This is Robbie Gwartney. He plays his drums on the side of the road in a ritzy suburb of Los Angeles.
It’s one of those sights that you notice kind of on the periphery of a drive, but then it really catches your eye and your brain goes -
“Wait. Huh? Did I really just see that?”
That’s the kind of response Robbie Gwartney gets when he plays the drums on the side of the road. After all, a dirt patch on a winding, remote canyon through the back hills of Malibu is the last place you’d expect to see a guy playing a full set of drums.
To set the scene a bit more, this is Kanan Road. It’s a road that connects Calabasas to Malibu, and cuts its way through the Santa Monica mountain range like a zipper. Lots of people travel on this road to get to the beach. Sure, you’ll see the odd farmer selling his strawberries on this road during the summer….but drums? No.
When I first saw it, I drove past it with that same quizzical look on my face, unsure if that really just happened. But then I drove past it again, and decided to pull over and ask what in the world he’s doing there, playing his drums for everyone and no one.
Robbie has a wild story, to boot. He was homeless not too long ago, first playing buckets on the side of the road. He was struggling with alcohol addiction for many years, but his fascination with drums helped him kick the habit. He’s eight years sober now, and just as dedicated to playing these drums.
Check out the video to see why he plays here, and how often you can find him out there.
So next time you’re doing a routine drive, the kind where your brain goes into autopilot mode, snap out of it and look around - you might just find your own local Robbie doing something cool in an unexpected place.