Sandy Gennaro has performed in front of over One Billion people. First as a drummer for some of the top bands in history. Now as a Keynote Speaker, Author, Coach, and Mentor. Sandy's transition from a drummer to a sought-after public speaker is remarkable. It all started with a simple, heartfelt gesture—throwing a drumstick to a woman in a wheelchair during a concert. This act of kindness set off a chain of events redefining Sandy's career. The woman's husband reached out to express his gratitude, and their subsequent meeting led to Sandy's first speaking engagement. It's a powerful reminder that sometimes, unexpected moments can lead to life-changing opportunities.

Sandy introduced his mantra, "BEATS," an acronym that stands for Belief, Enthusiasm, Attitude, Tenacity, and Service to Others. He credits these principles as the foundation of his success and the positive turn his life has taken. Sandy's journey is a testament to the idea that when you align your life with these values, you open yourself up to incredible possibilities.

Connect with Sandy on LinkedIn at

Learn more about Sandy at


Key Points

• Sandy Gennaro has performed on stage for over 1 billion audience members and is now inspiring people with his talks (0:19)


• Sandy emphasizes the importance of taking care of others and maintaining a positive attitude and work ethic towards individual goals (6:59)


• Sandy discusses the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and treating others well in order to create success and "luck" (9:20)


• Sandy discusses his successful speaking career and how it came about from that one act of kindness towards the woman in the wheelchair (19:10)


• Sandy discusses the principles of Beats: belief, enthusiasm, attitude, tenacity, and service to others, and how they can positively impact one's life (21:41)


• Sandy compares the role of a CEO to that of a drummer in a rock band, emphasizing the importance of consistency in leadership to breed trust within a company (26:34)


• Craig brings up the fear of AI taking jobs, but Sandy advises to become friends with it and use it in a positive way (33:43)


Craig Andrews 00:15

I had to double check that stat. I thought it was a mistake. It's not. Sandy Gennaro has performed on stage for more than 1 billion audience members. He was the drummer for Cindy Lauper, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Bo Didley johnny Whitter the Monkeys jolin Turner, Michael Bolton Benny Mardona's and Kraft and the mamas and the papas and John Parris Today, Sandy's on a different stage. He's now inspiring tens of thousands of people with his signature talks. One of them is Beat the ODS Eight Lessons on Becoming a Rock Star. In business, in life. And another one. Learn about the why. And today I want to welcome Sandy to leaders and Legacies. We have a shared mission. Leaders and Legacies is about making an impact beyond yourself, and that's what's happening in Sandy's life in spades. And so, Sandy, welcome.

Sandy Gennaro               01:20

Thank you very much, Craig. I appreciate your time and having me on this show.

Craig Andrews 01:26

So when I first looked at thought, no, I'm misreading right now, that would be like one 7th of the world's population.

Sandy Gennaro               01:41

To qualify that statement. Craig, that's between live and TV.

Craig Andrews 01:47


Sandy Gennaro               01:48

So TV engulfs millions of people at one shot. So that's how you get to a million. Being on Carson, The Tonight Show three times and all kinds of TV with that's something that was really good for Cindy Lauper because she was a media star, she was on a lot of TV and she liked to have the band with her all the well and.

Craig Andrews 02:10

Just for some perspective. My one and only appearance on TV was on community television in my hometown when I was six years old. And I went up to my mom and whispered into the ear that I had to pee, and that got picked up by her mic. So that was my one crack at TV. They haven't let me back on since.

Sandy Gennaro               02:28

That's awesome. Good story.

Craig Andrews 02:30

Yeah. So how did you get started?

Sandy Gennaro               02:35

In speaking or in playing?

Craig Andrews 02:38

Well, let's start with playing.

Sandy Gennaro               02:40

How do I get started? Well, I got a toy drum for Christmas when I was two and a half years old, and I just was immediately attracted to the fact that I can hit something with sticks and not get hollered at by my mother. And I carry that drum around everywhere. And I have it upstairs in my office here in Nashville, in my studio upstairs. And then I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964, February 9, and that basically was my defining moment. From then on, I knew exactly what I was going to do with my life. It was just a matter of time. I didn't know how I was going to do it. I didn't know what steps I was going to take. But I had the faith and the belief that that was going to be my vocation and that was going to be what I loved to do. I had fun doing it and I got my first drum set at 1314 and started playing little gigs and little graduation parties and high school dances and stuff like that. And then when I was 16, I got snuck into my first bar and on and on. And then I moved to La in 1976 to get my first big break in the music business. And through trial and error, trial and error, trial and error, I kept the faith. I made a lot of mistakes. I was turned down on a lot of auditions, but I kept the faith and I kept going. And I ended up getting my first gig in a band called Blackjack back in New York. And that was my first pro recording gig, 1979. And that's the band that had Michael Baloten, then known as Michael Balotin. He was the singer in the band, and Bruce Culick was the guitar player, jimmy Haslip was the bass player. And we all went on to do significant things in the music business. But that was my first foray into professional recording. We recorded our first album for Polydor Records with Tom Dowd, the legendary hall of Fame producer Tom Dowd. And that was basically my launching pad. And then from there, the dominoes fell from there and at Cindy's gig, joan Jett was in the audience at one of those gigs and her manager, Kenny Laguna. And five years later, I was asked to do a Joan Jett tour. So basically

Sandy Gennaro               04:55

every gig in my life, Craig has come from either directly or indirectly helping somebody out or seeing someone that needs to be lifted up or encouraged or someone needing a favor, needing a drummer at the last minute. And I do them a big favor without anything in return, expecting anything in return. And it turns out to be something monumental in the future. This person that I did a favor for ends up being finding this singer in Queens called Cindy Lauper, and I ended up joining her band, or I did an oldies gig with a bass player that needed a drummer. Two days notice and he didn't have anybody else to call. I did that gig, it was with the band called The Tokens. And that musical director, Jerry Renino, rest his soul, ends up being the musical director for The Monkeys because of the favor I did for him a couple of months earlier and the fact that we had played together, he asked me to do the Monkey reunion tour. And that was one tour, and that was thanks enough for helping Jerry on that oldies gig. But I did almost every reunion tour that The Monkeys did from 87 until Davy Jones passed away in 2012. So it goes on and on and on. It's basically the whole idea is that if you look out, keep your eyes open, take the blinders off and look for ways to help people, look for ways to lift people up. And if you have the wherewithal to be asked of a favor, and you can supply that favor. Do it. And you don't do it for any other reason because it lifts people up. And when you do that, you're in the flow of good karma. And I can talk to you for about an hour about this without any interruption about this very subject, how important it is to let the universe take care of you. You take care of other people. This is the general overall psyche. Take care of other people when they need it. And the universe, the higher power, the power greater than ourselves at work will take care of you. You don't do it for any other reason except for the fact that you want to put a smile on somebody's face or help somebody out when they need a favor. And it always comes back to you. Every single gig I've ever gotten, all those records are behind me. I've gotten those gigs directly or indirectly as a result of just helping somebody. So that's not the only key to success. That's a major key to success. The other key to success is the way you think and the positive attitude that you have about situations that haven't happened yet. Because we were given a choice when we were born as a human being. We were given a choice of how to think, what thoughts to pay attention to, what thoughts to eliminate. So we were given the power of free will choice and what thoughts to pay attention to. So if we monitor those thoughts and think positively, maintain our work ethic towards our individual goals so it's not like I don't want anyone to misunderstand, well, you be nice to people, and then you can sit on the couch and your good fortune will come to you. It's not that way. You have to maintain that work ethic and maintain being in that flow of energy, of making things happen and thinking positive about the future. And all of your actions are going to lead to something positive. And it always works out relentless thinking like that. It always works out. It's a law of the universe. Like, you plant the seed and you add water and sunshine, the seed is going to germinate. So it's like that.

Craig Andrews 08:47

Well, and if I heard something that was kind of hidden in that discussion, this all started with you trying out, getting rejected, trying out, getting rejected, trying out, getting rejected. But at some point, you weren't rejected, but also in that you were doing favors. You were giving without asking in return. And would you say that there was like a was it like one day that everything just kind of jumped up? Or would you say it was just kind of a gradual rise?

Sandy Gennaro               09:20

It was a gradual rise. It was a gradual rise. Maintaining your work ethic and your positive outlook on the future and at the same time keeping your eyes open, how to help other people. So you heard the expression, you go with the flow, but the flow is in that positive river, that river of positive energy, and you move forward. As every day that goes by, we're in that flow, we're moving forward. So it's a combination, again, of how you treat people, looking for ways to lift people up and to help them. And it's a combination of your positive attitude and your thoughts and your anticipation about future events. We have a choice to think positively or negatively about it. So if you think positively, you're in league with what I call the God energy, which is the energy inside all human beings. It's a little spark of God energy. And that's what makes human beings different than a dog. That's what makes human beings different than any other living thing, is the fact that we have the power of emotion, to feel emotion positively or negatively, to evict emotion, to treat people where you create an emotion in them, the power of free will, the power of choice. So that's the challenge that we've been given at birth. We were given the choices. So we're challenged to think and choose the right thing and to treat people the right way. And we're in that positive flow of energy. That's when magic happens. And that's when you're pulling up to a restaurant, you're late for your reservation, you're looking for a parking space, and right then you're pulling up to the restaurant, somebody pulls out right in front, and there's your parking space. To me, I don't consider that an accident. I don't believe in the word luck. I believe you create your own luck by how you treat people and how you think and how you're a positive anticipation of future events. That's how you do it. You can't go into any situation. Craig going, oh, well, I did my homework. I rehearsed the songs, but I don't think I'm going to get that audition, or if I'm lucky, I may get it, or no, you have to put it in your mind that you visualize yourself getting the audition. And when you visualize yourself getting the audition, and you experience the emotion inside as if you've already gotten that audition and you firmly believe it to the core of your being, then you start getting inspirations on how to make that manifestation happen. Oh, rehearse a little bit more. Why don't you rehearse this or why don't you do that? Do you understand? It's like the GPS. You receive the result first. You put the address in the GPS, and then you hit send or go, and then the GPS. You don't know how you're going to get to the destination, but the GPS will follow you to show you. Make a left here, make a right there. And that's the way I look at my life, and that's the way it's always turned out. I'm 72 years old, and when I look back on my life, that's the way it's always turned.

Craig Andrews 12:37

Know, I live in Austin, and Austin has amazing musical talent.

Sandy Gennaro               12:43


Craig Andrews 12:44

And a lot of the talent here in Austin, if you're local, you've heard some of the names, but people outside of Austin have never heard some of the names here. And from your perspective, what's the difference between some of this amazing talent that we have here and the people that like yourself, that make it on the big stages?

Sandy Gennaro               13:06

It's not any kind of concrete material difference. There's not any kind of concrete material difference. Basically, talent is not the measure of success. I'll tell you right now. Technical talent, talent on the drum set, riffs chops, rudiments, being able to play at 220 beats a minute for 20 minutes, that kind of physical ability on the drum set, that's only a little part of it. A big part of it is what's up here. Because a turning point for a lot of musicians is that when it's time to go out and make a living playing music, when they move out of their mommy and daddy's house. And now it's up to them to keep the lights on and to start a life, carve out a life for them, that they're responsible for themselves. That's where only the strong survive. That's what separates the weak from the chaff. In other words, now it's time to keep your own lights on. You don't have a bed made and food on your table. Now you got to do it yourself, and you're a drummer. Well, you better have a girlfriend that's got an apartment, or else you'd be homeless. That's a little music industry joke, but it's actually true, so it goes beyond physical talent. Speaking of Austin, and speaking of musicians, do you know of an artist, Ray Wiley? Ray Wiley Hubbard? Oh, yeah, yeah, he's awesome. I saw him here in Nashville last year. He was awesome. Anyway, I just thought of him being from Know.

Craig Andrews 14:44

There's a blues player here that when I watch other musicians react to him, I know he's know. It's one thing for me to think he's talented, but when I see other talented musicians react to him, I really know he's talented. But when I've seen him play, I haven't enjoyed his shows. So this is Austin. It's not some big venue. Often it's down 6th street in some bar. And I'd watch him play, and he would focus in on the prettiest women in the audience, and he would focus all of his attention on them. And I saw these other women that desperately wanted his attention, and he would just kind of ignore them. And I just thought, dude, you have an opportunity here to make somebody feel special. You have the opportunity to give them a gift and make them feel like they caught the eye of the rock star that one night, right? And it felt like he just withheld.

Sandy Gennaro               15:48

That gift, you never know. Who is that? Do you know who the artist name.

Craig Andrews 15:53

The name is it slipped my mind.

Sandy Gennaro               15:57

We don't need to make that public. But

Sandy Gennaro               16:04

I don't want to say it's his fault, but he's missing out on potential. He's missing out on the potential to make somebody smile. Just because she's unattractive, you're not going to make her smile. You know what, Craig? I'm going to tell you a story. A lot of people ask me, how did you go from how did you transition from being a rock and roll drummer to a speaker, a successful speaker, having another career? I'm going to tell you that story, and it's similar to what that guy, that blues guy is missing out on. And I'll tell you, you come to your own conclusions. I was always wondering at the end of my, well, I'm still a drummer, and I'll be a drummer till I die. I mean, it's in my DNA. So this is what my office looks like.

Craig Andrews 16:47

Oh, wow.

Sandy Gennaro               16:49

I have two drum sets set up face to face. A lot of times I have student coming over here or whatever, but that's my life. But anyway, I always wonder in my 60s, what am I going to do when I retire? Do I have enough money put away on a 401K or I don't have a 401K. All I had was IRAs because I've been a 1099 guy my whole life, so I don't have really much of a pension. And I was wondering if I had enough put away to maintain my lifestyle when I didn't want to go on the road anymore or what wasn't asked to go on the road anymore, and I had that concern. I would go to sleep wondering about that. And in 2016, I saw a woman in a wheelchair. And when I'm playing an encore, I look for people in the first row who's going to get my drumsticks, because they throw drumsticks out at the end of the show. And there was a woman in a wheelchair, and she was kind of smiling. She was afflicted. And I said, she's going to get my drumstick. After the show, I went to the front of the stage and threw her a drumstick. The guy next to her intercepted it. I could have kept walking, but I didn't. I went back and I went, no, I want her to have it. He gave it to her. I replaced his drumstick. The next day, the husband sitting on the other side of the woman in the wheelchair Facebook messaged me and says, I'm the husband of the woman you threw a drumstick to. Can I have your number? And again, I didn't have to give a complete stranger my home phone number, but I did. And he called me and was over the moon in appreciation of what I did from his wife the night before in that arena, out of 20,000 people, I picked her out. She's going to put the drumstick in a shadow box when she gets home. She was nearly in tears. Nobody pays attention to her. Whatever. You made sure she had that drumstick. He said, I want to buy you a coffee. I'm coming to Nashville to speak. I want to buy you a coffee. Can I buy you a coffee? And thank you in person again? I didn't have to go downtown Nashville on a Saturday morning at 10:00 to meet this complete stranger, but I did. And he asked me how I got certain gigs, and he asked me certain questions about how I became successful in the music business, whatever. So he told those stories. He invited me to his speaking engagement, told the story about how I got Cindy Lopper's gig and the blackjack gig and whatever, and it got a good reaction. He convinced me at that point. He says, you have a lot of experience speaking in front of people in your music school that you spoke to or whatever, but you have a career as a public speaker that people need to hear that message. So he said, I'll help you any way I can. Long story short, that's how I became a public speaker. If I was just attracted to the attractive women in the audience, I would have never, ever threw that drumstick to a woman in a wheelchair. That was kind of

Sandy Gennaro               19:44

led that led Craig to my speaking career. And you know what? In the last year, the speaking career blew up. I am busy, as busy as I want to be. Just went over my calendar with my wife for 24. We're booked all of 24. I'm looking into 25. So this is out of just throwing a friggin drumstick to a handicapped person. Led to another career, led to another business. I'm entering into the best part of my life. Yeah, all the touring, maybe all the touring, maybe all a claim that came in regard to me being in rock and roll. Maybe I was doing all that in preparation for this time in my life. You look back on your life and the different decisions you make, and you go, Whoa, that's why I made that decision. Look where it's led me. You realize that going through a certain situation, you go, well, what good can come of this? But then you realize, you look back in retrospect, you go, oh, that's why that happened. Oh, that's why I called that person. Look what it led to. Whatever. So that's that story of how I received another career.

Craig Andrews 20:59

That's so amazing and that's so powerful, because we all meet these people in life that they're very transactional if they can't figure out what you can do for them in the next minutes right. With you.

Sandy Gennaro               21:14


Craig Andrews 21:15

And that's a powerful story to say, look beyond that. Just serve people. And I love when we talked before. A month or so ago, when we were setting this up, you talked about your mission, your mission on stage. Part of your mission is to make people smile. But now let's talk about this public speaking. What do you do? Who do you speak to? What's the message you bring to them?

Sandy Gennaro               21:41

Well, I tell the examples. I tell the examples of how I got certain gigs in my career again. I speak around an acronym called Beats. And in addition to playing Beats on a drumstick, for close to close to six decades, I've been living the principles in the acronym beats belief, enthusiasm, attitude, tenacity, and service to others. And when you align with those principles in a positive way, possibilities will enter your life, positively impacting your life in ways that you never, ever imagined. Because we are very limited, Craig, in our human mental capacity to kind of wrap our mind around actually what's possible. Now, if I'm on stage in 2016 in an arena in San Diego, am I thinking that, hey, if I throw a drumstick to this woman in the wheelchair, it's going to lead to another career? Are you kidding? So you don't do it for that reason. I speak about the simple ways to become stress free in your life, the simple ways to become successful in your life, the thought process that you have to have in order to do that. And so it's within how you think within and how you act without the combination of both of those having a firm belief in yourself and in your own ability and having a firm belief of being tenacious in your effort. And realize that problems that happen to you are learning. Experiences are meant that they're put in a path in your path in order for you to learn how to do something differently or not at all. In other words, problems happen to all human beings. Not to shut us down, not to stop us, but to make us become better human beings, to make us learn. So it's basically your belief in yourself and a belief in a power greater than ourselves at work in our life, being our GPS, so to speak, our enthusiasm about future events that happen, that upcoming events and upcoming audition, whatever it is, upcoming Thanksgiving dinner with your family. You anticipate a positive that's being enthusiastic about it. And when you visualize something, you visualize the end result that you would like to happen, and you conjure up the emotion inside that you would have if that manifested in real time, if that result manifested in real time. So that's the enthusiasm, your attitude. You watch what you thought, monitor your thoughts, be a thought police because you have control over everybody's, inundated with positive and negative thoughts all the time. But it's your choice of which ones you pay attention to. And then tenacity, which we spoke about, are ways for us to learn. Thomas Edison said, I never made a mistake inventing the light bulb. I only learned 10,000 ways how not to do it. Yeah, it's not who we are that holds us back. It's what we think we're not 99% of the time. So there's belief, enthusiasm, attitude, tenacity. And one of the most important ones is service to others. Service to others going through your life with a feeling of spirit, of altruism, a spirit of empathy, looking outside yourself, how can I make this person's life better? Or let's find something positive. Even if you're not getting along with somebody, let's find something positive about that person. So it's the combination of those attributes thought about in a positive way, because there's so many podcasts and books or how to do this or a better way to do that, or whatever. And these are all in an effort to try to understand the bigger picture that happens, to know the higher power. Whatever you believe is a power greater than yourself at work in your life. Craig the possibilities are endless, far beyond the limited human scope that we have as far as mental.

Craig Andrews 26:04

Yeah, well, I love the way that you break that down. And the attitude, having that positive attitude in the concept of leadership. Well, who wants to follow some leader that always looks down, looks depressed, doesn't believe in the best in people, doesn't believe in the best outcome is ahead of them? That's a hard person to follow.

Sandy Gennaro               26:34

That's what I call a boss. Yeah, it's a different than a leader. A leader inspires performance. A boss demands performance. There's the difference. And I go in my presentation, you asked me about some things I speak to in corporate. In a corporate environment is how a CEO is very similar in his role as a drummer. In a rock and roll band, the drummer is the most important person on that stage. Unequivocally, the band goes as the drummer goes. And the most important person in a company or a team within a company is the manager of that team or the CEO of that company. The company goes as the CEO goes. The culture follows the leader of that company. If you have a toxic culture, then look in the mirror. You're a boss. It all comes down from the leadership. My goal as a drummer, when I count a song off, is to bring everybody on that stage in sync with me, to perform a common objective. And that's the same thing a CEO does. His goal is to bring his management team, his employees, in sync with his vision. His mission to perform a common objective. The drum beat that I play, everybody has to follow that drum beat. Well, the drum beat in a leadership scenario, is the mission of the company the result of a certain project or whatever. He's the leader of it. And you talk about consistency. That's the role of a drummer. When I count a song off, it's got to be the same tempo from the beginning. The count off all the way till the end. Despite the changes that happen within a song. The tempo has to stay consistent, and leadership has to stay consistent. Regardless of the issues that happen within a company supply chain, lack of quality employees, et cetera, et cetera. You got to be consistent, because consistency in leadership breeds trust with your people. If they know what they're going to get day in and day out, whether you hit the high mark in your quota or you have a supply chain issue and people are quitting on you or whatever, you have to be consistent, and that's what gains trust in your people. Your people got to know that. They have to know what to expect in their leadership. How is he going to be today? Is he going to be happy go lucky, or is he going to be yelling and screaming at everybody because we didn't make our quota? You got to be consistent. So consistency breeds trust, and trust within the leadership in a company is what makes the company thrive.

Craig Andrews 29:21

And the challenge is, disruption comes, threats come. And when you were playing for Cindy Lauper this is when I was in high school, I remember listening to the music. There was a disruption in your world that threatened drummers. Right. And what was that?

Sandy Gennaro               29:43

Well, it was the invention of the drum machine.

Craig Andrews 29:46

Okay, so take us back. That was a few decades ago. How was it a threat?

Sandy Gennaro               29:54

Well, in the music business, there was a thriving a lot of drummers that never made it and never became a household name or whatever made a really good living playing on demos, playing on songwriters demos. Hey, let's go in the studio. I'll pay you a menial amount of money, but you do a bunch of these demos every day. You make a living. Demos and jingles, commercials for radio, commercials for TV, playing on stuff like that. That's a living for a whole segment of musicians that never saw a stage, basically. And now drum machines, drum computers come out, and now they're using a computer instead of a drummer in these demos. And even in records, even in Cindy's record, there's drum machine eurythmics prints. I'm thinking of the artists from the 80s that use drum machines primarily. So a lot of drummers push back on that, going, hey, F, that drum machine bullshit. That's taken a lot of work away from me. Well, I always taught and I wrote articles for Modern Drummer to this effect for Modern Drummer magazine. You got to become friends with it, because whether you like it or not, it's here to stay. Same thing with AI today. It's here to stay. So become friends with it. Use it in a positive way, because you're going to have to become friends with the drum machine. You want to be a drummer, you got to adapt to that because it's here to stay. If you don't adapt to it, you're going to be left by the wayside. If you're still not. Becoming friends with playing along with the drum machine, because in the 80s, it was full circle drum machines and drummers weren't working on albums, demos, whatever, jingles, and then it came back. In other words, now drummers are playing along with drum machine time, but they're sampling their drum. It's a big technical discussion, but in 2023, you will not hardly ever see a band live, even live, where the drummer in his ears doesn't have timekeeping device going on. Because nine out of ten bands today, and I'm talking rock and roll bands, country bands, whatever, they fly in background vocals, computerized background vocals, or when Steven Tyler goes, does all of that stuff after throat surgery, possibility exists. Where those are going to be flown, know, rumor has it, I don't want to mention any names in a public forum that use lip syncing, that are lip syncing. But there's a lot of bands today that are lip syncing because of the fact that they're older now and they don't have the chops. That the vocal chops. Or if you see a band and you hear strings or you hear a keyboard or you hear a horn, and there's no horns or strings or keyboards on stage, those are being flown in with the computer. And if you fly stuff in, if you fly supplementary stuff in, then the drummer has to play to a time code, because this is the click. And if you have background vocals in the chorus, the computer is going to kick in that background vocal after a certain amount of clicks. Yeah, all right. So the drummer has got to play to a time code. And if you listen to even country music, the most organic genre of music that we have in America, there are drum machines and programming all over. That all over.

Craig Andrews 33:43

You know, there's a lot of people that are afraid AI is going to take their job, and there's probably some truth in that. But you're saying you're saying but here's the reality. I mean, you you played drums, you still play, obviously. But what age were you when you switched from drumming to public speaking?

Sandy Gennaro               34:08


Craig Andrews 34:10

  1. And how long were the drum machines around prior to that switch?

Sandy Gennaro               34:19

Well, let's do the math. Drum machines came out in the early 80s. Drum machines came out in the early 80s. That's 43 years ago, around 40 years ago.

Craig Andrews 34:33

So 43 years after the advent of the technology that threatened your job, you continued to be a headline performer in that job. It only left that when you realized, hey, you know what? I can do public speaking about what I learned as a drummer.

Sandy Gennaro               34:50

Right? I immediately became friends with drum machines. Immediately. Cindy Lauper used to have a drum machine on the stage for one song. Do you remember a song called All Through the Night? All through the night.

Sandy Gennaro               35:10

Whatever. There was a song, it was a hit single that Cindy had and she had a lindrum, which was one of the first drum computers brought on stage. And I had to play hihat and snare drum, and the lindrum played bass drum and shaker. So I had to play along with a drum machine in front of 20,000 people a night. So I became friends with it. I bought a lindrum myself. And when I did drum clinics in support of my drum company or whatever and there was a room full of musicians, or when I taught at a music school and I taught a music business in a music school or whatever. And I had to do a solo in my clinic. I brought my drum machine, I brought my lindrum, and I programmed my lindrum to do a drum battle with me. So both of us are boom boom this. And I did

Sandy Gennaro               36:11

drum machine, so I programmed it when we were doing a call and answer with the drum machine. It was very, very well received. So I can play along with mechanical timekeeping devices. And that helped me tremendously when I was in the studio, when I was asked to do a record or asked to do whatever. Do you know how to play with a click track? Sure. Bring it. And that's the first thing I've had hundreds of drum students when I taught it at school in Manhattan for 27 years. That's the first thing I advocated to a drummer wanting to learn how to play drums. Become friends with metronomic time, because that is the number one requirement for a drummer. Over and above the chops, the fills, the fancy, the rudiments, all of that. You got to be able to play boom BOP, boom BOP, boom BOP with this

Sandy Gennaro               37:10

all different tempos. Now move the dial. Songs come in different tempos. Be comfortable playing in each tempo for at least two and a half minutes and play so you can start thinking. You don't have to concentrate on the click anymore. You can think about what you're going to have for dinner. And when you can take your mind off the click and you're still with it, then you know you're charging your timekeeping battery inside. That was the number one thing I taught a drummer before I taught him well, it was not quite before I taught him how to hold sticks, but soon after I told him how to hold the sticks. Let's play to time. And that's a major attribute that I have. I'm totally friends with a drum machine and any different tempo, and that's why I get gigs, and that's why I've gotten gigs, because I was friends with the timekeeping and I was able to put a click in my ear and do a record and do five takes of a record and each take be the same tempo.

Craig Andrews 38:19

Yeah. And I think that's great advice as people are looking at AI and my personal belief. I've got two books that are coming out and people ask me, did AI write them? I'm like, no, I don't believe AI could write them. There's a creative element that I don't think AI can do, but it's an amazing tool to use in tandem.

Sandy Gennaro               38:41

Yeah. And you know what? Maybe you can answer this, but is your books in regard to AI?

Craig Andrews 38:47

No one is about my near early departure from this world, and the other is a marketing book that's titled Make Sales Magical.

Sandy Gennaro               38:59

Okay. I saw a 60 Minutes documentary on AI, and the 60 Minutes person was curious how AI, in a matter of seconds, come up with a paragraph about this long about whatever subject. And the guy said that AI scans the billions and billions and billions and billions and billions of stuff that's on the Internet and collects according to a certain amount of keywords, just brings that in from everything that's ever been put on the Internet. And then the 60 Minutes guy asked the AI guy to have him write, like, a eulogy. Have AI write a eulogy for this unnamed person. And AI, he was reading it, and the guy was going, how does AI, at the end of this eulogy, was saying not only the factual stuff about the gentleman that they're speaking, the dead person, but they're saying, make sure you be kind to your neighbor. He was always an advocate of helping your neighbor because that does good for people. In other words, AI was talking about emotions. AI was talking about feelings. So the guy said the 60 Minutes guy said to the AI guy,

Sandy Gennaro               40:34

where does AI get the wherewithal to suggest be nice to your neighbor, to touch upon emotion and not just facts and figures? And the AI goes, I don't know.

Craig Andrews 40:50


Sandy Gennaro               40:50

So in other words, AI is growing faster than human beings are able to understand it.

Craig Andrews 41:01

Yeah. No, it's amazingly powerful. And I think your comparison of AI being the drum machines of modern day yes. In the same way it changed the lives of drummers in the 80s, it didn't eliminate the need for them. It just changed the way they worked with them.

Sandy Gennaro               41:20

Correct. Well, in certain areas, it eliminated the need for a drummer in certain areas, in terms of demos and in terms of I don't think there's an advertisement, a jingle that you hear on the radio or an ad on TV where there's music. I don't think there's one I've ever heard a live drummer on it lately. It's all been so jingles demos, you don't need to pay a guy. You can use a drum machine to have your little demo. You know what I mean? So I think it's taken work, but if you become friends with it, you end up working alongside with it on stage. And I've had to use it in a studio every time I've walked in a studio since 1980.

Craig Andrews 42:07

Sandy, we could go on for another 2 hours. I mean, I just love hearing your thoughts on this, your perspective and your heart for serving others, but I know you probably need to go on. I just want to thank you. I do want people to reach out to you. You have a book called Beat The ODS in Business and Life, and they can find that on your website. And this episode is going to go live in January of 2024.

Sandy Gennaro               42:42


Craig Andrews 42:43

And so, based on what I'm hearing is if people want to get you on stage in 2025, they need to start reaching out to you today.

Sandy Gennaro               42:52


Craig Andrews 42:53

How do they find you?

Sandy Gennaro               42:55

They find me by sending me a text message at And the spelling of the last name is G-E-N-N as in Nancy, A-R-O. They can text me They can go to my website. There's a contact button on my website,, and if you want a signed copy of my book, go to my website or email me and I'll be happy to send you a signed copy of my book. So, yeah, regarding Keynote speaks, keynote engagements, that's the way to get a hold of me. And I'd be happy to talk to you about the possibility of me bringing a live drum set to having a live drum set there at the presentation, at the keynote address. And it's really been a rocking good time and the feedback has been incredible because it is an interactive it's not like a keynote with a bunch of PowerPoint slides and facts and figures. It's an interactive thing. You're going to hear me play along with the hits that I've been involved with in a live scenario. So it resonates with a lot of people, let's put it that way.

Craig Andrews 44:11

Well, and let me just kind of reemphasize know, I was introduced to you by Sue Tennis, who heard one of your keynotes, and she said you were amazing. I've since heard from other people that heard you separately and the response has been uniform. They say you got to get Sandy on your stage. And so I hope people will reach out to you. I hope they'll do it quickly so they can get on your 2025 calendar.

Sandy Gennaro               44:38

Yeah, there's still some gaps in 24, but unlike 23, I want to maintain some of the gaps because 23 has been like a nonstop situation. It's starting to slow down now around the holidays, but the last eight or nine months, it's been like b to the wall, if you know what I mean. Yeah.

Craig Andrews 44:58

Well, Sandy, thank you so much. This has been wonderful.

Sandy Gennaro               45:01

You're welcome. Craig, I appreciate you and I appreciate the opportunity and yeah, if there's anything I can do for you, you just reach out for me