Rick Alegria / ミュージシャン・ドラマー “アーティストになるために必要なのは、溺れるように夢中になること”

カーペンターズの楽曲「We’ve Only Just Begun」や2011年のDaft Pankの「Touch」などを作曲し、グラミー賞に何度も輝いた70年代のスター、ポール・ウィリアムの専属ドラマーとして、30年以上共演されているリック・アレグリアさんにお話を聞きました。(英訳 Paul Johnson and Yuko Johnson)

We are interviewing Rick Alegria who was for 30 years the exclusive drummer for the 70’s star and Grammy award winning Paul Williams who wrote the famous Carpenters song “We’ve only just begun” and the “Touch” by Daft Punk in 2011.

ドラムを始めたきっかけ How did you become a drummer?


I’ve always liked music and did a little in school but didn’t get serious about it until forming a band at 14. Up until then I never really formally learned music. Originally I was doing the vocals in the band but there was no drummer so I said I would do the drums and that was where it all started. It seemed like I was the one who could play the best and that’s how it began. (LOL)When I started to play the drums I realized that I really enjoyed playing them.

その後プロのドラマーになった経緯 What was the process of you becoming a pro drummer?


I just kept doing what I was good at. Honestly, I never once intended to become a musician but as I continued doing what I loved and enjoyed, one day I realized I had become a musician. I couldn’t not play music and was really getting into it. To become an artist you need to immerse yourself in what you’re doing.

当時の様子を教えてください How was it back in those days?


When I was in my 20’s, the 70’s era music was a humongous thing. It was a great way to make money. I was driving around in a Mercedes Benz. It was like I was a big rock star!  Also, although it was illegal, I was playing in bars as well during my high school years as a pro drummer.


ポールの専属ドラマーになった経緯 What was the process in you becoming the exclusive drummer for Paul Williams?

1978年に、当時の歌姫だったマリア・マルダーが「Open Your Eyes」というアルバムの為にバンドを編成していたので、オーディションを受けてメンバーになりました。マリアと世界ツアーをするなかで、Asleep at the Wheelという、9つグラミーショーを獲得したバンドからスカウトを受けました。それから毎日のように演奏旅行が続き、世界各地いろんなところで演奏したのを覚えています。モーテルやバスに泊まりながら、各地を転々と回り、毎日毎日、クリスマスもドラムを演奏しました。2年半それが続いたとき、もうこれ以上毎日旅ばかりの日々には耐えられない、と思って。「自分がどこに向かっているのかわからないけど、ここではないことは確かだ」そう感じたので、人生で初めてバンドを辞めました。

Back in 1978,  Maria Muldaur who was a diva at the time had started auditions for her album “Open Your Eyes’  , I auditioned and got the spot. During a world tour with Maria Muldaur I was scouted by the 9 time grammy award winning band called Asleep At The Wheel. Everyday I remember, I was traveling and playing gigs all around the world. I was staying in motels and buses traveling all over playing. Even when Christmas came around I was drumming. As this continued for two and a half years of traveling full time everyday, I realized I couldn’t keep up with it. I felt “I don’t know where I am going but I am sure this isn’t it”, so for the first time in my life, I quit the band.

 After that I returned to San Jose and played with local bands, but from the bottom of my heart I knew there was something else big for me that I wanted to do. One day, I was recording with Paul’s music director Chris Caswell and he heard me playing. He told me that Paul’s drummer was taking some time off for a wedding and asked me to drum for him. Then, at the drop of a hat, they got me on a plane and I arrived in Toronto. Waiting for me was  a guy with a sign “Allegria” on it and a limousine for my ride. When I got to the rehearsal venue the atmosphere was very overwhelming and that huge hall had four orchestras. Right in the middle of our performance my drums were right beside Paul’s podium. (LOL) Paul at that time had written music for the Carpenters and was a big star.


After rehearsal I was immediately hired. Paul said “ Allegria who played tonight, I want him to always play for my band.”  Paul and I, I think really resonated. During our performances I felt a real special connection with him. This was one of best moments in my life. After that I have been drumming for him as a back band. Even now we still work together. It has been 30 years now.

たくさんの才能のある人々との出会い Meeting many people with talent.


In my life there has been one interesting thing. Just simply wanting to be a better drummer ,these kinds of things happen. It’s all about networking. People who see my performance say “You’re drumming is very good, do you want to play for us? 


”You’re drumming is very good” and that makes me feel like I am doing the right thing. Following my personal sense and working hard I feel has been the thing that continues to take me to the next level. But I want to do greater things. So I set the goal and once I reach it , I set another goal and keep going. Looking at it this way I feel I have been very lucky. I have never once thought I am the greatest drummer as I have seen countless others who drum much  better than I do.

自分よりすごい演奏を見ても、心が折れなかった理由 The reason why I don’t get down when i see others who are better than me


Somehow I am always moving forward. Maybe this is because I have a little ego, there are others better than myself but because of that I know if I practice more I have confidence I can get better. Plus, as far as myself I think I am always wanting to improve my drumming skills and always want to move up to the next level.

新しいことに挑戦する恐怖は?Do you have any fears when approaching new challenges?


 Of course I had. I was always nervous but when I succeeded that feeling was irreplaceable. Being nervous tells me that “it’s important.” When something is not important, I am not nervous. I want to do play well, and that is why I am nervous. Also because I am nervous I want to improve. So I always change my fears into energy for getting over things.

現在と今後の活動について From here on out


 More than playing with famous musicians, I am trying to focus on playing what is inside me. Currently my main focus is on collaborating with Bob Culbertson. Bob is a top class performer and plays a unique instrument called the “stick”. This instrument requires specific skills and although it looks similar to a guitar it is played by tapping the strings instead of plucking them making it sound much similar to a keyboard instrument. On the 22nd I will have a Jazz, Classic and other genre performance.

Rick AlegriaとBob Culbertsonによるコンサート。クラシックからジャズ、ラテンなど大人から子供まで楽しめる音楽を演奏予定。
2月22日 6PM – 9PM(無料)
Rick Alegria & Bob Culbertson  | www.stickmusic.com
San Pedro Square – 87 N San Pedro Street, San Jose, CA 95110


14歳よりドラムをはじめ、高校卒業頃よりプロのドラマーとして活躍を開始する。ロサンゼルスのThe Dick Grove School of Musicを卒業。Maria Muldaur, Asleep at the Wheel, Bo Diddleyなど著名なアーティストのドラムを務めた後、Paul Williamsの専属ドラマーを30年以上勤めている。現在はThe Harker School、Showcase Music Institute、Stanford Jazz Camp等でドラムを教えるかたわら、様々なジャンルのアーティストとのコンサート、又スタジオミューシャンとしても活躍している。(Began drums at 14. Started playing professionally at the end of High School. Graduated from Dick Groove School Of Music in Los Angeles. After playing drums for Maria Muldaur, Asleep At The Wheel, Bo Diddley and others, he became the exclusive drummer for Paul Williams for 30 years. Presently he is working with other artists as well as teaching at the Harker School, Showcase Music Institute and the Stanford Jazz Camp. He also works as a studio musician.)