparisons with the Pussycat Dolls, obviously, but we’re a full-blown, way-out-there rock ’n’ roll show with a story. The girls sing, they dance, and there are costume changes throughout the show. I have my drums, and we have a guitarist to accompany them.”
Palms Entertainment Vice President Michael Greco confirmed that the showcase is an audition to see if the show will work at one of the Palms’ venues. He said: “We’re looking hard to see if this will work in one of our nightclub venues or in another room. Matt Goss was off this weekend from his lounge, so we thought this was the perfect time for the showcase. To stop any rumors, let me say Matt is signed with us to continue on in his lounge.
“We’re excited to have Matt (Sorum), who is such a big name in music, showcase his new project here at the Palms. We’ve always brought the most cutting-edge entertainment to the city and look forward to having our guests out for a weekend of great rock and roll.”

Brad Whitford, Matt Sorum, Slash and Billy Gibbons arrive at Jet in The Mirage.

Both tonight and tomorrow’s shows will start at 11 p.m. after Lady Gaga’s show this evening and World Extreme Cagefighting 45 tomorrow. The buzz is that Lady Gaga and other surprise celebrity guests will be at the debut shows.

Ace, who founded the Darling Stilettos, has been dating Matt for nearly five years. “We’re great together,” Matt told me. “I really wanted to support her vision because it’s so solid. She’s a great singer and dancer, so to accompany her with classic rock is a real thrill. They put on a hot, sexy, out-of-control, full rock show that will knock you on your ass. It’s a fully choreographed production. I have to stay on them to keep them in good shape for it. This is all disciplined and not the aftermath of a drunken party.”

The Stilettos also comprise rocker chicks Gina, Lindsey and Allie. “They’ve got all the elements of rock,” Matt continued. “Rebellion, swagger and talent, so the edgy, defiant sounds have been perfected. Now add in the strong dose of sexuality, and that adds an essential and long overdue element. They’re bringing rock back into the female world inspired by Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde. They’re telling a whole new generation of young women that it’s OK to rock and feel sexy simultaneously.”

Matt Sorum and Ace Harper attend Slash's birthday cocktail party at Rhumbar inside The Mirage. Photo: Denise Truscello/WireImage

Matt admitted that he and Ace have talked about their longtime relationship. “We’re fully committed. I couldn’t find anyone better. So next year may well be the year we actually get married. We’ve talked about it, and we’re both ready for that.
“Hey, Robin, if you get a minister’s license, you could marry us right here in Vegas! Now that would be a blast. This is the city of weddings for rockers! And think of the rock and roll party afterward.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Tyler, me and Ace

Found some shots of Steven tyler, me and Ace

Holloween w Darling Stilettos

Darling Stilettos at Keyclub Holloween

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Sammy Hagars BDay Bash

Just rocked The Cabo Wabo for Sammy Hagars Bday. Awesome crowd as usual. Mike Anthony on bass what a fuckin bass player. Good times all around. Met Criss Angel super cool dude man. Ace my girl sang RNR with Sam and killed it. Great time all around Rock on Sammy
Matt Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile