Newcastle drummer Kye Smith is on a roll. A drum roll, so to speak.
Kye, 27, invented five-minute drum chronologies, which he posts on YouTube.
His Beatles video, shot on the rooftop of the Great Northern Hotel in Newcastle, has more than 2 million hits.
“The Beatles' entire career covered from front to back in five minutes on drums,” the video’s blurb says.
The Beatles video spread far and wide. It found its way to the event co-ordinator of the New York Knicks basketball team, who invited Kye to perform at one of their games.
So in January, Kye found himself performing the Beatles chronology at Madison Square Garden at the halftime break of the game between the Knicks and Washington Wizards.
His drumming chronologies also led to an opportunity to work with Capitol Records and Discover Los Angeles.
This year is the 75th anniversary of Capitol Records, a classic American record label founded in 1942. It was the first music label to exist on the American west coast. That’s some claim to fame.
One of their artists is Beck. As such, Kye did a drum chronology of Beck’s career.
The video was made in various LA locations, including Venice Beach and the rooftop of the iconic 13-storey tower that houses Capitol Records in Hollywood.
Kye said playing on the circular building’s rooftop was a “once-in-a-lifetime experience”.
He said Beck was “a legend in the music industry”.
“I was more than happy to sink my teeth into a collection of his biggest hits,” he said.
He also did a five-minute drum chronology of the history of Capitol Records. It included snippets from Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Wanda Jackson, Buck Owens, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, James Taylor, John Lennon, George Harrison, Grand Funk Railroad, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Miller Band, Bob Seger, Neil Diamond, Tina Turner, Crowded House, Beastie Boys, MC Hammer, Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Coldplay and Katy Perry.
“It spans so many different times and so many different styles of music and drumming. It took a lot of homework, but it was a lot of fun,” Kye said.
Kye’s other drum chronologies include Blink-182 (1.5 million views), Green Day (1 million views), Nirvana (750,000 views), Red Hot Chilli Peppers (687,000 views) and Foo Fighters (670,000 views).
His chronology of Frenzal Rhomb led to him playing drums for the Aussie band for a year, after their drummer broke his arm.
Kye started the chronologies to “do something that I hadn’t seen done before”.
He was also testing himself musically and trying “a different method of promotion” for his band, Local Resident Failure.
“I try to tell a story within a five-minute timeframe, using musical instruments,” he said.
“I guess people were curious because no one else had done it.
“It was crazy to me because a lot of my favourite bands, artists and personalities started tweeting and sharing my videos.”
The Glory Days
Has Jodi McKay quit politics and gone back to work for NBN?
It looked this way in a photo she posted of herself on social media on Friday.
“So for those who don't know, I began my working life as a cadet journalist with NBN Television,” she wrote.
“[NBN cameraman] Dave was a mentor and friend and so during my visit to the Hunter region today, in my role as Shadow Minister for Roads, we cheekily relived the glory days.”