Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.


He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Friday, 05 April 2019 15:23

Day Job/Night Job: From Rock Star to Crash Star

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 The Baxters consisted of (from left) drummer Jim Keller, lead guitarist Martin Krohne and bass player Greg Scott. The Baxters consisted of (from left) drummer Jim Keller, lead guitarist Martin Krohne and bass player Greg Scott.


In the song “Takin' Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, the band offers their prescribed formula for rock star success: "Get a second-hand guitar, chances are you'll go far if you get in with the right bunch of fellows."


Things didn't go exactly that way for Jim Keller, collision lifer and owner of 1Collision Network---but they nearly did.

It all began when Keller saw the Beatles perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show” when he was 10 years old.


"I knew right then that I wanted to be a musician and specifically a drummer," he said. "I was immediately drawn to Ringo and shortly after that, I began drumming along to songs on the radio on an improvised drum set that consisted of two upside-down wastebaskets and a pair of rulers. I cut out a picture of a real drum set from a JCPenney catalog and taped it to the bathroom mirror, and I guess my parents got the hint because I got an $89.95 three-piece drum set for Christmas."


Keller learned how to monetize his love for the drums and entered the collision repair industry at the same time.


"At 12, I was making $25 cash on Saturday nights performing at weddings with a polka band," he said. "I was also working at my friend’s father's body shop, sanding cars, picking up supplies on my bike and driving customers home, even though I obviously didn't have my license yet. I made $40--$100 weekly there, which made me the richest kid in town."


After taking some formal lessons, Keller started playing percussion for his high school's band, including marching band, jazz ensemble and orchestra.


To become a better drummer, Keller practiced his drums for 90 minutes in his basement every day before joining a few local rock bands and playing cover songs by Jimi Hendrix and Savoy Brown.


"We played a lot of blues-influenced music and acid rock," he said. "A few years later, a friend of mine encouraged me to audition for a band called In a Hot Coma, and I got the gig."

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